All Posts Tagged: social anxiety

woman using virtual reality headset

The Uses of Virtual Reality in Social Anxiety Treatment

Dr. Rosen and Dr. Spinner recently presented a session on The Uses of Virtual Reality in Social Anxiety Treatment for the National Social Anxiety Center.

View the presentation on The Uses of Virtual Reality in Social Anxiety Treatment.

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If you are worried about your child’s social anxiety, discuss your concerns with our clinicians, who specializes in childhood anxiety. For more information, contact us or call us today at 561-223-6568.

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coworkers gossiping about another worker

Post-Pandemic Social Anxiety: How To Deal With Social Anxiety After Covid

My colleagues and I have noticed an increase in anxiety and anxiety-related disorders over the past two years. This is likely because during times of strife, people typically feel apprehensive. However, since we are returning to more normal lives, many people have been caught off-guard to realize how uncomfortable they now are in social situations – especially if they were never fearful before.

People who found it hard to socialize before Covid are now finding that they’re grateful for the time they spent alone. They were able to stay in their comfort zones and avoid difficult situations. But now that everything is changing, they’re worried about venturing out again.

Others had no social concerns before Covid came on the scene, but now find they do. Since we have been socially distant for quite awhile, it makes sense that social anxiety is now present in so many people. Strict distancing measures were necessary during the pandemic. They helped us feel protected and stay safe. But they have also made it harder to let go and start interacting socially now.

Many people experienced a lot of trauma, fear, and uncertainty during the pandemic. They learned to associate social situations with getting sick. As a result, they now feel very vulnerable around other people and those feelings will be hard to shake as the pandemic moves into the endemic stage.

Is It Normal That I Feel Anxious After The Pandemic?

Social anxiety can involve feeling that others are judging or disapproving of you. You might sweat, have a racing heart, feel difficulty concentrating, and feel sick to your stomach when you think about going out socially. For many people, any of these symptoms or a combination of them can occur even when they just think about going out.

Superficial differences also contribute to social anxiety, especially now. People who don’t do the same as others when it comes to social distancing protocols may feel judged. This is because some people have already dropped Covid protocols, but others will continue to hold tightly to safety measures.

An example of this would be if someone went to a social event without wearing a mask. They might feel anxious around people who are wearing masks. This person might become nauseous or break out in a cold sweat when interacting with a masked person – even if they are surrounded by family or friends.

They may also have problems concentrating or focusing on conversations. Feeling confident in themselves could seem next to impossible when they are convinced that everyone is staring at them.

If these reactions happen often or their anxiety is really strong, the person might start to avoid social situations altogether. This can bring short-term relief, but if they do this for a long time, they might start to feel disconnected and isolated from other people.

Simple Steps To Start Living Again After Covid

Some of us will fill our social calendars in the coming months while others will struggle emotionally with the current relaxed social standards.

If you are feeling anxious about resuming a social life, you don’t accept every invitation, especially at the beginning. Remember that this is a time of transition for everyone. Be choosy about which social gatherings you attend, limit yourself to the ones that enforce similar personal protocols, and give yourself a breather in between events.

If possible, try to take things slowly when returning to the office, as well. Perhaps you can start by going in one day a week for the first week or two, and then slowly increase your number of days from there. This will help you adjust better and not feel overwhelmed.

If you are not able to ease back into the workplace, reach out to others for support. Chances are, many people you know have been in the office for a few weeks by now. Ask them how they coped when they first went back. What did they do to make their return easier? Surely, they found each successive work day easier to manage as they got used to their old routine.

Be kind to yourself when you are transitioning back to work. Remember that the anxiety you feel before returning is usually worse than the reality. Make sure you eat well, relax, and do something you enjoy before returning. Most importantly, try to avoid anything that might stress you out and make your first few days back difficult.

It is also important to stay positive and optimistic, even when social interactions are difficult or uncomfortable. With time and patience, it is possible to manage social anxiety during this difficult period and eventually regain your normal routine.

If you are still struggling with social anxiety after trying these strategies, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. A therapist or counselor can help you explore other options and develop a treatment plan that works for you.

