Finding Treatment for Social Anxiety Disorder

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Once you have figured out that you may suffer from social anxiety disorder, what do you do now? 
Depending on the severity of your anxiety, you may choose to seek professional help. Seeking assistance can be relatively easy (if you are lucky) or it can be more difficult. It depends on your situation and how you approach it.

If you have a family doctor that you regularly see, then ask for a referral to a psychologist or psychiatrist he or she may know.  Other ways to find a therapist or psychologist are through your phone book’s yellow pages. Similarly, you can call the psychiatric ward of a local hospital ask the head nurse for a recommendation.  Also, if you have insurance, review a list of approved mental health providers.

Guidelines for selecting a mental health professional

When selecting a mental health practioner he or she must be able to answer all of the basic questions below.  Remember, its your health, don’t settle for second best.

  • What training and experience do you have in treating anxiety disorders?
  • What is your basic approach to treatment?
  • Can you prescribe medication or refer me to someone who can, if that proves necessary?
  • What is your fee schedule, and do you have a sliding scale for varying financial circumstances?
  • What kinds of health insurance do you accept?

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  • Thanks, doc!

    None of the therapists my insurance company would pay for here in the Hudson Valley of NY didn't know much about anxiety disorders and none offered CBT. Perhaps, it's different now, as I went through this 9 years ago.

    Eventually, I found a psychologist in Phoenix that specializes in treating SAD; he helped me enormously. He also takes a sliding scale fee. Even so, I had to sell some land I owned to pay for therapy, food, hotel, etc. But it was worth it.

    The moral is if you can't find someone you trust to help you, then keep looking. Don't just sit home alone. Lying horizontally on the couch watching TV all day and ignoring the door-bell, the telephone, and putting off buying groceries for yet another day is a terrible way to live.

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