Social Phobia (Social Anxiety Disorder) Information: Symptoms and Treatment in Boise, ID

Help for social phobia – also known as social anxiety disorder – is readily available in Boise, Idaho.

This mental health condition can be extremely difficult to cope with. For those who have it, but who are not diagnosed, getting through each day is likely to be a struggle.

Social anxiety disorder can be quite debilitating, and it can have a negative impact on relationships, school and work. For those who do or who think they may social phobia, it helps to understand the symptoms and where to find help in Boise, Idaho

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What is Social Phobia?

Social phobia is a persistent fear of being watched and judged by other people. It is a type of anxiety disorder. For those who suffer from it, that feeling can become quite intense. People who struggle with this condition may find it extremely difficult to make and keep friends. As we mentioned earlier, when it is left untreated, it can have a devastating impact in a person’s everyday life.

In one study, researchers interviewed close to 10,000 adults in the United States. They found that social phobia was the 4th common mental health condition. They also found that a little over 12% - or 1 in 8 adults – had suffered from it at least once in their lifetimes. Every year, 7 out of 100 adults are diagnosed or have social anxiety disorder. That works out to be around 15 million people.

People who have social anxiety disorder are often perceived incorrectly by others. They tend to be viewed as quiet, shy, withdrawn and unfriendly. This is why they have such a difficult time making friends.

But in reality, these individuals do want to make friends. They want to be included in group activities and they want to have strong social interactions with others. Their condition prevents them from being able to do this. Their fear and anxiety about how they will be seen and judged is extremely strong, and it often holds them back.

People with social phobia often find it hard to cope when met with the following:

  • Situations that could be embarrassing.
  • Looking others in the eye.
  • Meeting someone new and being introduced.
  • Being the center of attention.
  • Meeting authority figures.
  • Being criticized or teased in any way.
  • Having to make a speech or say something in a public setting.
  • Being observed while they are doing something.
  • Making phone calls in public.

There are many emotions that accompany those feelings of fear. They include:

  • Extreme anxiety.
  • Feeling nervous.
  • A racing heart.
  • Blushing.
  • Excessive sweating.
  • Muscle twitches.
  • A dry mouth and throat.
  • Trembling and shaking.

Some people will even develop a sense of dysmorphia that concerns a part of their body; usually the face. They will start to see themselves in a negative light and have irrational thoughts about themselves. But the most common symptom is a constant, intense sensation of fear coupled with anxiety.

Experts believe that both the environment and genetics may play a role in the development of social anxiety. It appears that there could be some genetic causes because the condition does tend to run in families. Serotonin levels are also thought to have an impact on it as well. When a person’s serotonin levels are not balanced, it can lead to symptoms of social phobia.

There are some researchers who believe that the structure of the amygdala in the brain could lead to social anxiety disorder. It is also believed that climate could play a role as well. People who live in Scandinavian countries see more people diagnosed with the condition than those who live in Mediterranean countries. Various cultural factors could also be at play.

Most people who develop social anxiety disorder do so in their early to mid-teenage years. But that is not the rule across the board. People can develop it anytime during their lives.

Still, there are some factors that could increase a person’s risk of developing this condition.

  • Gender – Social anxiety disorder is statistically more common for women than it is for men.
  • Personality – Children who tend to be shy, withdrawn or timid are believed to be at a higher risk for developing social phobia.
  • Nurture – It may be more likely for a person to develop social anxiety disorder when they have seen it in others. Overprotective parenting is believed to be a risk factor.
  • Personal demands – Social anxiety may appear for the first time when a person suddenly finds themselves under a lot of pressure. For example, an actor may experience it the first time they take the stage.
  • Negative life experiences – A child may be at a higher risk of developing social phobia when they are subjected to bullying, rejection or humiliation. Sexual abuse or other negative experiences may also make it more likely.
  • Genetics – If a person’s parents or siblings suffer from social phobia, they are more likely to also experience symptoms.

Humans are extremely social, but when negative thoughts lead to social anxiety disorder, the result can be a serious mental health issue. This condition should never be left untreated.


What are the Best Treatments for Social Phobia?

There are two main types of treatment available to help with social anxiety disorder; medications and therapy. Most people find the best results when they combine the two.

More than 20 randomized, controlled trials support the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to treat social phobia. The same is true for one norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) called venlafaxine. These medications are recommended based on the fact that serotonin is largely responsible for regulating mood. They work to balance out serotonin levels in the brain.

Doctors may also use beta blockers to treat social anxiety disorder. These drugs are usually prescribed to patients with heart disease. But because they help with many common symptoms of this mental health condition, they may be a great option.

Benzodiazepines may also be used to treat symptoms of anxiety. They are usually taken prior to engaging in an activity that is known to cause nervousness or trigger other symptoms.

While there is no doubt that medications play an important role in treating social phobia, the importance of therapy should not be understated. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is highly recommended. This form of treatment can help people change the way they think and behave in situations that scare them. This is usually done through individual sessions and group therapy.

Promise: Hope for People With Social Phobia at Ashwood Recovery

Our Promise program is designed to specifically meet the treatment needs of those who suffer with mental health conditions. We have worked with many people in the Boise area with social anxiety disorder, and we know the best ways to treat it.

Our partial hospitalization or day treatment services aim to provide support to people who need it. Our clients receive regular appointments with a psychiatrist, therapist and medical staff. They participate in group therapy sessions, and we even have crisis intervention services if they are needed.

Our curriculum includes the following:

  • Yoga/Thai chi
  • Skill building exercises
  • Mental health education
  • Trauma therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Music therapy
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Get Help for Social Phobia in Boise, Idaho Right Away

At Ashwood Recovery, we know that there are so many people who suffer with symptoms of social phobia in silence. Many of them are too afraid to speak out and tell someone about their symptoms.

If this is you, we want you to know that we understand how you feel. Help for social anxiety disorder is available for you in Boise, Idaho. The right treatment can change everything. If you would like more information, please contact us today.

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Our admissions coordinators are here to help you get started with treatment the right way. They'll verify your health insurance, help set up travel arrangements, and make sure your transition into treatment is smooth and hassle-free.

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