Everyone gets nervous from time-to-time. Public speaking, meeting new people, or going to new places can make anyone anxious. But when the fear of embarrassment or rejection becomes persistent, some individuals may actively try to avoid any situation where they might have to interact with anyone they do not know. This extreme avoidance of social situations may be a sign that they are struggling with social anxiety.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) social anxiety is more than just shyness. It is driven by an irrational fear of being humiliated, embarrassed, or offending someone. This fear may make a person suffering from social anxiety avoid contributing to conversations, offering ideas in group settings like school or work, or meeting new people. These fears can be isolating, causing many people who are struggling with social anxiety to avoid certain people, places, or situations to alleviate the panic and anxiety they experience in these settings.
Social Anxiety Statistics
- The Anxiety and Depression Association of America reports that 15 million U.S. adults are impacted by social anxiety disorder.
- Individuals typically start to experience social anxiety disorder symptoms around age 13.
- Approximately 36% of people struggle with social anxiety disorder symptoms for 10 or more years before seeking professional treatment.
Common Signs & Symptoms of Social Anxiety
The warning signs and symptoms of social anxiety can sometimes be subtle, and may not always indicate that someone has developed the disorder. Sometimes a person may live for years with the disorder before seeking social anxiety treatment.
Anxious thoughts are common for people with social anxiety, from general worry about being liked to feelings of unworthiness or not belonging. An individual with social anxiety may also:
- Apologize frequently
- Seek constant reassurance
- Overly prepare for any social situation
- Leave social situations abruptly
- Avoid any situation that involves socializing with others.
Social anxiety can cause physical symptoms, such as:
- Pounding heart
- Shortness of breath
- Increased heart rate
- Feeling faint
Why Get Social Anxiety Treatment?
Social anxiety disorder can be incredibly disruptive to a person’s life and well-being, often making it difficult to engage in the most basic social or professional settings. It can leave the sufferer feeling isolated and alone. Without professional support, someone struggling with social anxiety disorder may be at risk of hurting their long-term happiness and quality of life.
The effects of untreated social anxiety include:
- Challenges finishing school
- Inability to keep a job
- Financial difficulties
- Trouble maintaining romantic relationships
- Lost connections with close friends and family
- Development of other mental health conditions
Benefits of Social Anxiety Treatment
Deciding to seek treatment for social anxiety disorder may be triggering for some individuals, causing the same fears and reactions that the individual wants to treat. During treatment, nonjudgmental professionals who understand the complexities of social anxiety disorder will work with the person to develop a course of treatment. Throughout the treatment process, the individual will gain new coping skills and learn to manage the symptoms that have kept them from enjoying social situations.
Many adults feel isolated by their experiences with social anxiety. But getting treatment can give those with social anxiety skills and coping mechanisms to help navigate their worlds. Treatment can also connect people with others who have shared similar struggles. The power of community may motivate and uplift the individual throughout their recovery journey.
Therapies Used to Treat Social Anxiety
Choosing Neuroscience Institute means you will receive an individualized social anxiety treatment experience that meets your unique needs and goals. Your treatment plan will include a combination of evidence-based therapies and interventions based on what is determined to benefit you the most.
- Depending on your needs and recovery goals, you may experience elements of :
- Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- 12 Steps recovery
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
- Individual, family, experiential, and group therapies.
You will also receive a detailed discharge plan before leaving our treatment center that will include the resources you need to continue your progress long after your time at Neuroscience Institute.
Social Anxiety Treatment in West Palm Beach
Every journey to wellness begins with the an individual story. These stories serve as a guide for the treatment plans we create. At Neuroscience Institute – Mental Health Center, we offer different levels of care to ensure our patients achieve the best outcomes possible for the social anxiety symptoms that have disrupted their lives.
Our residential treatment provides our patients with round-the-clock care from a multidisciplinary team in an environment that empowers them to take ownership of their wellness. Our partial hospitalization program (PHP) offers daylong treatment with the flexibility to go home at night or stay in one of our on-campus residences.
If you are struggling with social anxiety and would like to know more about the treatment options available to you, reach out to Neuroscience Institute. One of our knowledgeable counselors will sit down with you to understand your needs and goals so we can identify the level of care that is right for you.