Social Phobia Treatments

Typically, human beings are innately social beings. We’ve probably heard of the saying “No man is an island” a million times before and it rings true. It is difficult for us not to interact and connect with other people no matter how small or insignificant the interaction is. However, for people suffering from social phobia, otherwise known as the social anxiety disorder, the thought of interacting with people, much less strangers, can be quite daunting. Social phobia treatment is utilized to help those who are suffering from the said disorder, especially those whose social, mental and emotional state have depleted because of it.

Imagine a woman who avoids job opportunities that require attending meetings or giving speeches to large groups of people. Imagine a man who skips purchasing groceries during rush hour because he feels he’s being stared at when he stands in line. Imagine the boy who does all things possible to avoid being called upon in class and standing in front of the blackboard. All of these people have one thing in common. They are afraid of being watched by other people mainly because they are scared of making a mistake or merely embarrassing themselves in public.

Social phobia consists of extreme fear and anxiety when faced with social situations. This triggers intense agony and can even disrupt the person’s abilities in various activities of daily life. The sensation of anxiety and restlessness is often accompanied with heart palpitations, trembling, sweating, stammer, nausea, blushing and even panic attacks. Initially, people who suffer from social phobia don’t approach experts just yet. They attempt to use their own brand of intervention to help deal with their feelings of distress including alcohol and drugs to decrease the symptoms. In fact, majority of them hardly has any idea that they’re already suffering from a disorder. If left diagnosed, the disorder may develop into more serious conditions such as clinical depression, substance abuse, alcoholism and eating disorders.

A few factors that may cause social phobia include genetics, cultural influences and traumatic experiences in social situations. Evolutionary theories, various substances and different psychological factors are also blamed for the emergence of social anxiety disorder. Fortunately, there is a broad scope of social phobia treatment that can help decrease the symptoms of the disorder and help the person live a prolific life.

Typically, the patient is advised to undergo psychotherapy such as the cognitive behavioral disorder therapy and the interpersonal therapy. These therapies aim to help the patient cope in social situations and provide various techniques to decrease anxiety such as deep breathing exercises and meditation. Meanwhile, pharmacologic treatment for social phobia includes the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor, which is commonly known as an antidepressant. It increases the serotonin levels in the body and has been proven to decrease suicidal risks in patients. Other drugs include the Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs), Reversible Inhibitors of Monoamine Oxidase subtype A (RIMAs) and the Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor (SNRI). It is important to note the possible side effects and complications of the drug and prepare for it.

Social phobia treatment plan can include both psychotherapy and pharmacological intervention for optimum results.

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