Psychiatry & Psychology--General/Social Anxiety

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After high school my social Anxiety continued to grow. Now I'm 25 and it is now severe. I've learned to manage it myself pretty well, i believe I'm much better at hiding when I'm forced into social situations at work or the store, but my nervous energy is still very bad and is affecting my job. I'm in the medical profession and are forced to speak to many different people face to face. I'm so nervous when i try to explain medical procedures, test, medications ect. I stumble my words, forget obvious things, and feel like i look and sound incompetent. I have a hard time telling clients apart because i only i never actually look at anyone in the face although it appears that i do. I don't have friends anymore. I don't really want to spend time with others. Sometimes my lack of relationships upsets m e but that's only occasionally.
Overall, without medication,i think I've learned to cope pretty well on my own. But, I've been thinking that although on the outside I'm ok on the inside I'm always freaking out. I can't go to the store by myself unless forced to or even walk it my car if the neighbors are outside.

My main question is should i expect to always have some degree of nervousness ( more than normal) even with professional treatment? I'm hesitant to seek it unless my behavior is truly unhealthy. I recently obtained a new position at a great facility but my nerves is making me feel that my work performance still isn't normal even after almost 3 months. I cannot explain to people that i have severe social anxiety. Thank you.

Answer
You are in the medical field.  You must realize you have a disease, anxiety.  OK, you have been able to control it without medications, which is admirable, but is not working.  You do not sound happy, only functional.  Maybe you should seek professional care, at least counseling to reinforce or teach you new behavioral techniques.  Medication would almost certainly help significantly, and you might then actually be happy, rather than just functional.  

Psychiatry & Psychology--General

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Daniel S. Harrop, M.D.

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Dr. Daniel S. Harrop received his B.A. and his M.D., both from Brown, and his M.B.A. from the Edinburgh Business School, Scotland. Board-certified in adult and geriatric psychiatry, he is a past president of the R.I. Psychiatric Society and a member of the Committee on Medical Quality of the American Psychiatric Association and the Committee on Continuing Medical Education of the R.I Medical Society. He serves as a consultant to four of the top five major medical management companies, including OptumHealth/United Healthcare, Magellan Behavioral Health Services, ValueOptions and APS Healthcare, and maintains a private practice in Providence, R.I. He also serves as chief psychiatric consultant on the Medical Advisory Board at the R.I. Workers Compensation Court. He was formerly on the faculty at the medical schools at both Brown University and Harvard University.

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