It can be difficult to manage the everyday aspects of being a student, such as making new friends and attending classes in case you are struggling with social anxiety disorder in school. Students’ use of on-campus mental health services increased between 2004 and 2007 with 13% of students accessing these services – that is shown in a 2007 study by the Anxiety Disorders Association of America. Chances are good that other students feel the same way that you do. It may be hard to understand that your symptoms are a diagnosable illness that can be treated in case you have lived with the symptoms of SAD for several years. A good place to start is to read about the symptoms of SAD and criteria for diagnosis whether you have not already been diagnosed. From approaching professors to making new friends and initiating romantic relationships, much of campus life is social. All aspects of your college experience may be affected in case your SAD is left untreated. You may find it hard to participate in class, ask questions, get help with homework, join study groups, give presentations, and approach professors.

Help for social anxiety in school

You may be less likely to participate in clubs and sports, to initiate friendships or romantic relationships, and to stand up for yourself in difficult situations. In case alcohol is used as a coping strategy, students with severe SAD are at increased risk for developing problem drinking. SAD is a highly treatable disorder with medication and/or therapy.  You may have access to an on-campus mental health center as a student. These often will be staffed with therapists, psychologists, or student interns, and will offer a variety of services such as individual and group therapy. Therapy is usually short term and may be free or available for a fee. Look for a medical center either on campus or in the community and ask for a referral to a mental health professional in case your college or university does not have a mental health center. As part of ongoing research studies, another alternative is to investigate whether the psychology or psychiatry department at your school offers counseling or medication. These types of studies are often posted on the departments' websites. Participation is generally anonymous and they will assess your symptoms to ensure that the treatment are appropriate for your situation. Consider talking to someone that you know well who has experience with mental illness, such as your family doctor or a religious counselor in case you’re nervous about asking for help.  Check the yellow pages under the sections “Mental Health,” “Health” and “Social Services in case you do not have a family doctor. A number of different kinds of professionals may offer treatment for SAD including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and mental health counselors.  They may offer private or sliding-scale counseling in case you live near a school. They may also have ongoing research projects that offer medication or psychotherapy in exchange for participating in a research study.