Social Anxiety Specialist

Psychiatry and Counseling located in Ann Arbor, Clarkston, Fort Gratiot, Lansing, Monroe, Plymouth, Wayne, Wixom and Wyandotte, MI

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Social Anxiety

If you’re so scared of talking to other people you stay at home and avoid interactions whenever possible, you might have social anxiety disorder. For people experiencing these problems, the team at Pure Psychiatry of Michigan provide expert help at the offices in Lansing, Monroe, Plymouth, Wayne, Wixom, and Wyandotte, Michigan. Our team can relieve disabling social anxiety and enable you to live life to the full. To benefit from their expertise, call the Pure Psychiatry of Michigan office today or book an appointment online.

What is social anxiety disorder?

Social anxiety disorder or social phobia is a fear of interacting with other people that’s so intense you avoid social situations.

While feeling nervous before giving a presentation at work or school or having some anxiety about a formal social occasion is perfectly normal, the extreme feelings you experience with social anxiety disorder are not.

The anxiety usually stems from self-consciousness and fear of other people passing negative judgments on you. These feelings are so overwhelming you would rather miss out on the enjoyment of socializing or the benefits of engaging with other people, preferring to isolate yourself at home.

Social anxiety disorder can be a chronic problem. Fortunately, Pure Psychiatry of Michigan can help you gain more confidence and reduce the effects of your condition.

How is social anxiety disorder diagnosed?

Your provider assesses your symptoms to see if they match those of social anxiety disorder. They might need to rule out problems like substance abuse that could be triggering your symptoms. Your provider might also ask you to fill in a questionnaire about your social anxiety symptoms.

The primary indicator of social anxiety disorder is persistent, overwhelming fear of specific social situations. The reason for this fear is your belief that other people are likely to react negatively to you, embarrass you, or humiliate you.

The anxiety needs to be so intense that it’s out of proportion to any threat. You avoid the situations or endure them only with extreme difficulty, which affects your ability to lead a normal life.

The treatment your provider at Pure Psychiatry of Michigan recommends for social anxiety disorder depends on how much the symptoms are affecting your everyday life.

What treatments help with social anxiety disorder?

One of the main treatments is psychotherapy, which helps most patients with social anxiety disorder. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is particularly beneficial. It shows you how to recognize the negative thoughts at the root of your social anxiety disorder and change them. CBT also helps you gain the skills to be more confident in social situations.

Antidepressant medications like paroxetine and sertraline, which are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), can help with persistent social anxiety symptoms. Venlafaxine, which is a slightly different drug (an SNRI or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor), can also be helpful for some patients.

Anti-anxiety medications like benzodiazepines and beta-blockers, which reduce your heart rate and blood pressure, might be helpful for specific social occasions. However, they aren’t generally recommended for ongoing social anxiety disorder treatment.

To find a solution to your social anxiety disorder, call Pure Psychiatry of Michigan today or book an appointment online.