Defining Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder (also known as social phobia) is characterized by an intense, persistent, and irrational fear of social situations where one has to interact with others or be judged on their performance. Patients with social anxiety disorder worry excessively about scenarios like meeting new people, dining in public, and even working around others because they fear they will be judged or do something to embarrass themselves like sweat, shake, or seem incompetent. While patients with this disorder try to avoid high-stress, social situations altogether, they typically experience high levels of anxiety when they are forced to participate.
In some cases, social anxiety can cause serious, debilitating physical symptoms such as:
- Increased heart rate
- Stiff posture
- Avoiding eye contact
- Difficulty speaking to others
- Dry mouth
- Panic attacks
Young children may also exhibit symptoms like tantrums or crying episodes. These symptoms can make it difficult for patients to participate in daily life, maintain a career, or form new friendships or relationships. Social anxiety also increases your risk of other mental health disorders including depression, which is why getting treatment is essential.
Because social anxiety can prevent you from participating in life to the fullest, professional treatment with a psychiatrist can dramatically improve your overall well-being and quality of life.
What Causes Social Anxiety?
Although there is no definitive cause of social anxiety, research has shown that brain activity, perception, and poorly developed social skills can possibly contribute to social phobia. During your consultation at our Hollywood office, Dr. Bober will review your symptoms and medical history to determine the underlying cause or causes.
Social Anxiety Is Treatable
Although anxiety disorders are very treatable, only a small fraction of those suffering from these disorders seek professional treatment. Because social anxiety can prevent you from participating in life to the fullest, professional treatment with a psychiatrist can dramatically improve your overall well-being and quality of life.
To determine which type of treatment is right for you, Dr. Bober will review your symptoms and rule out any underlying health conditions that could be triggering your social phobia. Depending on your unique needs, he may recommend:
- Medication: Depending on whether your social anxiety is caused by specific events or general situations, Dr. Bober may prescribe short-term medications to help ease triggers or side effects.
- Therapy: Dr. Bober works with several trusted psychologists who can provide therapy. A popular form of therapy is called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which has demonstrated impressive effectiveness in helping patients overcome anxiety disorders. Using CBT, a psychologist can help you develop techniques for dealing with anxiety and fears when they arise.
- Support groups: For some patients, finding a support group where others have similar symptoms and day-to-day struggles can help them realize that their fears of being judged or rejected are actually invalid.
As a board-certified psychiatrist, Dr. Bober has treated many patients with social phobia and can develop a personalized treatment plan designed to address your needs.
Overcome Self-Consciousness & Start Treatment Today
Social anxiety is a debilitating disorder that can be overcome with the right treatment. Entrust your mental health to a board-certified psychiatrist who truly cares about helping you achieve your goals. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Bober today and see how professional treatment at our Hollywood office can give you a new lease on life.