social anxiety

Social Anxiety: More Than Shyness

By Daniel Davis, MD | Internal Medicine

It is normal to be anxious or feel some stress about a social event from time to time. Everyone has been anxious about a social occasion like a new job interview, going to a party, going on a first date, giving a speech, etc. But for people with social anxiety disorder this fear can be extreme and cause significant impairment. The good news is that it is very treatable and has many treatment options. 

Examples of automatic negative thoughts in people with social anxiety

What is Social Anxiety Disorder?

Social anxiety is an intense, persistent fear of being watched and judged by others. It can impact work, school, and other daily activities, and it can also make it hard for people to make friends and other lasting relationships. This disorder is extremely common with up to 5-10% of the U.S. population living with it. However, it is underdiagnosed likely because having social anxiety means individuals may not want to get help or talk about it.

What Are Treatments?

If you are concerned you may have social anxiety, fill out this form from the National Social Anxiety Center and bring the results to your primary care provider, counselor, or psychiatrist. It can be difficult to differentiate this disorder from other diagnoses such as normal shyness, PTSD, autism spectrum disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia, depression and generalized anxiety. So it is important to discuss your concerns with a PCP, psychiatrist or counselor

Social anxiety is common, but it can be disabling. The silver lining is that this condition improves with treatment. Response to both counseling and medications can be make a big difference for people who suffer from this disorder and the many areas of their life it impacts.

At NOAH we truly want to be able to help our patients in whatever way possible. If you are interested in getting evaluated at NOAH for social anxiety or you can contact us and see either counselors, a primary care provider (internal medicine or family medicine), or one of our psychiatric PAs.