Social Anxiety Disorder Treatment in Seattle, WA
Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is a mental health condition in which sufferers feel intense anxiety from perceived and/or anticipated slights/rejection in social settings. While many of us may feel anxiety over the approval of others, like in a job interview or a first date, those with SAD experience this intense anxiety from common everyday occurrences, and at a level that causes significant emotional distress.
What is Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)?
As the third most prevalent mental condition, behind depression and alcohol abuse, SAD might be considered an epidemic by some. It is however the less extreme cousin of Avoidant Personality Disorder (AvPD). Social anxiety disorder involves extreme or “irrational” anxiety in social situations which many would consider mundane.
The anxiety stems from an internal preoccupation of being negatively judged by others. In many cases, the anxiety is so severe that sufferers embrace avoidance as a coping mechanism. The avoidance itself can cause marked impairment in social, occupational and other important areas of life.
Several situations can incite an anxiety attack:
- Introductions to new or unfamiliar people
- Being the center of attention (giving a speech or doing something that draws attention)
- Interacting with people of importance or authority (police officers, bosses, etc.)
- Relationships (even close and romantic relationships)
Those with SAD often experience severe anxiety, sometimes described as an attacks. These attacks of anxiety fall short of panic attacks but still have a quite drastic physiological response nonetheless.
- Increased heart rate (well into supraventricular tachycardia territory)
- Excessive sweating
- Muscle twitches/ trembling
- Specific fears and phobias (most related to social interaction)
- Dizziness/ lightheadedness
What’s The Difference between Anxiety and Social Anxiety Disorder?
Even though people with SAD understand that many of their anxiety inducing fears are irrational and unfounded, this doesn’t stop the anxiety. The anxiety in social anxiety disorder is pervasive, affecting nearly all aspects of interaction. Many people experience anxiety, and to varying degrees of severity. However, the difference between everyday anxiety and an anxiety disorder is that common anxiety is transient, it will end. Social anxiety disorder is more or less a continuous state of anxiety.
The defining characteristic of a disorder is that the anxiety is so severe it causes problems in everyday life. Having anxiety but being able to continue life as you’d like is not grounds for the diagnosis of a disorder. If however, your anxiety is severe enough to force you into taking actions you’d otherwise not have chosen.
Examples include: Avoiding friends for fear they’ll criticize you, not eating at a restaurant because people will watch you eat, calling off a job interview because they might poke holes in your resume.
Social Anxiety Disorder Treatment
There are a number of treatment options available for those who suffer with social anxiety disorder.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Group therapy
- Systematic desensitization via controlled exposure to specific phobias (Exposure therapy)
- Anti-anxiety medications (beta blockers)
- Anti-depressant medications (SSRIs)
- Diet (avoiding caffeine, it can cause/exacerbate anxiety)
You don’t have to suffer from social anxiety disorder, you’re not alone. Many people like you have discovered treatment options to take back their life from anxiety. Claim your anxiety free tomorrow by acting today.
Request more information about Social Anxiety Disorder Treatment today. Call (206) 402-3375 or contact Psychiatry Northwest online.
Address2366 Eastlake Ave E
Seattle, WA 98102
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