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TAG

Member
Hi Dr. Baxter,

I am a 41 year old woman who has suffered from social anxiety since my teens. I was on Paxil for years but recently quit because I found the side effects to be intolerable and really felt the drug wasn't helping with my social anxiety anway. I've been off Paxil for 4 months and slowly my anxiety has been increasing. This disorder is so frustrating! I am so lonely and really do want to get out there and have fun with people but my anxiety becomes so great sometimes, that I just freeze up and want to hide! It is ridiculous! I feel like a bashful 13 year old instead of the mature woman that I am! Acckkkk!

Do you know of any psychologists or psychiatrists who specifically treat social phobia in the Ottawa area?
 

TAG

Member
Hi Dr. Baxter,

I am a 41 year old woman who has suffered from social anxiety since my teens. I was on Paxil for years but recently quit because I found the side effects to be intolerable and really felt the drug wasn't helping with my social anxiety anway. I've been off Paxil for 4 months and slowly my anxiety has been increasing. This disorder is so frustrating! I am so lonely and really do want to get out there and have fun with people but my anxiety becomes so great sometimes, that I just freeze up and want to hide! It is ridiculous! I feel like a bashful 13 year old instead of the mature woman that I am! Acckkkk!

Do you know of any psychologists or psychiatrists who specifically treat social phobia in the Ottawa area?
 

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Paxil can be a difficult medication for some people, but fortunately there are several other choices.

Please see your email for treatment options.
 

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Paxil can be a difficult medication for some people, but fortunately there are several other choices.

Please see your email for treatment options.
 

Benjamin

Member
Dr. Baxter-

I also suffer from social anxiety and have been in therapy for it -- both individual and group CBT, but it didn't help. I've known that my SAD is rooted in low self-esteem for some time, but didn't there was a way to treat low self-esteem. I thought that if I could get over my SAD, it would raise my self-esteem. A few weeks ago I started reading some books about self-esteem ("Six Pillars of Self-esteem", "Self-esteem Workbook"...). The authors talk about "being a friend to yourself" and I've been trying to do that. It seems to be working. I'm feeling better about myself and socializing is getting easier.

Have your found that most people with SAD also have low self-esteem and is it usually the low self-esteem that causes their SAD? Just curious.
 

Benjamin

Member
Dr. Baxter-

I also suffer from social anxiety and have been in therapy for it -- both individual and group CBT, but it didn't help. I've known that my SAD is rooted in low self-esteem for some time, but didn't there was a way to treat low self-esteem. I thought that if I could get over my SAD, it would raise my self-esteem. A few weeks ago I started reading some books about self-esteem ("Six Pillars of Self-esteem", "Self-esteem Workbook"...). The authors talk about "being a friend to yourself" and I've been trying to do that. It seems to be working. I'm feeling better about myself and socializing is getting easier.

Have your found that most people with SAD also have low self-esteem and is it usually the low self-esteem that causes their SAD? Just curious.
 

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
I suppose that they do tend to go hand in hand but I'm not sure one causes the other... As an example of a similar correlation, individuals with ADHD also tend to suffer from low self-esteem and depression but in all likelihood those things stem from their sense of failure and the reactions of other people rather than from the ADHD.
 

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
I suppose that they do tend to go hand in hand but I'm not sure one causes the other... As an example of a similar correlation, individuals with ADHD also tend to suffer from low self-esteem and depression but in all likelihood those things stem from their sense of failure and the reactions of other people rather than from the ADHD.
 
Hi Benjamin,

I am not Dr. Baxter but I would like to answer your question. There seems to be a number of factors that are involved in social anxiety. These factors include:

1.) Being overly concerned about negative evaluation.

2.) A tendency of focusing on the reaction of others.

3.) Avoidance of social situations, which can result in depression and loneliness.

CBT has been found to be the most effective in dealing with social anxiety. I would encourage you to stay in therapy...first individual, then when you are ready for a group get involved there and make sure to bring any discomfort to your therapist. The self help books can be helpful but along with regular individual therapy. Best wishes and keep us posted.
 
Hi Benjamin,

I am not Dr. Baxter but I would like to answer your question. There seems to be a number of factors that are involved in social anxiety. These factors include:

1.) Being overly concerned about negative evaluation.

