Anxiety about dating again
Both hoped that having at least one positive experience would help them undo or reduce the anticipatory anxiety.
They hoped to lessen the dread of something that other people would find entertaining, enjoyable and natural: dating.
*David, at 35 years old, described his experience with women differently.
He would spot an interesting woman in the room, but also potential other men contenders.
Both patients have tried therapy, and despite learning and practicing the necessary ‘social skills’ in the therapy sessions, when they were faced with the real situations, the same physiological response was triggered.
They were referred for evaluation for possible medication treatments, and they looked to that as the last resort.
Last week, back-to-back, I saw two male patients discussing the same concerns: how damaging the social anxiety can be in the dating arena.
Of course, this makes sense; someone with social anxiety may have difficulty in his dating life.
Anxiety comes in many different variations and affects up to 18 percent of the entire United States population, making it the most common mental disorder according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.However, the issue appeared so much more complex when I actually heard the pain and struggle through personal stories.Social anxiety, or social phobia, is defined in DSM V(The diagnostic manual mental health professionals use to make diagnoses) as a marked fear or anxiety about one or more social situations in which the individual is exposed to possible scrutiny by others.Once the event passed he was able to have a rational understanding of what went on and to try to prepare for the next encounter when, without failing, the chain of reaction would happen again.That left him feeling completely inadequate and hopeless about the whole dating scene.