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should i see someone about..?

Posted by adam on April 25, 1999 at 12:05:59
After reading about social anxiety I found that it fits the way I feel daily almost exactly.
I like being with people, but I still feel dread about going out, even if I really like going. I find it difficult to speak to more than one or two people in public (I am a University student so this can be related to the classroom setting). For example, I will never think to have discussions with the lecturer or tutor because I feel like all eyes are upon me and I am being evaluated.. my heart races and I forget what I am going to say or say it in a way I didn't intend.
The problem I describe doesn't really stop me from functioning on a daily basis but it is something that worries me. It feels very noticeable when I am anxious and I often feel clumsy.
This anxiety has accompanied what appears to be a vestibular disorder, and I'm quite sure that trying to live with this disorder on a daily basis has brought on the social anxiety.
My question is, should I do something about this? I would like something to be done, but don't know what could help? I have had propanolol in the past but can not really tolerate this because it causes me to have terrible nightmares and sleepwalk, and makes me very drowsy during the day. Should I see a psychiatrist?

Posted by HFHS.MD.D.E. on April 29, 1999 at 16:30:05
Dear Adam;
From the information you have given, I agree that you might be suffering from a disorder called Socail Phobia. This is characterized by marked and persistent fear of one or more social situations in which the person is exposed to unfamiliar people or to possible scrutiny by others. The person fears that she will act in a way (or show anxiety symptoms) that will be humuliating or embarassing. The good news is that pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy helps. Pharmacotherapy includes antidepressants like SSRI's (Prozac, Zoloft,etc.),MAOI's (Nardil), and Benzodiazepines (Klonopin, Xanax). The SSRI's are the standard of care at this point in time. In Social Phobia with performance anxiety, Propranolol and Atenolol helps too. From what you have described, it seems that you have more of the generalized type. Psychotherapy includes cognitive-behavioral therapy which involves desentisization, retraining and a range of home assignments. For these reasons, I advice you to seek the help of a mental health professional. Some studies indicate that the use of both medications and psychotherapy produces better results that either therapy alone. If interested, you can call Henry Ford Behavioral Services at (248)689-7476 for evaluation. This information is for general purposes only and is not intended to substitute a medical consultation.
Keywords:Social Phobia

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