Social Phobia Treatment
Social phobia treatment options are generally limited to psychotherapy and medications, these being the most common and effective alternatives used in social anxiety disorder treatment plans. Applied alone or combined in complex schemes of treatment for anxiety, the two solutions refer to completely different approaches to social anxiety treatment, but they are both proven to bring good results when it comes to improving the symptoms of social phobia and changing the way patients affected by this ailment think and act.
Cognitive-Behavioral Social Phobia Treatment
The most common type of psychological counseling used in people with social anxiety, cognitive-behavioral therapy aims to change the negative thoughts that patients have about themselves and to help them face the situations, problems and people they fear most. Exposure therapy, neuro-linguistic programming techniques and relaxation methods are also used in treating patients with social phobia.
The key principle on which these social anxiety treatment methods are based on says that even if your life is filled with rejections and unfavorable situations, it is not these unpredictable events that put everything into a negative light but your own behavior and mentality. Therefore, by changing the way you see things and the way you relate to people and situations in your life, you can develop the much needed confidence that will help you cope with anxiety-inducing events better.
Being given that the exposure to the situations you fear is gradual, you receive all the support for developing social skills and improving your stress management techniques. At the end of the cognitive-behavioral social anxiety disorder treatment period you should be able to correct behavioral responses to unfavorable events by yourself, to identify the factors that trigger anxious reactions and to turn negative attitudes into positive ones.
So the main goals of social anxiety disorder treatment plans are:
- Identifying the anxiety-inducing factors
- Establishing the most appropriate reaction
- Analyzing and understanding the wrong assumptions
- Adopting a positive thinking and behavior
Although the techniques used in these treatment schemes – cognitive-behavioral therapy, exposure therapy, relaxation techniques and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) treatments –won’t bring results overnight, they will definitely help you learn to accept yourself and build the needed confidence for overcoming anxiety.
Medications Used in Social Anxiety Treatment Plans
Among the several types of medications used for treating social phobia, SSRIs (serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are the most common ones. This class of medicines is only available by prescription and includes Paroxetine, Fluoxetine, Sertraline, Fluvoxamine and other similar products that slow down the re-absorption of serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in regulating mood and anxiety.
SNRIs (serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors), especially Venlafaxine, are also a solution for patients with social phobia as they increase the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain, these two neurotransmitters playing an important role in enhancing the mood.
Then, benzodiazepines – considered anti-anxiety medications – are also prescribed to people dealing with social anxiety, but only for short term treatments because they are addictive and sedating. Beta blockers, although not recommended as a long term social anxiety disorder treatment, can be used before stressful events such as a public speech for example. However, when administered for long periods they can lead to a reduced heart rate, hypotension, shakiness and pounding of the heart.
The initial doses of medications prescribed for this ailment are generally lower and they increase gradually, so it can take up to three months until the first improvements of medicines-based social phobia treatment plans become noticeable.
Articles related to social anxiety disorder treatment: