Social Anxiety Disorder Manifests in Many Ways
Social anxiety disorder goes far beyond being shy. While shyness may cause discomfort when in social settings, its clinical manifestation can significantly impede everyday functioning and compromise a person’s life overall. Social anxiety disorder affects millions of people worldwide and is characterized by an intense fear of social situations, interactions or performances that makes people anxious in everyday social settings. Individuals suffering from social anxiety often feel nervousness in everyday social encounters that interferes with their ability to function well in social environments and can significantly interfere with daily living activities.
People often feel a sense of not feeling capable of even leaving their homes, much less socializing, attending events, or socializing. This is how pervasive the disorder can be for someone who has it.
By avoiding and using avoidance as a strategy to cope with social anxiety disorder, the social anxiety builds and becomes more powerful. The person misses out on social events and no longer interacts with friends.
How strong the symptoms are for each person with social anxiety disorder varies, but it is extremely uncomfortable, and no one with the disorder wants to have it.
Oftentimes, eye contact is extremely challenging, as people fear judgment from others. People who have social anxiety disorder fear that they are ugly, or they do not measure up in some way. The cognitive distortions in their mind tell them that they are these things without any real proof that they are true.
The people who are affected are suffering and often do not know what to do. They do not know that treatment exists.
Patrick Tully Can Help
Patrick Tully, who offers therapy in Los Angeles, who also helps with offering therapy in Pasadena, therapy in Culver City, and therapy in Texas, and therapy in Florida, can help people with Social Anxiety Disorder, and uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Exposure Therapy to help with Social Anxiety Disorder. Patrick Tully is a gay therapist who uses LGBTQ Affirmative therapy and many people seek gay therapists as social anxiety affects those in the LGBT community, as cognitive distortions can be so pervasive, as we try to fit in and the messages starting from childhood, and continuing can fuel our social anxiety.
It is common for social anxiety to manifest physically, such as through nausea, sweating, trembling, having a faster heartbeat, and feeling dizzy. Of course, if one feels that they may feel something else may be at play, such as a medical condition, then they should ask their medical doctor just in case. But any form of anxiety can bring about physical symptoms, including social anxiety. This is due to the body’s fight-or-flight response being in overdrive. The fight-or-flight response results from the nervous system sensing any sort of threat. Dizziness, trembling, shallow breathing, sweating, and other symptoms are commonly associated.
Negative Thinking Patterns Become Pervasive
People can be very negative in their thinking patterns with social anxiety and their thoughts about themselves can be very harmful. Some examples might include that the person thinks that they are not interesting to other people, they are not doing enough to satisfy demands in certain ways, or that they are unattractive. These beliefs occur without any real concrete proof. Or the proof occurs because a random bully might have said something negative to the person years ago that really was about themselves (what we call “projecting” in psychology). Projecting is how people might maladaptively deal with insecurities, and one way they deal with it is label someone else as having that insecurity. Of course, that ends up hurting the other person, and people with social anxiety can suffer with hurtful words as a result.
Self Confidence Can Decline with Social Anxiety Disorder
Self-confidence takes a big hit from social anxiety and declines when left untreated. The person who has social anxiety often feels self-conscious or ashamed to be around other people and dislikes being around other people. The result is that they never end up being around others or in any social environments.
Another situation that affects people who deal with social anxiety is difficulty speaking, as people often describe that their minds are jumbled in thoughts. People with social anxiety can end up feeling isolated because they feel as if nothing they do is good enough. They become very harsh critics of themselves.
Social Anxiety Can Be Caused by Multiple Things
Social anxiety disorder could be passed through families and genetics can play a role. But this does not mean you are stuck with it for life. There are treatments for it. Environment can also contribute to social anxiety disorder.
Trauma can play a role, such as a childhood bully telling you negative things or something else that really tore you down. You may have had social interactions that did not go well that you still remember or may not remember that well but still affect you.
Natural predispositions can lead to more likelihood of social anxiety disorder, such as shyness. Shyness is a natural personality trait that should not be viewed negatively. In the objective sense, it can potentially lead to social anxiety.
Treatments to Help Social Anxiety Disorder
You Can Seek Out Therapy
Patrick Tully Treats Social Anxiety
Patrick Tully is a gay therapist who uses LGBTQ Affirmative therapy and many people seek gay therapists as social anxiety affects those in the LGBT community, as cognitive distortions can be so pervasive, as we try to fit in and the messages starting from childhood, and continuing can fuel our social anxiety.
Social Anxiety Disorder disproportionally affects those in the LGBTQ+ community: Verywell Mind – Living with Social Anxiety Disorder as an LGBTQ+ Person
Medications for Social Anxiety Disorder
Medications can help with the thoughts racing through your brain and help regulate their intensity as you work through therapy. It is always your decision, but this is one option, as there are now non-addictive medications available, and multiple versions if one has not worked as well as you hoped. But it is only an option and should be discussed during a consultation with a psychiatrist or prescriber that specializes in mental health.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Social Anxiety Disorder
There is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety that can help you with your thoughts by helping you with which ones have proof and which ones are more or less likely to be true. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy comes with homework and exercises that require commitment to repeated tasks but ones that will bring you lasting relief from the intrusive thoughts that social anxiety disorder brings.
Exposure Therapy for Social Anxiety Disorder
Exposure therapy is a part of cognitive behavioral therapy, and involves gradual exposure to environments in a way that is slow and steady, so you feel a slight adjustment but it is planned out in collaboration with your therapist.
Support groups can also be a useful resource as you can navigate social anxiety with other people who are also dealing with the effects of it. In addition, it can be a way to help you become more social. It can help normalize the experience.
Patrick Tully can help with different types of anxieties
In addition to Social Anxiety Disorder, Patrick Tully helps with phobias, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, workplace anxiety, and other types of anxiety. Patrick can utilize CBT, exposure therapy, and other evidence-based practices depending on the client’s needs and collaboration between the client and therapist. Patrick always works with the client individually when determining what their needs are, and what they hope to gain out of therapy.
Patrick Tully Can Help You for Social Anxiety Disorder
Patrick Tully, a therapist in Los Angeles, has worked with many people with social anxiety disorder of varying degrees, , and is a therapist in Culver City, and is a therapist in Pasadena, and knows how challenging it can be to deal with the intrusive thoughts of the disorder. He wants to help you feel better! If you are in Texas or Florida, he can help you too!