After you receive a diagnosis of social anxiety, your behaviors and personal struggles might begin to make more sense. But you need more than a diagnosis if you want to see improvement.
A specialist can help you determine how your anxiety manifests, how to cope with anxious thoughts, and how you can minimize or prevent social anxiety.
As a board-certified psychiatrist, Dr. Ifeanyi Olele of Genesis Psychiatric Solutions offers psychotherapy services to help you manage social anxiety or other issues you may face.
An overview of social anxiety
Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time, and you’re likely familiar with how it feels. Racing or obsessive thoughts, worst-case scenarios, and avoidance of certain situations are all common if you suffer from anxiety.
In the case of social anxiety, the source of your fear is human interaction. More specifically, being judged or rejected by others. Even in situations where rejection isn’t a primary concern, such as going shopping or taking public transport, you might still feel self-conscious and uneasy.
You might feel more anxious about certain situations than others. You likely feel more at ease around friends, family, and coworkers than strangers or peers. Likewise, certain errands or your day-to-day routine might not feel too overwhelming, but other tasks and social settings might make you nervous just thinking about them.
Additional symptoms of social anxiety
Like any type of anxiety, social anxiety is not limited to your emotions and thoughts. Left unmanaged, anxiety can cause physical symptoms, including:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Shaking or trembling
- Headaches and migraines
- Muscle tension
- Digestive issues
- Chest pain
If left untreated, anxiety can cause depression and lead to addiction, especially if you spend a lot of time alone or self-medicate. That’s why you should seek help and begin building a support network that makes you feel safe.
Your social anxiety diagnosis
Over 15 million Americans suffer from social anxiety disorder, and this doesn’t include those who suffer undiagnosed and/or in silence, not knowing that they have options to help them navigate social interactions with more confidence.
A large part of your treatment is simply receiving the diagnosis itself and talking with Dr. Olele about what that diagnosis means and how it’s connected to many different issues you may not have realized were related.
Once you know what you’re experiencing is anxiety, you can learn to control those thoughts and feelings. At Genesis Psychiatric Solutions, Dr. Olele works with patients to identify the sources of their anxiety and how to tell when they’re feeling overwhelmed.
Instead of becoming caught in a loop or panicking, you can address your anxious thoughts and manage them more effectively. Proper counseling and treatment can teach you coping strategies and help you find ways to avoid and overcome fear.
It can take time, but the result is a happier, more carefree life in which you control your emotions, rather than the other way around.
Do you suspect you might be suffering from social anxiety? Have you recently received a diagnosis?
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Olele by calling the location closest to you. We have offices in Fairfax and Alexandria, Virginia, as well as in Washington, DC; Boca Raton, Florida; and Los Angeles, California.
Or request a consultation online today. You can also receive services via telepsychiatry, so you can benefit from psychotherapy from the comfort of your own home.