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In diagnosing social anxiety disorder there are a few routes to take.
Before I get into those, let’s first determine what a social anxiety disorder (also called social phobia) is.
When you have a social anxiety disorder you have and extreme, persistent and disabling fear of social situations. You will try to avoid as many of them as you possibly can. And when you find yourself in a social situation you experience an intense fear of negative judgment, becoming embarrassed and getting rejected.
Now when you only fear specific social situations, such as for example public speaking, you will be diagnosed as having a specific social phobia.
When you fear most social situations however, you will probably be diagnosed as having a generalized social phobia.
If you want to quickly find out whether you have a social phobia or not you can take the simple social anxiety test designed by recognized psychologist Michael Liebowitz.
In this test you will answer a list of questions regarding your anxiety level and avoidance level in certain social situations. Once you’ve finished the questionnaire you immediately get an answer as to how intense your social anxiety disorder is.
Now when you think you have a social anxiety disorder, the best thing you can do is to go see your doctor or mental health professional.
When you arrive the doctor will ask you to describe what you are feeling and experiencing, and how often you feel like that and in what social situations.
Then before diagnosing social anxiety disorder, your mental health professional will first rule out possible alternative causes of symptoms. Think about drug or medication use, or a medical condition.
After that there might possibility be a physical exam. This to rule out the possibility that something physical is causing your social anxiety disorder symptoms.
Then after the doctor has made sure that there are no physical or medical causes to your symptoms, your health care professional will use an official handbook called “The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders“.
In this handbook he or she will go over a list of criteria to determine if you suffer from a social anxiety disorder. And if so, how severe it might be.
Some of the criteria are:
In diagnosing social anxiety disorder it is the intensity of the fear and the volume of avoidance that determine how “strong” your social phobia is.
If it dramatically impacts your school/work life and your relationships, or if you have a constant worry about your condition, there is a good chance you will be diagnosed with social anxiety disorder.
Now if you get the diagnose of generalized social phobia, the doctor might subscribe you social anxiety medication, and/or some form of therapy. Or maybe both.
My advice is to thoroughly investigate all the options there are. Go online and check out all the resources. There are some good ones and some not so good ones, so investigate as much as you can. Once you are done, you might want to discuss these with your mental health care professional.
And if you are ready to completely overcome your social anxiety NOW, getting coached from the comfort of your own home and the ease of sitting behind your PC, my Skype Coaching Packages where we use the power of EFT is what you are looking for to achieve social confidence in ALL social situations.