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This section will teach you a little about each of the disorders that we diagnose and treat.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Panic Disorder With and Without Agoraphobia
- Specific Phobia
- Health Related Anxiety
- Social Anxiety Disorder
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Trichotillomania and Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors
- Body Dysmorphic Disorder
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder occurs in about 7% of the adult population. It affects as many males as females. Social anxiety disorder often starts in adolescence and lasts for a lifetime unless treated properly with cognitive behavioral therapy and/or medications. Some adults with social anxiety disorder may have experienced an early onset form of social anxiety disorder, selective mutism (see Selective Mutism in Parents subsection). Those who suffer from social anxiety disorder feel more than just shy. Shyness is a temporary sense of embarrassment that occurs when someone initially feels uncomfortable in a social situation but then warms up easily and is able to fully participate in their daily activities despite their shyness. Social anxiety disorder, however, prevents those who suffer from it from fully participating in their lives. Patients with this disorder suffer severe embarrassment, shame and a feeling of humiliation for fear that others are noticing them in social situations and judging them. They may blush, tremble, have panic attacks or cry when in social situations that make them uncomfortable. Those with the specific subtype of social anxiety disorder fear circumscribed situations such as public speaking, paying for purchases in front of others or using the public restroom. Those with the generalized subtype fear most social situations and find interactions with all but their closest friend and family to be difficult. Social anxiety disorder can result in extreme avoidance and make attending classes, interviewing for jobs, greeting colleagues or friends, dating, leaving the home or shopping seem like insurmountable tasks. Under education, underemployment, or unemployment can result when intense social anxiety prevents patients from seeking jobs or seeking opportunities for career advancement.
Fortunately, cognitive behavioral therapy and proper medications can help those who suffer from social anxiety disorder develop and achieve comfort in the social world. Cognitive therapy helps challenge the socially perfectionistic beliefs and misperceived expectations from others that make socializing difficult. Exposure therapy and social skills practice helps you learn that social situations are benign or even fun. Assertion training helps you learn how to handle the inevitable difficult social encounters that we all face without having to dread them. Staff at AATC have experience helping those suffer from social anxiety to learn how to build social confidence and skills so that socializing comfortably no longer seems to be something that only others can achieve. We will help you practice real life social situations, such as public speaking, introductions, conversations and assertions.
LEARN MOREClick here to listen to Dr. Karen Cassiday discuss treatment for social anxiety disorder at AATC.
For more detailed information about social anxiety disorder and the science behind the treatment that AATC offers, visit:
Parauresis.org (website of the International Paruresis Association, the association for those who suffer from inability or difficulty urinating in public restrooms due to anxiety)