Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder is a potentially disabling disorder, but can be controlled and successfully treated.
Physical symptoms often accompanying social anxiety disorder include excessive blushing, sweating (hyperhidrosis), trembling, palpitations, nausea, and stammering. Panic attacks may also occur under intense fear and discomfort.
An early diagnosis may help minimize the symptoms and the development of additional problems such as depression.
Social anxiety disorder often occurs alongside low self-esteem and clinical depression, due to lack of personal relationships and long periods of isolation from avoiding social situations. An early diagnosis may help minimize the symptoms and the development of additional problems.
Substance Abuse and Social Anxiety Disorder
People with social anxiety disorder may use alcohol or other drugs to attempt to reduce their anxiety and alleviate depression, which can lead to substance abuse. It is estimated that one-fifth of patients with social anxiety disorder also suffer from alcohol dependence
In addition, many who "self-medicate" an undiagnosed social anxiety disorder may not seek the professional help they need. Because of this many people suffering from social anxiety disorder are only diagnosed after they seek treatment for their substance abuse or substance dependence problems.
Dual Diagnosis/Co-Occurring Disorder
Social anxiety disorder often occurs together with substance abuse and substance dependence disorders. Often the substance use is the result of an attempt to "self-medicate" but just as often substance dependence is the primary disorder with social anxiety disorder being secondary. In either case, both disorders must be treated simultaneously to achieve an effective outcome.
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