Social anxiety disorder or social phobia and depression should be treated as soon as you know you have it. Even social phobia on its own should be looked into as soon as possible.
This is because it could lead to other disorders or mental health problems such as panic attacks or agoraphobia. Going through social anxiety can be disturbing as you sometimes wish you could be 'like other people'. This may lead to depression.
Social Anxiety Can Lead To Severe Problems
Social phobia can start in childhood. Children may appear to be extremely 'shy'. As they grow older, they may tend to avoid social situations or end it with great difficulty.
Fear, embarrassment and humiliation are constantly in their mind. It is an incredibly uncomfortable feeling. It can lead to panic attacks. And if it did, especially in front of others, they may decide to avoid situations.
Things get worse as this can lead to agoraphobia which is very debilitating. All of this can cause not just them, but ANYONE, depression. This causes problems as far as relationships and employment is concerned.
It could also lead to alcohol or drug abuse.
Women experience depression twice as much. This could be a hormonal thing. Some research indicates that social phobia and depression may be caused by a part of the brain called the amygdala. The amygdala is thought to control our fear responses.
It is very important to deal with social anxiety quickly because of the possibility of low self-esteem and depression. This can cause a person to withdraw to the point of isolation, feel angry and brood.
Treatment And Changing Thoughts
Treatment is generally quite effective and the output is good. Most people can live normal lives. Cognitive behavioral therapy and medication work well.
Depending on how bad the situation is, a quick-acting but temporary medication may be prescribed to give some relief. This will give you some 'breathing space' so that CBT or a slower-acting but longer term medication has a chance to start working.
Patients can also learn how their thoughts, especially before, had no factual basis. Changing thoughts is an important part of therapy, as is exposure therapy.
This will not be fun. But take things slowly. You will be exposed to anxiety-provoking situations and will slowly learn to overcome them. It's your journey to recovery.
Believe how strong this has ironically made you. Your determination will make you succeed.