You Can Beat Social Anxiety
Understanding Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, is a type of anxiety that causes intense fear and anxiety in social situations. People with social anxiety disorder may feel self-conscious, judged, or scrutinized by others, making it difficult to engage in social activities or even perform daily tasks.
Recognizing Social Anxiety Disorder
People with social anxiety disorder may experience a range of symptoms, including:
- Intense fear or anxiety in social situations
- Avoidance of social situations or enduring them with intense fear or anxiety
- Excessive anxiety that’s out of proportion to the situation
- Anxiety or distress that interferes with daily living
- Fear or anxiety that is not better explained by a medical condition, medication, or substance abuse
Coping with Social Anxiety Disorder
While social anxiety disorder generally requires help from a medical expert or qualified psychotherapist, there are some techniques that can help handle situations that are likely to trigger anxiety. These include:
- Practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation
- Gradually facing feared social situations
- Challenging negative thoughts and beliefs
- Joining a support group
Counseling for Social Anxiety Disorder
Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, is an effective treatment for social anxiety disorder. In therapy, individuals learn how to recognize and change negative thoughts and beliefs that contribute to their anxiety. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that is particularly effective for social anxiety disorder. CBT helps individuals identify and challenge negative thoughts and beliefs, and teaches skills to manage anxiety in social situations.
At Bellevue Family Counseling, other types of therapy to help might include Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), Lifespan Integration Therapy or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR. Many of our counselors provide these and other tools to help. Email us if you need some help choosing a counselor.