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Psychotherapist * Psychotherapy * CBT
Tamworth * Sutton Coldfield * Solihull * Birmingham * West Midlands
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is a fear of social situations including meeting new people, attending social functions, delivering a speech, using public toilets, dealing with people in authority, eating in a restaurant and disagreeing with or challenging others.
Research has shown that some people with social anxiety have high levels of perfectionism regarding how they are viewed in public and similarly how they assess the behaviour of others. They fear greatly that others notice their symptoms of social anxiety such as blushing, shaking or sweating.
Their maladaptive coping strategies include avoiding social occasions and in extreme cases find they are unable to reach their goals in work and also become isolated. This avoidance perpetuates the anxiety linked to their problem and without treatment the problem becomes chronic. People with SAD also may suffer anxiety symptoms such as panic attacks and feeling faint. They may also perceive their mind as going blank with inability to concentrate. Depersonalisation and derealisation are also common symptoms.
A cognitive behavioural intervention for this disorder includes breathing and relaxation exercises, challenging negative automatic thoughts, role play, problem solving and development of assertiveness skills. Research suggests that completion of a CBT programme has a similar effectiveness to medication which proffers an option for the client to consider both methods as long as medication is prescribed through a GP or psychiatrist.