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What Is Social Anxiety Disorder & How Is It Treated?

Learn about social anxiety disorder and treatment from psychiatrist Ankur Saraiya in this Howcast video.


Social Anxiety Disorder is one of the group of anxiety disorders, and as the name implies, it's used to identify individuals who have difficulty interacting with other people because of excessive anxiety. They're overly concerned about being judged and they develop physical and psychological manifestations of their anxiety that are so extreme that they avoid social situations. And by social situations, I mean any situation that involves potential scrutiny by other people. Any situation where other people may judge them, but it's less of a situation of being worried about the judgement and more of a situation of developing such intense physical and psychological feelings of anxiety that are so unpleasant, that as I said, these individuals avoid these situations. In terms of treatment, the most effective kinds of treatments is a combination of treatments. There are medications that can be used to help reduce the incidents of the symptoms, both by preventing a certain level of anxiety, but also that can be taken once the anxiety is starting to help supress it and not let it get out of hand. There's also behavioral interventions for social anxiety where a therapist will work with an individual to help them understand the triggers for their anxiety so they can take steps to prevent them or control them and gradually become more and more comfortable in social situations. The treatment for Social Anxiety Disorder can be very effective, so it's very important for these individuals to pursue evaluation at treatment because in many cases, individuals with very severe symptoms can get to the point where they can function in all social situations with very little difficulty. And so, that's a basic overview of Social Anxiety Disorder.

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