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  • Social Anxiety Disorder Therapy

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    Do you fear being judged or criticized by others? Does the thought of being in social situations make you feel anxious or self-conscious? Are you always worried about making mistakes? Looking bad? Or embarrassment in front of others? If so, you may be struggling with social anxiety disorder.

    While it is normal to feel nervous in some social situations… people who experience daily social anxiety tend to avoid everyday interactions. Typically because everyday interactions come with significant fear, anxiety, self-consciousness, and embarrassment.

    Understanding Social Anxiety Disorder

    Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, is more than just feeling nervous in social situations. It’s a chronic mental health condition. Social anxiety is intense fear and anxiety in everyday social interactions. Individuals with social anxiety often fear being judged, criticized, or embarrassed by others… leading them to avoid social situations altogether.

    The Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) outlines social anxiety disorder criteria. If you experience some of the following symptoms you may meet criteria for social anxiety disorder.

    Fear of Negative Evaluation

    • Fear or anxiety about possible scrutiny by others. This fear is often greater than the actual threat of situation.

    Avoidance of Social Situations

    • Avoidance of social situations due to concern about embarrassment, humiliation, or rejection.

    Physical Symptoms

    • Trembling, sweating, shaking, or a racing heart in social situations.

    Duration and Impairment

    • Symptoms persist for six months or longer.
    • Symptoms significantly interfere with your daily life, relationships, work, or school functioning.

    Distress or Impairment

    • The fear or anxiety is not because the effects of a substance or another medical condition.

    Exclusionary Criteria

    • Fear or anxiety cannot be better explained by another mental disorder. Such as panic disorder, body dysmorphic disorder, or autism spectrum disorder.

    Common Social Situations That Trigger Social Anxiety

    People with social anxiety disorder may experience significant distress in a variety of social situations including:

    • Being teased or criticized
    • Being the center of attention
    • Being watched or observed while completing a task
    • Speaking in public or formal settings
    • Meeting authority figures or important people
    • Feeling insecure or out of place in social gatherings
    • Blushing or feeling easily embarrassed
    • Avoiding eye contact with others / meeting other people’s eyes

    How Therapy For Social Anxiety Can Help

    Therapy offers a safe and supportive environment to address social anxiety and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms. Through therapy sessions, you can:

    • Explore the underlying causes of your social anxiety
    • Challenge negative thoughts and beliefs about yourself and others
    • Learn relaxation techniques to reduce anxiety and stress
    • Practice social skills and assertiveness training
    • Gradually expose yourself to feared social situations in a controlled manner
    • Build self-confidence and self-esteem

    The First Step Towards Easier Social Situations

    If you suspect that you may have social anxiety disorder, reaching out for help is the first step towards overcoming your fears and living a fuller life. Our therapists are empathetic and compassionate. They are here to provide effective treatment tailored to your needs.

    Don’t let social anxiety hold you back from living the life you deserve. Contact our Saint Petersburg, FL therapy office today. Begin your journey to confidence in social situations.