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Do I have social anxiety disorder?

Q: I am 24 years old male. I have been having this problem for quite a few years now and finally am unable to bear it anymore so I have decided to seek help. After browsing the Internet I have found out that the symptoms I have is what is referred to as Social Anxiety Disorder. I am self-conscious and avoid social gatherings all the time. I hardly have any friends and feel comfortable within the confines of my home. I stay inside my home for many weeks without going out. Things have now gone from bad to worse. I can’t apply for a job now because of being scared of the interview and later of the people that I have to face once I start a job. Whenever I have to speak in public my pulse starts racing and I start to sweat. My heart starts beating faster. I am scared of facing the environment of an office if I start working. I tend to avoid people. I initially thought of it being a case of shyness but recent articles describe it as a disorder and not a disease. I wasn’t like this during my childhood. This has started in recent years. As a result of this my career is suffering. I am still financially dependent on my parents. I can’t discuss this problem with anyone and therefore I have sought help. Can this be temporarily taken care of?

A:Social anxiety disorder is a treatable condition. It is very common, but not usually as severe as described by you. There are two approaches to treatment, and they can be used together. The first is medication, with a selective serotonin uptake inhibitor, and / or with Neurontin. The second is with behavioural psychotherapy and counselling, which must be carried out by mental health professional who has been trained to do this specialised form of verbal treatment. Of course, nothing can be done to help you seeks help from a qualified psychiatrist for the medication, and a psychologist or other mental health professional.


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