WOman on bed covering her face with hands because she has social anxiety before counseling for social anxiety with Empower Counseling

Social Anxiety and Depression by Empower Counseling..

Social anxiety and depression are two of the most commonly diagnosed conditions in the United States. 

For individuals with social anxiety disorder, every day interactions with others cause irrational anxiety, self-consciousness, and embarrassment. 

These thoughts and feelings cause avoidance. 

If you have social anxiety, you may have trouble going out in public, fear going to parties or any kind of social gathering, and have trouble making friends. You may struggle maintaining relationships and miss out on work or extracurricular opportunities due to fear. 

According to Abraham Maslow, humans are motivated to fulfill basic needs before we can move on to more advanced needs. There are five different levels within Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

The first level encompasses our physiological needs- food, water, breathing, shelter and clothing. 

The second level is security and safety. We need to know we can financially pay for our basic needs and be free from harm. 

Maslow considers these first two levels basic needs.

But right after our most basic needs, humans need love, acceptance and belonging. We find this love, acceptance, and belonging through our interactions with other people. We can find it in a number of places like, friendships, family relationships, romantic attachments, social groups, and community.

No matter where we find it, we must have it. 

Without it we become, lonely, anxious, and depressed. 

Social anxiety keeps individuals from having the human connections we all need. Without the ability to connect with others, social anxiety leads to frustration, isolation, depression, feelings of hopelessness, and even suicide. 

There can be physical symptoms of social anxiety along with emotional or psychological symptoms. 

The physical symptoms:

Shortness of breath

Rapid heartbeat

Nausea

Excessive sweating

Lightheadedness

Some of the psychological or emotional symptoms include:

Low self-esteem

Fear of being embarrassed

Avoidance of social settings

Needing a “safe person” to always accompany you to social settings or in public places

Constantly worrying about everyday social situations

Social anxiety can look different with children and adolescents. They may also fear:

Reading out loud or speaking in class

Going to school

Tantrums in public settings

Social Anxiety and Depression: Empower Counseling

Social anxiety is incredibly frustrating because the individual experiencing it may want nothing more than to be able to interact with others, but he or she is paralyzed with fear. So she avoids social situations, then beats up on herself for not being able to do what she really wants to do. 

The self-criticism, along with the isolation easily leads to depression. 

Some symptoms of depression:

Lack of motivation

Low energy or fatigue

Loss of interest in favorite activities

Sleeping too much 

Feeling of hopelessness

Body aches

Suicidal thoughts

Do not let social anxiety turn into depression.

If you or someone you love have social anxiety, reach out for help with Empower Counseling. We practice Acceptance Commitment Therapy for social anxiety. Acceptance Commitment Therapy is a scientifically proven effective treatment for social anxiety. 

Kathryn, Adam, and Kristine provide anxiety and depression counseling to teens, college students, young adults and professionals living in Homewood, Mountain Brook, Vestavia, Hoover, Birmingham, and the surrounding areas. At Empower Counseling we over teleheath appointments to clients who live anywhere in Alabama. We offer evening and weekend appointments. If you have social anxiety, do not wait until it turns into depression. Call Empower today 205-730-6570.

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