Social Anxiety Disorder is associated with elevated rates of school dropout and decreased well-being. Social Anxiety Disorder is characterized by intense fear or anxiety of social situations in which the individual may be scrutinized by others. Social Anxiety Disorder is not the same as shyness. Many children may experience shyness or some discomfort in social situations. On the other hand, individuals with Social Anxiety Disorder are terrified by being negatively evaluated in social situations. There is an intense fear of being judged as anxious, weak, or unlikeable. The individual fears that he or she will appear a certain way or show anxiety symptoms such as blushing, trembling or stumbling over words. Some individuals may fear offending others or being rejected.
In children, the fear or anxiety must occur in peer settings and not just during interactions with adults. The individual will often avoid the feared social situation, or they may endure the situation with significant fear or anxiety. In children, the fear may be expressed in the form of crying, tantrums, or clinging in social situations. There are a variety of effective therapeutic treatment approaches for Social Anxiety Disorder including cognitive-behavioral therapy. Furthermore, an understanding of the individual’s cognitive, social, developmental, and emotional functioning helps identify the most optimal treatment approach.
SageForth Psychological Services is here to help. Contact us at 703-999-8636 for a consultation.