Substance Abuse And The Co-Occurrence Of Social Anxiety Disorder

Shyness and social anxiety is thought by experts to exist on a continuum, however efforts to cope with this anxiety disorder can be disabling for many -- leading to avoidance of situations and often using and abusing substances as a solution to manage uncomfortable symptoms. The co-occurrence of substance abuse, particularly alcohol abuse, is common among people who have social anxiety disorder according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

Many begin to rely on alcohol, benzodiazepines, pain killers and other mood-altering substances as a coping mechanism to relieve social discomfort. It is, for those with social anxiety, an attempt to solve a problem. While individuals may not experience full relief from their symptoms by using alcohol or drugs, they may experience enough relief to enable them to get through difficult social situations, which then reinforces this particular way of problem solving. Some studies report that the average lifetime prevalence of alcoholism among individuals with social anxiety disorder, as well as depression, may be as high as 20 percent. That's huge!

Psychotherapy such as Cognitive Therapy, DBT skills therapy, mindfulness, ACT and other therapy modalities such as EMDR can help individuals change their thoughts about their circumstances, accept who they are, develop more helpful coping skills and learn to experience greater personal comfort in social situations. Read on to understand what fuels social anxiety and how therapy, and some of the techniques listed can help. To learn more about Social Anxiety Disorder read 6 Ways to Overcome Social Anxiety - Psych Central. To learn more about the link between mood and anxiety disorders and alcoholism and substance use visit ADAA. Practice acceptance, try compassion and change what you can. KS

NYC Therapist Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a skilled Psychotherapist, Relationship and Stress Reduction Expert in New York City. She provides therapy, EMDR & Coaching to individuals and couples.

Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a licensed Psychotherapist, EMDR Therapist and Personal Coach with a private practice in New York City. As a clinician who is passionate about the interplay between mind and body, she practices mind-body psychotherapy, providing holistic counseling and coaching for her clients. Her counseling modalities include: psychoanalytic psychotherapy EMDR therapy, CBT, DBT, mindfulness, crisis counseling and coaching with expertise in anxiety, depression, pain and chronic disease management, eating disorders (anorexia, binge eating, bulimia), addictions, alcoholism, trauma resolution, relationship + marital difficulties, women's issues (postpartum depression, new parent, divorce, separation, hormone imbalance), performance blocks, self-defeating behaviors, loss, grief, loneliness, self-esteem issues, post-rehab support and sexual problems. Via Skype, Kim Seelbrede provides life coaching, executive, personal and career coaching. Kim Seelbrede works with celebrities and high-profile individuals as well as high-level entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 executives around the world including London, Hong Kong, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Connecticut and Washington. Her professional personal and executive coaching services are tailored to each clients individual needs and targets concerns such as feeling stagnate and stuck, self-assertion, self-sabotage, substance abuse, pain management, chronic illness, work/life balance, performance problems, communication challenges, anxiety and stress management/reduction.

If you are a fan of social media find Kim Seelbrede on: Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google +, EMDRIA Find an EMDR Therapist, Psychology Today, Good Therapy, Urban Zen Foundation, EMDR Therapist Network, www.nycemdr-integrativetherapy and www.kimseelbrede.com

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