Social anxiety disorder is a common anxiety disorder characterized by a debilitating fear (or “phobia”) of other people and social contacts. Those suffering from social anxiety may go to great lengths to avoid any social situation. In the most extreme cases, the person may avoid leaving their home entirely.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, social anxiety is “an intense fear of being watched and judged by others.” Social anxiety is not just about being “shy” or “introverted.” Shyness may be a personality trait, and introversion defines a person’s temperament. On the other hand, social anxiety hinders a person’s ability to function normally. While a shy or introverted person may not prefer to be the center of attention or “in the spotlight,” they will generally not experience the crippling distress that defines social anxiety.
Some people with social anxiety turn to addictive substances or behaviors to cope with social anxiety. At Create Recovery Center of Los Angeles, our clinical team specializes in dual-diagnosis treatment. We know that treating the root cause of addiction is just as important for recovery as treating the addiction itself. But why might people with social anxiety become addicted to drugs, alcohol, or specific behaviors?
Process addictions and impulse control disorders, like the internet or gambling, can be a way of escaping or connecting to the world without face-to-face interactions.
Addiction can be treated by addressing the underlying causes of an addiction while developing healthy coping skills to replace addictive behaviors. Create Recovery Center invites you to explore our dual-diagnosis treatment options for those struggling with addiction and social anxiety.
A person would need to speak with a medical professional about their symptoms to determine whether they have a social anxiety disorder. A doctor, psychiatrist, or other healthcare providers can help find the root cause of symptoms by self-report, questionnaires, and other means of assessment. Once a diagnosis is determined and other possible explanations for symptoms are ruled out, treatment can begin.
If you believe you or a loved one may be suffering from social anxiety disorder, our assessment may be a beneficial tool. Although the assessment can not be used as a definitive diagnosis, it can help to determine how many symptoms associated with anxiety a person may be facing.
We base our assessment questions on the criteria laid out by the fifth edition of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Regardless to the results of the assessment, it is important to note that an anxiety disorder must be diagnosed by a trained medical professional.
While every person is unique and can take varied approaches to their treatment planning, social anxiety treatment generally has two main elements at play:
Treating the underlying thoughts, feelings, and beliefs driving social anxiety can involve some of the following elements:
A dual-diagnosis of social anxiety and addiction can negatively impact the overall quality of your life. Each person’s experience with addiction is unique, painful, and treatable! The expert staff at Create Recovery Center can help you break free from the bonds of addiction and social anxiety with proven, evidence-based treatment methods. Our team is here for you to reclaim your life from social anxiety and addiction!