Talking to Your Doctor About Social Anxiety Disorder

You have your own health history. Talk with your doctor about your risk factors and background with social anxiety disorder (SAD). By talking openly and often with your doctor, you can make the best choices for you and your family.

General Tips for Gathering Information

Here are some tips to get your started:

  • Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is being said. They may also think of questions to ask.
  • Write out your questions ahead of time. This way you will not forget them.
  • Write down the answers you get. Make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask the doctor to make it clear if you do not understand.
  • Do not be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information. You have a right to know.

Specific Questions to Ask Your Doctor

About SAD

Talk to your doctor about your fears and worries. Point out if these worries are keeping you from work, school, or social events.

You may ask other questions such as:

  • Have you helped other people with this problem?
  • Can you refer me to a doctor or counselor who does?
  • What other health problems are linked to a higher risk of this disorder?
  • Does it run in families?

About Treatment Options

  • How is this treated?
  • What types of medicines might be best?
  • Are the medicines different for each type?
  • How long will it take for me to feel better?
  • What will the medicines do for me?
  • What are the side effects?
  • Will I need counseling?
  • Are there any alternative or complementary therapies?

About Counseling

Take the time to talk with different counselors. Find one you feel comfortable with. Ask about:

  • Their training and experience
  • How they approach treatment
  • How long it will last
  • How long sessions are
  • Health insurance to cover costs
  • Financial help

About Lifestyle Changes

  • What lifestyle changes can help me ease stress and anxiety? Ask about:
    • Diet
    • How to relax and lower stress
    • Exercise
    • Limiting alcohol or drug intake
  • How do I go about making these changes?

About Outlook

  • What are my chances of getting better?
  • Do I have to have treatment to get better?
  • What are the chances this can come back?
  • Am I at risk for other mental health conditions?


Social anxiety disorder. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. http://www.dynamed.... Updated September 21, 2018. Accessed February 26, 2019.
Tips for talking to your doctor. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: Updated January 19, 2018. Accessed February 26, 2019.
Last reviewed December 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrian Preda, MD
Last Updated: 2/26/2019

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