Social Anxiety Sufferer? How Online Therapy Can Help You Connect
Even the darkest of clouds can provide an unexpected silver lining. The past year has indeed been dark. As a result of the fear, isolation, division, and stress, many people are seeking help with emotional issues. This is where a silver lining has emerged for folks suffering from social anxiety.
Thanks to the pandemic lockdowns, so much of life has moved online — including therapy. Suddenly, the new norm is counseling via video chat or phone call. For someone who has avoided getting help due to anxiety, this development is a gift of sorts. Online therapy offers you a way to connect without triggering your anxiety.
What is Social Anxiety?
Do you regularly experience a profound fear of being judged and/or rejected? If so, you may be struggling with a social anxiety disorder. It affects about 15 million American adults. The average age of onset is 13. Anxiety in social situations can negatively impact your daily life and make it feel difficult to:
- Make eye contact
- Initiate conversations
- Interact with strangers
- Date or go out socially
- Enter rooms or office spaces
- Eating in public, or use public restrooms
- Participate in school or work activities
When triggered, social anxiety symptoms include:
- Lightheadedness and dizziness
- Shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat
- Muscle aches and tension
- Sweaty palms and trembling hands
- Dry mouth and/or shaky voice
- Digestive disruption and nausea
- Dissociation or emotional numbness
Do you see the paradox here? Someone suffering from social anxiety needs to get help. However, going to therapy can present the precise situations that trigger the disorder — until now. Online counseling enables you to get the help you require without causing the stress of in-person sessions.
How Online Therapy Can Help Social Anxiety Sufferers Connect
Online therapy, or teletherapy, is a proven form of counseling that takes place outside the typical office setting. Therapists and clients talk through video platforms or, sometimes, via phone calls. It was a growing area before COVID-19 hit. Now, it’s fast becoming the new normal. Here are just of its many benefits — particularly for social anxiety sufferers:
You do not have to leave your home. If video chat is not your thing, you can choose to speak over the phone. This setting removes the worry of having to tell anyone that you’re in therapy (and why). There’s no running into someone on the commute. Even better, there’s no waiting room in which you may feel awkward. If you choose video chat, the platform is secure.
Anyone who fears being judged may be more comfortable online. You no longer have to worry about outfits, make-up, or any other form of preparation. You pick a spot in your house or apartment and you’re good to go. No commute, no traffic, and no public transportation. In addition, teletherapy is less likely to be constrained by the usual office hour paradigm. You and your counselor work together to find the day and time that works best for both of you. An added bonus: Your therapist gets to see you in your natural environment. This can enhance the treatment process.
Finding a counselor you connect with can be stressful. Online therapy removes much of that initial stress. You’re not limited to a particular location. Also, if you’re dealing with any kind of illness, disability, or injury, accessibility is not an issue.
Taking That First Step
Finally, if you are a social anxiety sufferer, you know the first step can feel daunting. So, why not ease into this process with a free consultation? If it feels easier, start with an email. The idea is to reach out and get your questions answered in advance. Social anxiety is painful but recovery is possible. I am here for you. Begin your healing journey via the help and support offered by online therapy.