Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety disorder is characterized by a mild to severe fear of being judged by others in social situations (public speaking, dating, work, school....sometimes any social situation).  This fear often begins in childhood.  Often children and adults with social anxiety label it as shyness or introversion--and it is neither of these traits.  Social anxiety disorder is a disabling medical condition; shyness and introversion are not.

Because people with social anxiety spend a significant amount of time worrying what others think about them before, during, and/or after social interactions (and often end up avoiding some or all of the social situations they fear), their social anxiety can lead to mild to serious life problems.  These life problems can include difficulty making or maintaining friendships, problems dating, trouble completing school and/or work tasks, attending classes or work meetings, and so on.  Children with social anxiety disorder may be withdrawn, be extremely clingy, have behavioral problems, and even refuse to go to school.

Social anxiety disorder is very common (approximately 15 million adults struggle with it, as well as millions of children and teenagers).  While adolescents and adults will generally recognize their social fears are excessive, their fear of embarrassment and judgment cannot usually be overcome by trying to make it go away. 

Fortunately, social anxiety disorder can be effectively treated.  Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and antidepressant medication are both evidence-based treatments for social anxiety disorder.  Our clinical staff are recognized experts in CBT for social anxiety disorder, which includes systematic exposure to feared and avoided social situations (i.e., exposure therapy). 

Contact us today at (734) 368-9691 or information@anxietyannarbor.com to learn more.