Social anxiety can be highly distressing, but seeking professional help can pave the way toward managing your symptoms, gaining confidence, and improving your quality of life. At Morris Therapy Services, PLLC in Tampa, Florida, Jeffrey Morris, PsyD, can provide the right support and interventions to help you gradually overcome your fears, develop a more positive self-image, and lead a more fulfilling life. Call to book an appointment or use the online scheduler today.
Social anxiety, also known as social phobia, is a complex psychological condition defined by an intense and irrational fear of social situations. It goes beyond mere shyness or nervousness and can have a significant impact on your life. It can affect your ability to interact with others, pursue relationships, and engage in everyday activities.
Symptoms of social anxiety include:
You may constantly worry about upcoming social events, even minor ones like a casual conversation or a meeting with friends. These worries can start days or weeks before the event.
When faced with social situations, you might experience sweating, trembling, blushing, a racing heart, or even feeling nauseous. These physical reactions can be distressing and make you more self-conscious.
Avoidance behavior means you tend to stay away from social situations whenever possible to escape distress. This avoidance can result in isolation and missed opportunities for personal and professional growth.
A negative self-image causes you to have low self-esteem and harsh self-criticism, often believing you'll be judged negatively, humiliated, or rejected by others.
The causes of social anxiety involve genetic predisposition, environmental factors like traumatic experiences, and imbalances in brain chemistry, particularly serotonin.
Morris Therapy Services, PLLC offers several different treatment types, including:
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a widely used and effective approach. Through CBT, you can learn to identify and challenge negative thought patterns, reduce avoidance behavior, and develop coping strategies for social situations.
In some cases, Dr. Morris may discuss a referral to a psychiatrist to consider medications like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or anti-anxiety drugs to help manage symptoms. These can be used alone or in conjunction with therapy.
Exposure therapy involves gradually and systematically facing your social fears. This can help you build tolerance and reduce anxiety over time.
Incorporating stress reduction techniques, such as mindfulness, regular exercise, and a balanced diet, can support your overall well-being and complement therapeutic approaches.
Dr. Morris also encourages attending support groups, allowing you to connect with others who share similar challenges and experiences.
If you struggle with social anxiety, call Morris Therapy Services, PLLC, today. You can also book an appointment online.