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Rife with opportunities for awkward conversations and infinite unknown factors — – dating often is seen as overwhelmingly scary and decidedly unappealing.
This type of anxiety and shyness leads to avoidance of meeting new people, as well as a sense of isolation and hopelessness about the prospect of finding a suitable partner.
The DSM-5 defines social anxiety as the “persistent fear of one or more situations in which the person is exposed to possible scrutiny by others and fears that he or she may do something or act in a way that will be humiliating or embarrassing.” Those who are shy, if not socially anxious, tend to experience social situations in a more reserved, tense and uncomfortable manner, especially when meeting new people.
Four separate meta-analyses have shown Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to be effective in treating SAD.
In 2007, researchers Kristy Dalrymple from Brown Medical School and James Herbert at Drexel University conducted a small pilot study on an updated approach to social anxiety.
Noting that CBT was effective for social anxiety in some clients but not others, or didn’t fully alleviate symptoms, they sought to explore further treatment options in the form of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
And anxiety left untreated often leads to developing comorbid disorders, such as depression.
People may assume it’s normal to feel the type of anxiety they experience, or believe the anxiety is something that can’t be treated.