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How to Properly Convey Social Anxiety Symptoms to Your Doctor

Updated on April 9, 2015

Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) is embodies more than just feelings of excessive shyness. A person suffering from SAD often lives a solitary life of nervous isolation. The nervousness a SAD sufferer feels could make it difficult to articulate problems clearly to his/her doctors. Understanding how to effectively discuss symptoms related to social anxiety is necessary in order to better help your doctor be able to help you.

Convey Specific Problems to the Doctor

The only way to receive the proper diagnosis and/or referral from a general practitioner is to be clear about problems you face. Do not just mention you feel "merely" anxious or depressed. Point out when and where these feelings overwhelm you. To do so provides the doctor with a clearer insight into the severity of the condition.

Explain the Scenario Causing You to Take Action

If there was one specific incident that prompted you to seek treatment, describe it to the doctor. Avoid rationalizing or attempting to analyze the event. Merely repeat what occurred and why it scared you so much. Noting you were so overcome with panic while driving to a party, you nearly lost control of your car would be very illustrative.

Detail the Severity of the Anxiety

Describe the intensity level of the anxiety. Describing the intensity of your anxious feelings on a scale of 1 to 10 might not be a perfect scientific method, but the method does paint a picture helpful to the physician. By getting the severity of the problem across, you improve the chances of getting better treatment.

Inform the Doctor of Any Steps You Have Taken to Alleviate the Condition

There are quite a few self-help methods capable of reducing mild social anxieties. If you have cut back on anxiety inducing stimulants, are exercising to burn off nervous energy, engaging in meditation, and gradually increasing your social contact with others and not experienced any positive changes, tell the doctor about your lack of progress. Doing so allows the doctor to focus on other treatment methods that might prove far more helpful or make a more informed referral to a specialist.

Craft a Written Presentation

For those who struggle to verbalize their symptoms, the written word is the better alternative. Sit in front of your computer and type out your symptoms and note how these symptoms are negatively affecting you. An example of this would be refusing to go to a social gathering of friends due to concerns over embarrassing yourself somehow.

Free flow your thoughts and review what you have written. During the review, highlight the major points on a single piece of paper. Again, you want to give the doctor something very easy to examine.


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