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Social Phobia   

Many clients at Malibu Vista are struggling with anxiety disorders, including social phobia. In a safe, intimate setting with no more than five clients at a time, women are able to practice new skills to manage their anxiety symptoms and feel empowered and supported as they take their lives back.

What Is Social Phobia?

Social phobia, or social anxiety disorder, causes people to feel intense, uncontrollable fear or worry in everyday social situations. Day-to-day tasks such as using a public restroom, interacting with strangers or ordering food at a restaurant can seem impossible. Whereas some people get nervous right before a presentation or meeting someone new, those with social phobia worry excessively, sometimes weeks in advance.

Social phobia is different from shyness, nervousness or social awkwardness. It is far more severe and impacts normal activities of life. Often fueled by concerns about being judged or embarrassed, the fear can stop people from doing things they enjoy, or from succeeding at work or school.

Social phobia can be specific to certain situations or it can be almost any social interaction. Signs of social phobia typically appear in childhood or adolescence and last more than six months. Women are more likely than men to develop social anxiety disorder.

To learn more about social phobia treatment at Malibu Vista, Call 844-874-6483

Signs of Social Phobia

Social anxiety disorder can affect how a person looks, feels and acts. Symptoms of social phobia include:

  • Feeling self-conscious or embarrassed around other people
  • Overwhelming fear of interacting with people, being judged or embarrassing oneself
  • Avoiding work, school or other activities or responsibilities because of anxiety
  • Difficulty making eye contact or speaking
  • Struggling to make or keep friends
  • Staying away from crowded places

In social situations, people with social anxiety disorder may blush, sweat, tremble, feel tense, or have diarrhea, nausea or a rapid heartbeat. Because social interactions are so uncomfortable, people with this disorder may avoid triggering situations altogether, setting in motion a cycle that makes the problem worse.

Depending on other stressors and the degree to which a person avoids anxiety-provoking situations, symptoms may come and go and change over time. This doesn’t mean the disorder no longer exists. For lasting relief, treatment is typically required.

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Causes of Social Phobia

Anxiety disorders run in families, but many other factors are also at play. Scientists suspect environment, a chemical imbalance in the brain, hyperactivity in certain structures of the brain, and stressful life experiences such as abuse, bullying or family problems may all contribute to social phobia. Personality and having parents who are excessively controlling or over-protective could also be risk factors for social anxiety disorder.

Treatment for Social Phobia

Although social phobia is a chronic mental health disorder, symptoms can be dramatically reduced and functioning significantly improved with treatment. Without treatment, social anxiety disorder can lead to a number of problems, including low self-esteem, difficulty setting boundaries or conveying needs, underachievement at work or school, substance abuse, hypersensitivity to criticism, and social isolation.

Social phobia is treated with medication and psychotherapy. At Malibu Vista, master’s level therapists utilize cognitive-behavioral therapy and other approaches to help clients develop skills to cope with feelings of fear and worry. Clients also benefit from social skills training, confidence-building, and relaxation techniques, such as acupuncture and meditation. No longer enslaved by their fears and worries, our clients are free to live up to their potential and reclaim their passions in life.

Reconnect with your passion for life. Call Malibu Vista 844-874-6483