Multiple reports have indicated that 11% of people diagnosed with OCD also have SAD.It is more common to see SAD as a secondary diagnosis of OCD than the other way around.You recognize that your anxiety level is excessive or out of proportion to the situation. And your anxiety or distress interferes with your life in important ways (going to school, dating, and work performance).Of note, shyness does not mean a definitive diagnosis for Social Anxiety Disorder and one must look to the degree of impairment to contribute to an accurate diagnosis of SAD.There must be some element of anxiety for the treatment to work.The process of ERP is very specific in that one does not jump from one exposure to the next without experiencing habituation within a treatment session and in between.
Essentially, SAD is a brain disorder that affects behavior. I find it helpful when my patients have a specific yet realistic goal to achieve (job interview, date, meeting with the boss, ordering food in a crowded restaurant and so on).
Many people experience anxiety at some point in their life as it relates to social situations.
However, some individuals are so distressed about engaging in social situations that it interferes with their daily life.
Furthermore, my patients engage in role-playing as a means of increasing social skills.
The goal is for the patient to remain in the feared situation until the anxiety decreases on its own, and that means no deep breathing or cognitive restructuring to decrease symptoms.