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Living with Social Anxiety

Social anxiety is a type of anxiety disorder that is characterized by intense feelings of fear and worry in social situations. While everyone experiences some level of anxiety in social situations, people with social anxiety experience severe levels of anxiety that can significantly impact their daily lives. People who struggle with social anxiety can find it difficult to interact with others, attend social events, or, in some cases, leave their homes. For young adults, social anxiety can be particularly challenging as they navigate through important milestones like entering the workforce or going to college.

If you or someone in your life is struggling with social anxiety, Northeast Health Services can help. Our anxiety treatment services help clients build healthy coping skills, manage symptoms, and improve their overall quality of life. Call 508.794.8711 today to get started.

What’s the Difference Between Shyness and Social Anxiety?

One persistent myth about social anxiety is that it’s just a matter of being shy or nervous, but the reality is much more complex. While shyness and social anxiety can both involve feelings of discomfort or nervousness in social situations, there are key differences between the two. Shyness is a personality trait that involves feeling reserved or hesitant in social interactions, but it does not typically interfere with daily life. On the other hand, social anxiety is an anxiety disorder that can cause severe distress and avoidance of social situations. People with social anxiety often have physical symptoms such as sweating, racing heart, or blushing when faced with social situations.

What It’s Like to Live with Social Anxiety

Whether you’re looking to support a loved one with social anxiety or wondering if you may have it yourself, understanding what it’s like to live with this condition can be helpful.

Living with social anxiety can feel isolating and overwhelming. Social situations that may seem simple for others, such as making small talk or attending a party, can provoke intense fear and discomfort for someone with social anxiety. It can also be difficult to explain to others why certain situations trigger anxiety, leading to feelings of shame or embarrassment.

Some of the signs of social anxiety may include:

  • Avoiding social situations or making excuses to leave early
  • Feeling physical symptoms such as nausea, sweating, or trembling in social situations
  • Overthinking and worrying about how others perceive you
  • Difficulty speaking up or expressing yourself in front of others
  • Fear of being judged or embarrassed in social situations

If you think that you or someone you know may have social anxiety, talking with a mental health professional is the best way forward. They can provide an accurate diagnosis, develop a personalized treatment plan, and offer support throughout the recovery process.

Treatment for Social Anxiety

The good news is that social anxiety is a highly treatable condition. With the right support and tools, it’s possible to manage symptoms and improve overall quality of life.

Some common treatment options for social anxiety include:

  • Therapy – Working with a therapist can help clients identify and challenge negative thought patterns, build coping skills, and gradually face feared social situations.
  • Medication – Certain medications can be prescribed to help manage symptoms of anxiety. These should always be discussed with a doctor or mental health professional.
  • Lifestyle changes – Engaging in regular exercise, practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or mindfulness, and maintaining a healthy diet can all contribute to managing symptoms of social anxiety.

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating social anxiety, seeking professional help is an important first step.

Reach Out to Northeast Health Services for Anxiety Treatment

If you’re ready to take the next step in your mental health journey, click here to reach out to our team of empathetic mental health care experts. For existing clients, please click here and find your office location to contact your office directly.