web analytics
November 24, 2014 / 2 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Socially Phobic Extroverts: The Valedictorian No One Saw Alone


Many children with severe social phobia are never identified because they masquerade as extroverts. They “have to” be the center of attention, but suffer tremendously internally. Often of above average intelligence, they overcompensate by cleverly controlling situations to mask insecurities. They are frequently among the most popular kids and highest achievers who “no one would ever know” suffers painfully with extreme feelings of embarrassment and isolation. They fall under the radar of teachers and parents, who assume popularity and a smile equals confidence.

These are red flags: Is the child NEVER alone in public? Does she have many friends in school and many extracurricular activities, but never invite a friend home. Does NO ONE dislike him? Does he have so much to say that he can’t tolerate a pause? Does she never get angry or sad? Does she do most of group projects and avoid delegating? Does he resist doing a solo task in class (hand out supplies, run in-school errands)? Can he tolerate being wrong? Is he the class clown? Is she NEVER with unpopular classmates? Or, is she ALWAYS helping less social classmates.

Exposure therapy, a special type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, is the only therapy endorsed by national anxiety disorder organizations for social anxiety. Exposure therapy enables sufferers to very gradually overcome their fears and let go of their avoidant and overcompensating behaviors at a pace with which they feel comfortable, so they are never overwhelmed. Results are achieved in a matter of months not years. Exposure therapy is more effective than medication, therapy and medication combined, or any other kind of therapy. Medication provides only temporary or partial relief and has side effects; symptoms just come back when you end the medication. Exposure therapy provides permanent relief, essentially eliminating excessive social anxiety forever.

Nevertheless, medication can be very beneficial if someone is in a crisis, such as possible school expulsion, job loss, or marital conflict, or if they are too overwhelmed to do the work of therapy. However, medication is used temporarily, and the therapist should work toward the goal of reducing or eliminating dependence on it. Clients should stay on medication until therapy is complete and then gradually reduce and eliminate it while continuing therapy for another several weeks or months to eliminate the residual symptoms that medication masked.

There are many medications used for social anxiety. The most popular are Paxil, Zoloft,Celexa, and Prozac, as well as short acting medications like Xanax and Clonipan, which are used only as needed. (This is not an exhaustive list.)

When considering a therapist, there are two “test” questions you must ask them before you make an appointment: (1) Is exposure therapy the main technique they use? If they don’t, forget about using them. And (2) How many people have they SUCCESSFULLY treated FOR SOCIAL ANXIETY? In major metropolitan areas, there should be no difficulty finding a specialist who has treated a few dozen clients with the same condition, the people should not longer have excessive anxiety, avoidant or overcompensating behaviors, and should not be taking medication any more, if they ever did. They should NOT say they just helped people “live with” or “manage” their anxiety better.

In light of many “unexplained” teen tragedies, schools need to cast a wider glance over the entire classroom and not settle for appearances. The good news is social phobia is extremely treatable, but only if it identified.

About the Author: Dr. Steven Brodsky is an Orthodox psychologist and therapist, recommended by major Orthodox referral agencies, and clinical director of the OCD and Panic Center of NY and NJ.  He has appeared on NBC Nightly News, TheTODAY Show, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Jewish Press, and other news and discussion media. For more information or to schedule a speaking event, visit Dr.Brodsky's web site,www.OCDhotline.com or call 212-726-2390.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Socially Phobic Extroverts: The Valedictorian No One Saw Alone”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
France Jew in a French synagogue talks about rising anti-Semitism.
Israel to Ease Absorption, Employment for Immigrants from France
Latest Sections Stories
Kupfer-112114

Divorce from a vindictive, cruel spouse can be a lifelong nightmare when there are offspring.

Astaire-112114-Horse

There were many French Jews who jumped at the chance to shed their ancient identity and assimilate.

L to R: Sheldon Adelson, Shawn Evenhaim, Haim Saban

As Rabbi Shemtov stood on the stage and looked out at the attendees, he told them that “Rather than take photos with your cellphones, take a mental photo and keep this Shabbat in your mind and take it with you throughout your life.”

South-Florida-logo

Yeshiva v’Kollel Bais Moshe Chaim will be holding a grand celebration on the occasion of the institution’s 40th anniversary on Sunday evening, December 7. Alumni, students, friends and faculty of the yeshiva, also known as Talmudic University of Florida, will celebrate the achievement and vision of its founders and the spiritual guidance of its educational […]

The yeshiva night accommodates all levels of Jewish education.

Recently, Fort Lauderdale has been the focus of international news, and it has not been about the wonderful weather.

Rabbi Sacks held the position of chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth for 22 years until September 2013.

The event included a dvar Torah by student Pesach Bixon, an overview of courses, information about student life and a student panel that answered frequently asked questions from a student perspective.

It is difficult to write about such a holy person, for I fear I will not accurately portray his greatness…

“Grandpa,” I wondered, as the swing began to slow down, “why are there numbers on your arm?”

So the real question is, “How can we, as hosts, make sure our guest beds are comfortable?” Because your guests will never say anything.

It was a land of opportunity, a place where someone who wasn’t afraid of a little hard work, or the challenges of adapting to a different climate and culture, could prosper.

Rule #1: A wife should never accompany her husband to hang out with his buddies at a fantasy football draft. Unless beer and cigars are her thing, that is.

There are many people today with very little training who put out shingles and proclaim themselves to be marital coaches, shalom bayis helpers, advisers etc.

The two World Series combatants, the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants, were Wild Card teams (meaning they didn’t win their respective divisions) that got hot at the right time.

More Articles from Dr. Steven Brodsky

Many children with severe social phobia are never identified because they masquerade as extroverts. They “have to” be the center of attention, but suffer tremendously internally. Often of above average intelligence, they overcompensate by cleverly controlling situations to mask insecurities.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/health/socially-phobic-extroverts/2013/05/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: