Are You Struggling With Social Anxiety? Online Therapy Can Help

By Robert Porter|Updated July 12, 2022

Social Situations Giving You Social Anxiety?

online help for anxiety

Is Social Anxiety Disorder Causing A Disruption In Your Life?

Many people in the world face difficulties with anxiety when it comes to social situations, yet they do not know about the benefits of therapy. You might be surprised to hear that around 15 million American adults are affected by what is known as Social Anxiety Disorder somewhere in the world. Many of them never receive treatment or therapy in programs, thus, they don’t overcome their anxiety.

This mental health condition causes anxiety and makes it that much tougher to interact with other people. While social anxiety disorders aren’t as well known as other mental health disorders, overcoming social anxiety is possible with the right in- person or online treatment with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and possibly, medication or support programs as well. Online treatment programs that include cognitive behavioral therapy are becoming a more popular form of treatment for all types of anxiety, and access to therapy programs on and off site is readily available to help overcome the disorder.

This article will discuss the signs and symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder, options, and services for treatment programs like cognitive behavioral therapy, online therapy, and the benefits of group therapy for treating social anxiety in your quest to overcome anxiety.

What is Social Anxiety Disorder?

Individuals living with Social Anxiety Disorder experience an intense, sometimes debilitating fear of being judged, criticized, or embarrassed by others in certain or all social settings. They often avoid social interactions because of the uncontrollable worry caused by the mental illness. The symptoms of social anxiety can be tough to overcome without the help of therapeutic programs.

When these situations occur, the person’s anxiety can skyrocket. It can be difficult to overcome social anxiety, but it’s not impossible with the right services, programs, treatment, or therapy that may be provided at your home site.

When a person living with social anxiety encounters a fearful situation, they immediately begin to feel stress and anxiety, and it can negatively impact their overall health. Try as they might, they simply cannot overcome their anxiety.

Individuals with Social Anxiety Disorder commonly have physical symptoms such as a rapid heart rate, nausea, or trembling. They may even experience common symptoms such as a panic attack before or during a feared social situation that causes their anxiety to increase. These are all signs of stress on the body which can lead to more serious medical conditions. A person’s mood may be dependent on whatever plans they have coming up. When they are overcome by emotions, they tend to miss out on things they normally enjoy.  

A loss of interest in daily tasks due to their thoughts around an upcoming event, and the possible risk associated with social activity produce high levels of anxiety.

People living with social anxiety disorders may also be living with mood disorders such as depression at the same time. This may compound the social anxiety disorder even more, making it even harder to overcome a mental health disorder. Depression can be a serious health problem and should be diagnosed as soon as possible. Programs at a therapy site, as well as offsite therapy programs have shown to be highly effective to help people overcome depression as well as anxiety.

Each individual may have different situations that trigger their anxiety. For some people with Social Anxiety Disorder, it may be striving to overcome speaking up in class or having to make a phone call at work. For others, their main social phobia could be trying to overcome eating or drinking at a public site. Other people may find that anxiety symptoms emerge in specific situations or programs where they are being evaluated at an unfamiliar site, whether giving a speech, playing in a sports game, or performing onstage. Speaking in public is one of people’s most fearful activities and it’s a fear that is hard to overcome.

Episodes of panic attacks or debilitating anxiety may come from a variety of triggers, but through research, there are various treatments available for something as common as social anxiety. The right therapeutic programs can be extremely helpful in addressing panic attacks.

There is no singular cause of Social Anxiety Disorder. However, it is thought to develop due to a combination of biological, psychological, and environmental factors. Genetics play a role, as individuals with a family member who has Social Anxiety Disorder are more likely to develop it themselves. Other risk factors that increase a person's likelihood of developing Social Anxiety Disorder include having a more reserved personality or experiencing trauma or abuse which can be very hard to overcome. People who have experienced severe trauma or abuse usually benefit from specialized programs for that type of abuse in addition to social anxiety programs.

Overcoming social anxiety is possible, and you should seek in person or online treatment programs or some other form of therapy to manage anxiety if you feel it impacts your daily life. A few effective treatment programs such as cognitive behavioral therapy have shown to help people overcome social anxiety. Online treatment is becoming very popular, especially since the pandemic started.

According to the World Health Organization, there has been a 25% increase in anxiety and depression in the world since COVID-19 emerged. Since anxiety may be new for many people, they aren’t aware they can overcome it or of how helpful therapy programs can be. One of the benefits of online therapy is you don’t have to visit a therapist’s site which makes social distancing possible. When you engage in therapy programs at your home site, you also have less chance of spreading COVID to your family members.

Many communities have increased the number of therapeutic programs within their communities to help treat people experiencing anxiety since the pandemic started.

Living With This Disorder

Living with Social Anxiety Disorder or other mental health disorders can cause significant disruption in one's daily functioning, health, and well being on a daily basis. It can make various life challenges, such as work, school, and forming/maintaining relationships. Many individuals with Social Anxiety Disorder find it difficult to make friends or date, despite a strong desire to connect with others in meaningful ways. Social anxiety often emerges at the site of performance situations and times when public speaking can’t be avoided causing someone to become extremely anxious.

However, cognitive-behavioral therapy programs via in-person and online treatment, as well as other services are available. Such programs and services may help individuals with this condition manage their symptoms, experience less distress, and overcome anxiety, as well as improve their overall health.

If you believe you may be experiencing symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder, consider talking to your doctor or reaching out to a mental health professional for professional medical advice. Mental health professionals can provide a diagnosis and discuss in person or online treatment cognitive behavioral therapy options that may help to reduce symptoms and improve your quality of life. Therapy via online treatment for social anxiety effects can involve proven CBT techniques administered by a professional therapist. Online therapy services for cognitive behavioral therapy are highly effective whether they take place on-site or not.

Treatment For Social Anxiety Disorder

It’s often difficult to notice anxiety even exists as you can’t hear, see or feel it. That’s just one of many reasons people continue to live with chronic anxiety and don’t seek  in-person treatment at a therapist’s site or online treatment.  

Treatment for Social Anxiety Disorder includes psychotherapy, medication, and support groups which may be at a hospital or other site. An individual seeking professional medical advice can work with a licensed mental health professional at their site or online to determine the best treatment plan for them.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (or CBT) is evidence based treatment that is proven to be particularly helpful in helping an individual with Social Anxiety Disorder adopt new thinking patterns that help reduce fear and distress to overcome social anxiety. A licensed therapist is trained to treat all types of anxiety disorders using cognitive behavioral therapy and other types of therapy, and they are usually good resources to find a site for helpful community services for treating anxiety.  

For instance, some people may feel anxious when they are in rooms filled with many people, and this may negatively impact their relationships. CBT can help an individual to develop new skills to manage feelings of fear and anxiety.

One study showed that people living with social anxiety disorder in the world are prone to anger. For people who have difficulty controlling their anger, anger management treatment may be included in programs to help overcome social anxiety disorder. Cognitive behavioral treatment, which may be provided at a community site or online, is an appropriate treatment for anger management in conjunction with anxiety. An anger management program is a good step toward taking control for a person who can’t control their anger on their own or using a self help program.

Someone with Social Anxiety Disorder can also work with a therapist to develop and practice appropriate social skills in a social anxiety program. At a therapist’s site, role-playing techniques may be used as a part of the therapeutic process to help people from feeling anxious. This technique aims to help an individual prepare to confront social situations that evoke fear or distress or cause them to become anxious. They might mock conversations or be asked to imagine social situations that trigger anxiety. Working through these fears in a safe environment can allow individuals to deal with them more effectively when they visit any site out into the world.

Medication

Medications such as antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and beta-blockers may also be prescribed to reduce the intensity of symptoms of anxiety or depression associated with social anxiety disorder. People who need medication to treat anxiety can get access to it from a doctor or mental health professional at the site of their medical business. Anxiety and other mental health disorders have been associated with substance use and alcoholism if left untreated.

Certain lifestyle changes can be beneficial in managing anxiety as well. Getting regular exercise, following a nutritious diet, getting adequate sleep, avoiding substance use, and engaging in stress management techniques can all impact lowering anxiety levels.

It is important to note that it often takes time for people who are regularly anxious to see a reduction in symptoms. However, over time, an individual living anywhere in the world can find ways to manage their condition so it is less debilitating. They may even be able to overcome social anxiety altogether. Regardless of where someone lives, there is access to help for anxiety.

Social Anxiety Group Therapy

Individuals living with Social Anxiety Disorder may benefit from group therapy sessions online or in person. The group therapy definition is a form of psychotherapy where a group of individuals meets to discuss similar challenges they may be facing under the guidance of a licensed therapist. This is a potentially very effective way for people to learn to cope with their social anxiety. Strict confidentiality rules apply to group therapy sessions (online and in person), and most of what you share (aside from a medical emergency or potential for danger) will be kept in privacy.

Group therapy discussion topics vary. Often, the therapist will tailor the topics to specific areas where the individuals present need support. The session topics are designed to help the members of the group work on facing fearful situations and developing strategies for managing them. A clinician may provide access to group therapy for anxiety by hosting sessions at their site, a hospital site, or at another community site.

Being able to interact with others online or at a therapy site who are going through the same struggles can be very helpful. A therapeutic site provides a safe environment for people to be open about the difficulties of living with Social Anxiety Disorder with others who understand. Practicing social skills with others in a supportive, non-judgmental environment can also be very beneficial even when practice takes place other than on a therapy site. This way, an individual can receive immediate feedback from fellow members and the therapist directly at the site. As they continue to practice interacting with others, they will likely gain confidence over time.

Group therapy techniques can be very helpful to anyone who wants to overcome their social anxiety. Combining role-playing with group interaction at a therapist’s site sets the stage for building comfort in a social environment and developing new coping skills for managing situations that trigger anxiety. If you are living with Social Anxiety Disorder, you might consider asking your clinician about gaining access to group therapy at their site or online.

Group Therapy For Teens With Social Anxiety

It is important to note that there are also group therapy options specifically for teens at a therapeutic site which is a great self help option to help teens overcome social anxiety.

If you have a teenager experiencing symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder, the first step is to get a proper diagnosis. It is possible to find a group that consists entirely of people in that age group. Being a teenager is very difficult, and this is an important period in anyone's life. Coping with social anxiety, along with all of the unique challenges of being a teenager, can be tough. Group therapy can help a teenager to better manage the anxiety they are experiencing. Depending on the rules of the group, parents may or may not also have access to the group at a therapist’s site.

A study performed at the University of South Wales in New South Wales indicates that college students, particularly those in their first year of college, experience social anxiety to a degree that significantly impacts their studies and their ability to enjoy campus life. Internet based CBT is a good choice of a treatment program for college students who are living away from home and have a diagnosis of social anxiety disorder. Services for mental health are available at most colleges, and they may be instrumental in helping students overcome social anxiety. Some colleges also offer online community forums for students living with social anxiety disorders as an outlet for self help right on the college site.

Group therapy for teens is similar to other types of group therapy to help young people overcome social anxiety. The only difference is that group therapy discussion topics may be more geared toward situations that teenagers are more likely to encounter. Group therapy support can help teens learn how to successfully navigate high school life while addressing their feelings of anxiety. If you have a teenager with Social Anxiety Disorder, seeking out group therapy is an excellent idea to help them overcome social anxiety. It’s a better treatment program option for teens than online community forums, where adults may not be able to monitor them sufficiently.

Where Can I Find Treatment For Anxiety Near Me?

Many therapists offer group therapy or some other form of treatment or will be able to point you in the right direction. This type of therapy is very common as it has proven to be quite effective at treating many mental health concerns, including anxiety and depression. Many people prefer group therapy as it is a self paced form of a treatment program. Take the time to speak to your doctor or a therapist about joining a group if you feel like you could benefit from this form of therapy.

Physicians should be able to refer you to a group where you can start your therapy sessions to overcome social anxiety. Many group sessions take place at the site of dedicated therapy centers or offices. Most cities have a few group therapy options available to help you overcome social anxiety, so take the time to discuss your options with your doctor or mental health professional.

Online Is Also An Option For Anxiety 

Some people feel it is not convenient to see a therapist in person to overcome social anxiety, whether due to time limitations or lack of mental health care in their area. For this reason, having access to online therapy can be very appealing for overcoming social anxiety as opposed to going to a treatment site. Seeking online therapy can be an affordable and convenient option for seeking out mental health support from the comfort of your own home. Considering social anxiety increases anxiety in social settings, social anxiety therapy online is often a better option than other treatment options for overcoming social anxiety.

Is Social Anxiety Disorder Causing A Disruption In Your Life?

Connect With A Therapist

Speaking to an online therapist can be an important step toward managing your social anxiety and developing better health habits. Therapists can work with you to explore things that may be underlying your anxiety and provide you with new coping techniques for managing your symptoms.

Online therapy provides many different options for connecting with a therapist too. You can speak to a therapist over the phone if you would like to go about things in that way. There is also a video therapy option that allows you to enjoy face-to-face time with your therapist. Some social anxiety people may feel more comfortable seeking out email or text message therapy to get things started.

Conclusion

Signing up for online therapy through BetterHelp is simple. Consider reaching out to a therapist today if you are experiencing challenges with social anxiety. Remember that you do not have to go through this alone; help and treatment are available to help you improve your quality of life.

Anxiety About Therapy? Help Soothe That Anxiety Today.

Do you still have social anxiety trying to determine what questions to ask?  Don't let social anxiety hold you back. Online services may be just what you need. If you still have social anxiety and are wondering if online or in person therapy is right for your social anxiety symptoms or how much online therapy costs, please contact us at contact@betterhelp.com. BetterHelp specializes in online therapy and online services to help address all types of mental health concerns such as social anxiety or depression.

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