Think back to the last social function that you attended -- be it an office Christmas party, a family gathering, or a night out on the town with good friends. Did you drink alcohol? If you did consume alcohol –- what was the reason? This may seem like an innocuous question, but for people with social anxiety disorder (SAD), consistent use of alcohol to cope with anxiety in social situations can develop into a lifetime battle with alcoholism.
To make matters worse, if you have been diagnosed with SAD and also suffer with alcoholism, traditional treatments for both disorders may not be effective. Think about the common methods of treating alcoholism -- such practices as group therapy and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Put someone with untreated SAD in one of these situations and watch how fast they run for cover. People with both SAD and alcoholism need special attention and treatment that is tailored to their unique needs.
This brings me to the question -- do you use alcohol to cope with social anxiety?