Many people are crippled with fear and anxiety when facing everyday situations such as meeting new people or having to do a task in front of others at work. These are symptoms of social anxiety disorder; but there are social anxiety treatments that have been proven effective.
The most well know social anxiety treatment is called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This treatment is based on the principal that your own thoughts, not someone else's thoughts, determine how you behave and react to situations. You can change the way you behave in an uncomfortable situation - such as giving a presentation at work or school.
An analyst helps you to identify the negative thoughts that pop into your head when you are confronted with an uncomfortable situation. If you think to yourself that “I'm going to make a fool of myself” the analyst helps you to discover more positive ways of dealing with these circumstances, which will help with reducing anxiety.
In exposure therapy for social anxiety a therapist gradually and repeatedly has you confront the situations you fear. If you experience anxiety attacks at large gatherings then your therapist may ask you to imagine that you are at a large social function. You will then learn relaxation techniques to quell your anxiety problems. Once the fear begins to subside you can then go to a social function or party and apply these techniques.
There are three main types social anxiety treatments via prescribed medications - antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and beta blockers.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) family of antidepressants is considered to be the most effective for severe social anxiety disorder. Paxil, Effexor, Prozac and Zoloft are popular SSRI antidepressants.
The benzodiazepines include Valium, Xanax, and Ativan - but these medications can be addictive.
Inderal is a beta blocker and it works by restricting the flow of adrenaline that often occurs during a stressful event.
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