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Social Anxiety Disorder

It is natural for an individual to be nervous in new social situations; it is not uncommon for individuals to be wallflowers or to behave in a shy manner when meeting people for the first time. Social Anxiety DisorderHowever, when the amount of fear that one experiences when placed in different social situations becomes so great that one is unable to successfully function in that situation, they can be suffering from social anxiety disorder. This can manifest in a number of physical ways, including excessive sweating, nausea, blushing, or stammering. Some individuals with severe cases of social anxiety disorder can suffer from panic attacks when in uncomfortable social situations. While some individuals afflicted with this can turn to drugs or alcohol as a means of self-medicating when in these difficult situations, that is not the most effective way to cope with the disorder.

For the nearly ten percent of the population that suffers from social anxiety disorder at some point in their lives, cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most effective ways of addressing the symptoms. Through the use of this therapeutic approach, individuals can gain experience in various social situations, thereby reducing the likelihood that they will experience the negative symptoms associated with the disorder. If therapy is not effective, or the patient is not conducive to this approach, drugs can be used to treat the corresponding anxiety. Antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), or beta blockers are all options for treating social anxiety disorder.

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