How To Get Help For Social Anxiety In Children

Our warm and welcoming Children’s Center offers a wide range of clinical, therapeutic, educational and supportive services specifically for children ages two through twenty two. Additionally, our facility is the South Florida regional clinic for the National Social Anxiety Center (NSAC).

For more information about how our child psychologist can help your child with their social anxiety or other mental health needs, contact the Children’s Center for Psychiatry Psychology and Related Services in Delray Beach, Florida or call us today at (561) 223-6568.

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Children wearing face masks

What We Have Learned From 2021

No one can deny that 2021 has been a momentous year. It has had a mixture of the good, the bad and the ugly for sure. It has at times been frightening, confusing, comforting and educational. We have witnessed a very unusual presidential election, a subsequent denial by some of the validity of the election and an unheard of polarization of our peers and lawmakers. Most critically, we have endured a gift that keeps on giving; the novel coronavirus that has killed countless people world-wide and more fellow Americans than we would have ever anticipated. We have had to learn the meaning of the word epidemiology as it relates to health and wellness. Unfortunately, we now know explicitly what a spike protein is and looks like. More than ever before we have been influenced (for good and bad) by the internet and social media. Although we have been witness to conspiracy theories in the past, but this year has certainly been a boon time for them.

So it is important for us to sit back and take stock of the emotional and psychological impact of these events.   A major fallout has been the confusion over what is fact and what is fiction. We have seen the major news networks disagreeing on many important issues. Who to believe? Proponents of networks that broadcast their unique take on the news may be diametrically opposite of the proponents of the “other” networks. To avoid getting into trouble I will leave the network names blank, but I am sure you know what I am talking about. There was a time in the 1950s and 1960s when veteran newscasters like Walter Cronkite, Huntley and Brinkley, Douglas Edwards educated us nightly on national and world events. Marshall McLuhan’s “the medium is the message” conveyed the power and influence of the media. Somewhere during the subsequent decades all this has changed. It became apparent to television and radio that communicating news is basically a form of entertainment. Like most popular entertainment venues it becomes essential to be able to sell the programs to the masses. Media outlets have always been for profit businesses (exceptions being Public Radio and Public Television) but it seems that profitability became linked to the entertainment value of their shows. Newscasters and news commentators became the entertainers that we see today. Walter Cronkite would not succeed as a newscaster in 2021.

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kids at summer camp

More Pandemic Grief: No Summer Camp, Plus School At Home

We’ve hit midsummer and kids across the country have had to deal with the disappointment of canceled summer camps this year. Now, many school districts are making parents choose between virtual learning this fall or sending their children to school during a pandemic. Some school districts are going entirely virtual. Having to face more upheaval in a year of unprecedented changes has brought up grief and anxiety for both kids and parents. Yet, despite this turmoil, there are some good things that have come from the pandemic.

The Good – Some Pandemic Silver Linings

One of the most significant changes are the family ties that formed or remodeled after our hectic lives were halted. Parents and kids are spending more time together as a family because extracurricular activities aren’t taking precedence. Plus parents who are working from home have extra time to interact with their children since they don’t have to commute.

Just being able to play like children has been good for kids. Often their lives are structured from the time they awaken until they fall into bed at night, so being able to simply play has been good for developing their imagination, exploring their world, and just being a kid.

The Bad – Pandemic Grief And Anxiety

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Overcontrol and social anxiety

What Is Overcontrol And Is It Contributing To Your Social Anxiety?

One of the most quickly growing areas of clinical research and treatment implementation is for people who are considered to be overcontrolled. What does being overcontrolled mean, and what does it have to do with feeling socially anxious? The concept of self-control refers to the ability to inhibit problematic behaviors. This is generally accepted by our society as a positive thing to have! It is true that to an extent, being overcontrolled can be very adaptive and helpful. Overcontrol is associated with the ability to delay gratification, follow rules, and valuing accuracy and fairness. However, when these traits are very pronounced and overemphasized, they can become problematic and affect our mental health. It’s like having too much of a good thing.

Social and Emotional Impact of Overcontrol

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