2.) A tendency of focusing on the reaction of others.

3.) Avoidance of social situations, which can result in depression and loneliness.

CBT has been found to be the most effective in dealing with social anxiety. I would encourage you to stay in therapy...first individual, then when you are ready for a group get involved there and make sure to bring any discomfort to your therapist. The self help books can be helpful but along with regular individual therapy. Best wishes and keep us posted.
 

Benjamin

Member
David Baxter said:
I suppose that they do tend to go hand in hand but I'm not sure one causes the other... As an example of a similar correlation, individuals with ADHD also tend to suffer from low self-esteem and depression but in all likelihood those things stem from their sense of failure and the reactions of other people rather than from the ADHD.
Isn't it true that ADHD is a neurological disorder (a chemical imbalance) and social anxiety is more a mental disorder (a result of unhealthy environmental factors), generally speaking, and therefore, their cause and effects cannot be correlated? I read a while back that some people are born with social anxiety, in which case for them it would be a neurological disorder, but pretty much all the people I've known who suffer from SAD were abused to some extent as a child and for them, it's more of a mental disorder and more specifically -- low self-esteem. Of course, I'm basing this on the small number of people I've known with SAD from my group CBT and from the things people have posted in Internet forums.
 

Benjamin

Member
David Baxter said:
I suppose that they do tend to go hand in hand but I'm not sure one causes the other... As an example of a similar correlation, individuals with ADHD also tend to suffer from low self-esteem and depression but in all likelihood those things stem from their sense of failure and the reactions of other people rather than from the ADHD.
Isn't it true that ADHD is a neurological disorder (a chemical imbalance) and social anxiety is more a mental disorder (a result of unhealthy environmental factors), generally speaking, and therefore, their cause and effects cannot be correlated? I read a while back that some people are born with social anxiety, in which case for them it would be a neurological disorder, but pretty much all the people I've known who suffer from SAD were abused to some extent as a child and for them, it's more of a mental disorder and more specifically -- low self-esteem. Of course, I'm basing this on the small number of people I've known with SAD from my group CBT and from the things people have posted in Internet forums.
 

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
I don't think the distinction between a "neurological disorder" and a "mental disorder" has much meaning. Most conditions like anxiety disorders, depression, even bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, are almost certainly the result of an interaction between biological/genetic factors (inherited vulnerability or predisposition) and environmental factors (individual history).

As for SAD, it may be true that some people abused as children suffer from SAD but many individuals with no such history of abuse also suffer from SAD. The two are not directly linked.
 

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
I don't think the distinction between a "neurological disorder" and a "mental disorder" has much meaning. Most conditions like anxiety disorders, depression, even bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, are almost certainly the result of an interaction between biological/genetic factors (inherited vulnerability or predisposition) and environmental factors (individual history).

As for SAD, it may be true that some people abused as children suffer from SAD but many individuals with no such history of abuse also suffer from SAD. The two are not directly linked.
 
Hi Benjamin,

Either could be biologically based. The problems with the diagnosis of ADHD is that some people are given the diagnosis without receiving a psychological evaluation (which provides objective evidence with regards to problems with attention and concentration). ADHD could be caused by variables affecting the brain.

A person can experience repeated stressors and when ongoing stress does not abate then such stressors can genetically alter the nervous system to be over reactive to stress. For this alteration to be "changed" a good amount time would have to pass without the stressors. Therapy and medications can be useful in arriving at this point. It does not always work out that way as it depends upon the individual. Both ADHD and social anxiety can be caused by environmental factors. (Directly or indirectly related to environmental factors I might add).
 
Hi Benjamin,

Either could be biologically based. The problems with the diagnosis of ADHD is that some people are given the diagnosis without receiving a psychological evaluation (which provides objective evidence with regards to problems with attention and concentration). ADHD could be caused by variables affecting the brain.

A person can experience repeated stressors and when ongoing stress does not abate then such stressors can genetically alter the nervous system to be over reactive to stress. For this alteration to be "changed" a good amount time would have to pass without the stressors. Therapy and medications can be useful in arriving at this point. It does not always work out that way as it depends upon the individual. Both ADHD and social anxiety can be caused by environmental factors. (Directly or indirectly related to environmental factors I might add).
 

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