If you’re struggling with social anxiety, know you’re not alone. Many people suffer from this condition, making everyday activities like going to work or school, shopping, or even attending a party incredibly difficult.One of the best ways to start dealing with social anxiety is to see a psychologist specialising in this area. A social anxiety psychologist can help you understand your social anxiety and develop coping mechanisms.
1. The causes of social anxiety
So what causes social anxiety?
Several factors can contribute to social anxiety, including genetics, brain chemistry, and life experiences. For some people, social anxiety may be linked to an overactive amygdala, the part of the brain responsible for fear and other emotions. People with social anxiety may also have a shortage of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood.
Certain life experiences can also trigger social anxiety. If you’ve been bullied or ridiculed in the past, you may be more likely to experience social anxiety as an adult. Having a parent or close family member with social anxiety can also increase your risk.
2. The symptoms of social anxiety
Most people feel nervous or self-conscious on occasion. It’s natural to worry about being judged or evaluated negatively by others in social situations. However, these feelings are much more intense and challenging to control for some people. They may dread social events and activities because they fear embarrassment or humiliation. It is called social anxiety disorder (SAD).
SAD can cause physical symptoms such as a racing heart, sweating, blushing, trembling, and difficulty speaking. These symptoms can make it hard to concentrate, remember things, or make conversation. SAD can also lead to feelings of depression and isolation. People with SAD may avoid going to work or school, making friends, or dating. If you think you might have SAD, talk to your doctor or mental health professional.
3. How to get started with a social anxiety psychologist
If you’re struggling with social anxiety, you may wonder how, to begin with a social anxiety psychologist. Here are a few things to remember when seeking treatment for social anxiety.
First, it’s important to find a social anxiety psychologist specialising in treating anxiety disorders. It will ensure that you’re getting the most effective treatment possible. You can ask your primary care doctor for referrals or look for therapists listed as “anxiety specialists” on Psychology Today’s website.
Once you’ve found a few potential therapists, it’s important to research and make sure they’re a good fit for you. Read their bios and reviews to understand their style and approach to therapy. If possible, try to schedule a consultation call before committing to treatment to make sure you feel comfortable with the therapist and their approach.