Social Anxiety: Signs It May Be Time to Get Help

Anxiety and depression affect 25% of the population at any given time. Social anxiety is on the rise across many demographics and can affect your approach to work, relationships, and overall enjoyment of life.  

Since the isolation and other uncontrollable factors of the pandemic began, many people have been affected by new or preexisting social anxiety, even as we try to gain some normalcy back in our day-to-day lives.  Though social anxiety is common, it’s not always something you can address and solve on your own. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms or effects listed below, and aren’t sure how to address them, we can help.

What Exactly is Social Anxiety Disorder?

As mentioned above, social anxiety disorder is common. People who suffer from social anxiety disorder likely experience

  • Fear of judgment, humiliation, or rejection in social situations
  • Aversion to daily activities like eating, speaking, or asking questions in front of others
  • Anxiety or fear when it comes to meeting new people or interacting with people you don’t know

Social anxiety can negatively impact your wellbeing when these fears, aversions, and anxieties keep you from going to work or school, and occupy your thoughts and cause worry long before they happen causing you to avoid them.

According to the National Institute for Mental Health, physical and psychological symptoms of social anxiety disorder present in a variety of ways. Sufferers may experience the following either during their daily lives or as performance anxiety such as when playing a sport or instrument, public speaking, or similar scenarios:

  • Blush, sweat, tremble, feel a rapid heart rate, or feel their “mind going blank”
  • Feel nauseous or sick to their stomach
  • Show a rigid body posture, make little eye contact, or speak with an overly soft voice
  • Find it scary and difficult to be with other people, especially those they don’t already know and have a hard time talking to them even though they wish they could
  • Be very self-conscious in front of other people and feel embarrassed and awkward
  • Be very afraid that other people will judge them
  • Stay away from places where there are other people

When and How to Get Help For Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety is common and can prevent those who suffer from it from performing to the best of their ability, or building connections and bonds with others. If social anxiety is affecting your ability to work, go to school, or develop meaningful relationships with others, it may be time to seek help.

If you have had prolonged symptoms that cause you extreme loneliness, thoughts of self-harm or substance abuse, it is time to seek help as soon as possible.

There are several treatments for social anxiety disorder including therapy, holistic treatments, lifestyle changes, and prescription medications that give a good prognosis for those who suffer from this condition. Working with mental health professionals to incorporate one or more of these treatments regularly creates a likelihood that people suffering from social anxiety disorder will build healthy coping strategies and control the symptoms of their social anxiety.

The team of doctors and therapists at Hudson Psychiatric Associates is committed to helping patients regain the quality of life they deserve. We’re equipped to serve patient needs in person and through telehealth appointments. If you’re ready to take the next first step in taking back control and satisfaction in your life, we’re here to help. Contact us today to take the next step in reclaiming your life.

When to Seek a Psychiatrist for Treatment of PTSD

Trauma is not an uncommon experience. More than half the population will experience some type of trauma in their lifetime. For 6% of people, trauma will trigger Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms at some point. 

PTSD is a condition caused by experiencing or witnessing traumatic events like:

  • Life Threatening Violence
  • Combat Exposure
  • Sexual Violence or Abuse
  • Childhood Abuse
  • Grave Accident or Injury

It’s important that people who are exposed to traumatic events understand and identify when they may be experiencing symptoms of PTSD, and are able to recognize when it might be time to seek treatment. Our objective at Hudson Psychiatric Associates is to help you make educated decisions about your mental health.

Understanding PTSD symptoms 

Trauma doesn’t always trigger symptoms of PTSD, but when it does, it affects people in a variety of ways. PTSD presents in people of all ages and is influenced by a variety of factors like intensity or duration of the trauma and other traumatic events in your life, genetics. brain chemicals, and natural resilience and coping mechanisms.

PTSD symptoms are generally categorized in 4 ways and include:

  • Intrusive Memories
  • Avoidance
  • Negative changes in thinking and mood
  • Changes in physical and emotional reactions

When is it time to seek professional help for PTSD?

When symptoms begin to interfere with your daily life or get worse over time and you are having difficulty coping, it may be time to seek psychiatric services to get treatment. The earlier a patient receives treatment for their symptoms, the easier those symptoms are to treat and get under control. 

If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, reach out for additional help through your mental health professional as well as support systems like your loved ones, spiritual leaders, and/or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). 

What a Psychiatric Professional Can Offer To Treat PTSD

Those who suffer from trauma and PTSD may benefit from different treatment approaches. Hudson Psychiatric can integrate psychotherapy with medical assessment and treatment including ordering medical tests and prescribing medication if necessary. We support alternative medicine therapies and take time to evaluate the whole patient while making clinical and therapeutic treatment decisions 

Psychotherapy and medical intervention should be included with coping techniques you use independently. That can look like support groups,  education and empowerment, self-care, and following the treatment plan your psychiatric professional provides.

There are a variety of ways to treat the symptoms of PTSD. Reaching out to a mental health professional who you can trust is the first step. Our team of psychiatric service providers in Hoboken and Paramus offers a variety of resources and services to fit your needs including convenient virtual appointmentsContact us today to learn more about our treatment options.