You’ll find practical treatment goals for social anxiety that are based on the latest research. Read about what type of treatment might be best for your specific needs.
The main goal of treatment is to help the person feel more comfortable in social situations.
There are several types of treatment available to people with SAD. The most effective approach usually combines medication and therapy.
According to the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Medical Center, Gottingen, Germany, “social anxiety” is the fear of being watched, judged, and evaluated negatively in social situations.
It can be caused by a specific event or situation, like speaking in public, or it can be a more general feeling of anxiety in social settings. People with social anxiety may worry about embarrassment, humiliation, or rejection.
They may also avoid social interaction altogether. While it is natural to feel anxious in some social situations, people with social anxiety experience intense and persistent anxiety that interferes with their daily lives. The exact cause of social anxiety is unknown, but it is thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Growing up in a family with other members who have anxiety disorders or depression may increase the risk. Social anxiety can also be caused by bad things that happened to you as a child, like being bullied or teased. If you think you might have social anxiety, talk to your doctor.
Psychology Today says that people with a social anxiety disorder (SAD) have a lot of fear or anxiety in social situations, especially ones where they might meet new people or be watched by others.
They may worry about being judged or evaluated badly, or they may just feel very self-conscious in social situations. Because of this, they might not go to any social events at all, or they might go but feel very uncomfortable.
The severity of SAD symptoms can vary, but they usually include one or more of the following:
- Feeling very anxious about social situations
- Feeling nauseous, dizzy, or lightheaded in social situations
- Avoiding social situations
- Sweating, trembling, or blushing in social situations
- And having a racing heart or trouble catching one’s breath in social situations.
If you experience any of these symptoms regularly, you may be suffering from SAD. There are, luckily, treatments that can help you deal with your symptoms and have a more active and fun social life.
Seek Professional Help to Get Started on Your Road to Recovery
Seeking professional help is a great way to start your road to recovery from a social anxiety disorder. Social anxiety disorder can make it hard to get along with other people and live a normal life. However, with the help of a therapist or counselor, you can learn how to cope with your anxiety and eventually overcome it.
Therapy can provide you with the tools you need to manage your anxiety, while also helping you to understand and change the thoughts and behaviors that contribute to your condition.
In addition, therapy can help you build self-confidence and learn new skills for dealing with social situations. If you are having trouble with social anxiety disorder, get professional help right away to start getting better.
According to the Mayo Clinic, an antidepressant called an SSRI, which stands for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, is commonly prescribed for people with SAD. SSRI antidepressants help to increase levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain, which plays key roles in mood and anxiety.
Other types of medication that may be used to treat SAD include benzodiazepines, which can help reduce anxiety in the short term; and beta-blockers, which can help reduce physical symptoms of anxiety, such as trembling and sweating.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most effective type of psychotherapy for SAD. CBT focuses on changing the negative thoughts and beliefs about oneself that lead to anxiety and avoidance. CBT also helps people learn skills to cope with anxiety-provoking situations.
Exposure therapy, which is a type of CBT, may also be used. In exposure therapy, the person is slowly put in the situation they fear while feeling calm and at ease. The goal is to help the person learn that the feared situation is not dangerous and that they can cope with the anxiety it causes.
If you have social anxiety disorder, there are treatment options available that can help you feel more comfortable in social situations. Medication and cognitive behavioral therapy are usually effective treatments for SAD. If you are considering treatment for SAD, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional about your options.