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SGB Injection for Social Anxiety

Treating Social Anxiety Disorder with the SGB

Everyone gets nervous or anxious in social situations sometimes. Even if we are confident people, there will be some moments when everything feels stressful, and whatever it is you need to do feels like a chore. However, you will then do what needs to be done, and it will be over – you will think no more of it.

For those with social anxiety disorder, things are different. This is not the same as getting nervous about a job interview, or not wanting to attend a party, or being anxious about giving a presentation. Social anxiety disorder occurs when the stress of these and many other social situations is just too much and cannot be handled. Small talk, eye contact, even just being in a room with others, let alone having them take notice of you, is so uncomfortable that it cannot be borne.

When this is the case, it soon transpires that every part of your life will suffer, not just the social side of things. As the anxiety gets worse, it becomes impossible to go to work, to see friends, even to step outside your own front door. It is incredibly debilitating.

Social anxiety is a relatively common mental disorder, and this means that there are various proven ways to tackle it positively. The hardest part is the first step: asking for help. Once this is done, there is plenty of help on offer.

What Social Anxiety Affects

As mentioned above, social anxiety disorder is much more than being uncomfortable in social and public situations. It can affect:

  • The ability to talk to strangers (even those you need to speak with such as shop workers or authority figures)
  • Speaking in public
  • Going on dates and having relationships
  • Being able to make eye contact
  • Entering a room (whether or not you know who or what is on the other side)
  • Entering public bathrooms
  • Attending parties
  • Having conversations (especially starting conversations)
  • Going to work
  • Going to school
  • Eating in front of others

Social anxiety, in its most basic form, is the fear of making a mistake and being judged in public. You don’t want to be humiliated and embarrassed. You might also be afraid of accidentally offending someone else, and you would never want to be the center of attention.

The advent of social media, where all of these things can easily happen, is one of the reasons why social anxiety is found at such a high level, particularly among younger generations.

Social Anxiety Disorder Symptoms

Although the experience of social anxiety is, as with all mental disorders, unique to the individual suffering from it, there are some physical symptoms that are often associated with social anxiety including:

  • Panic attacks
  •  Sweating
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Raised blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle tension
  • Headaches
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness

For some people, these symptoms occur before an event or social situation and worsen as the time gets closer for it to start. Others find that the social event is not an issue, but that afterward, they experience some or all of these symptoms because they constantly replay the event in their minds and worry that they did or said something wrong. 

Social Anxiety Treatment

Although treatment for social anxiety can be lengthy, there is a new PTSD anxiety treatment that has been found to neutralize the ‘fight or flight’ response and reduce many of the common symptoms of anxiety. This is known as the stellate ganglion block for anxiety.

The stellate ganglion block (SGB) was originally used to help those suffering from chronic pain syndrome almost a century ago. However, its ability for treating PTSD symptoms was accidentally discovered. Many people with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) also suffer from anxiety. 

Many people with social anxiety disorder may be able to benefit from the SGB injection. Similar to PTSD, anxiety is triggered and regulated by the sympathetic nervous system. For those with post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety, the sympathetic nervous system is on overdrive.

The SGB works in treating social anxiety disorder by injecting local anesthetic into the region of the stellate ganglion. The stellate ganglion is a group of nerves that are constantly sending signals to the sympathetic nervous system and turning it on. Once the SGB is administered, the brain will receive much less signals. Therefore, the brain will turn off the sympathetic nervous system so that the individual can feel “normal” again.

The SGB procedure is quick and provides long-lasting results with minor side effects. If you have social anxiety disorder, the SGB injection may be a good treatment option for you. Give us a call today to learn more.

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