Peaceful Mind Therapy of Florida - 860 111th Ave N. Ste #6 - Naples, FL 34108 (239) 302-7801 

Peaceful Mind Therapy of Florida

COUNSELING - EDUCATION - SUPERVISION

Social Anxiety Disorder 

Social anxiety is the least understood of all anxiety disorders even though it is the third largest psychological disorder in the United States affecting millions of people.  Symptoms include fear of being judged and evaluated negatively by other people, leading to feelings of inadequacy, inferiority, self-consciousness, embarrassment, humiliation, and depression.

If a person usually becomes (irrationally) anxious in social situations, but seems better when they are alone, then "social anxiety" may be the problem.

If you are seeking treatment for social anxiety, you can start here.

Frequent Questions About 
Social Anxiety

What's it like to live with social anxiety?

All day, every day, life is like this.  Fear.  Apprehension.  Avoidance.  Pain.  Anxiety about what you said.  Fear that you said something wrong.  Worry about others' disapproval.  Afraid of rejection, of not fitting in.  Anxious to enter a conversation, afraid you'll have nothing to talk about.  Hiding what's wrong with you deep inside, putting up a defensive wall to protect your "secret".  You are undergoing the daily, chronic trouble of living with this mental disorder we call social anxiety disorder.

What are some real life examples of social anxiety?

  • A man finds it difficult to walk down the street because he’s self-conscious and feels that people are watching him from their windows. Worse, he may run into a person on the sidewalk and be forced to say hello to them. He’s not sure he can do that. His voice will catch, his "hello" will sound weak, and the other person will know he’s frightened. More than anything else, he doesn’t want anyone to know that he’s afraid. He keeps his eyes safely away from anyone else’s gaze and prays he can make it home without having to talk to anyone.

  • A woman hates to stand in line in the grocery store because she’s afraid that everyone is watching her. She knows that it’s not really true, but she can’t shake the feeling. While she is shopping, she is conscious of the fact that people might be staring at her from the big mirrors on the inside front of the ceiling. Now, she has to talk to the person who’s checking out the groceries. She tries to smile, but her voice comes out weakly. She’s sure she’s making a fool of herself. Her self-consciousness and her anxiety rise to the roof.

  • Another person sits in front of the telephone and agonizes because she’s afraid to pick up the receiver and make a call. She’s even afraid to call an unknown person in a business office about the electric bill because she’s afraid she’ll be "putting someone out" and they will be upset with her. It’s very hard for her to take rejection, even over the phone, even from someone she doesn’t know. She’s especially afraid to call people she knows because she feels that she’ll be calling at the wrong time -- the other person will be busy — and they won’t want to talk with her. She feels rejected even before she makes the call. Once the call is made and over, she sits, analyzes, and ruminates about what was said, what tone it was said in, and how she was perceived by the other person....her anxiety and racing thoughts concerning the call prove to her that she "goofed" this conversation up, too, just like she always does. Sometimes she gets embarrassed just thinking about the call.

 

 

How can social anxiety be treated?

Every person responds differently to a therapeutic approach.   To overcome social anxiety, the therapist and client choose the best combination of techniques and skills from Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness, Pet therapy, Social Skills training, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).  With consistent therapy sessions and practice, current research supports the idea that social anxiety responds well to these treatments.  If you are motivated to end the years of crippling social anxiety, these methods, techniques, skills and strategies will lessen these symptoms and make the world a much more enjoyable place.

How long does it take to work?

Therapy, first and foremost, depends on active participation from the patient.  Much like physical therapy for your body, regular therapy sessions are required for your mind to learn how to identify and react to anxiety and social situations. Your treatment plan with Peaceful Mind Therapy is always customized and the length and results of treatments can vary greatly from patient to patient.

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