Social anxiety disorder is a common mental illness resulting in the inability to feel comfortable or confident in social situations. This condition can interfere with anyone’s enjoyment of life and lead to devastating consequences, including personal relationships and job performance.
If you’re having difficulty with social anxiety, you may seek ways to overcome it using treatment options like cognitive behavioral therapy, medication, self-help techniques, or psychotherapy. This article will provide an overview of the treatments available so that you can make an informed decision about which social anxiety treatment best suits your needs and situation. You’ll also find out what research has shown about these treatments and whether they are safe and effective.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective first-line treatment for social anxiety disorder. This is because it treats the root of your symptoms rather than the symptoms themselves. CBT focuses on changing your thought patterns and how you perceive your anxiety and the world around you. It lets you know that everyone has some social anxiety (even if they don’t suffer from a full-blown disorder) and that it’s possible to overcome this discomfort. The goal of CBT is to learn coping strategies that can be practiced, so they become a habit, eventually making them less necessary over time.
The best results with CBT are achieved when you engage in the treatment process, so make sure you follow through with all the exercises and assignments.
SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), such as Paxil, can be a good option for some people with social anxiety disorder. They are generally effective in treating anxiety and depression symptoms, which frequently occur in social anxiety disorder. This medication may be helpful for those who have not responded well to cognitive behavioral therapy or group therapy (social skills training). Some research suggests that taking an SSRI and engaging in CBT leads to even better results than either one alone.