I have big problems with anxiety.

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Hello. I have been having problems with anxiety.I went to my family Dr.and he said I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder and put me on Lexapro. The medicine helps somewhat but I think I have more problems then just anxiety. I have alot of other problems I failed to mention to him because I was too embarrassed. I am shy,timid,embarrass easily,afraid of humiliation and rejection,very sensitive,I hate talking to people,afraid of intimacy,don’t like being touched,hate crowds,paranoid of being watched by people,spend most of my time in fantasy,very seldom leave my house,I have a hard time concentrating and i’m much more comfortable being alone than with my wife and son.I love my wife and son but my anxiety gets to a point where I have to get away and be alone.I also have no friends.Do you think all this is caused by anxiety or is it something else also? Thank you.

A: What you are describing is consistent with social phobia, which is one of the anxiety disorders. People with social phobia are highly anxious and avoid situations where they might feel embarrassed. That’s why it even makes a kind of sense that you didn’t give your doctor the information he needs to help you and why you wrote to an anonymous therapist like me instead.

The best treatment for social phobia is a combination of medication and talk therapy. Unfortunately, a person like yourself often has great difficulty going to see a therapist because doing so triggers the social phobia. Untreated, the person gets more and more isolated and less and less able to manage interacting with others. In extreme cases, this can lead to failure in employment, marriage, and family life. I therefore urge you to do whatever you need to do to pull together all the courage you can manage to muster and give therapy a chance. When you make that initial phone call, explain to the therapist that you have anxiety and probably social phobia so it is hard for you to be even on the phone with her or him. That will prompt the therapist to be especially sensitive to your stress.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 19 Feb 2008

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2008). I have big problems with anxiety.. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 17, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/02/19/i-have-big-problems-with-anxiety/