What is the treatment of social phobia?

What is the treatment of social phobia?

We offer you ways to treat social phobia, which begins as a fear of social situations and discomfort, and is often severe in adolescents and some shy children, which makes them withdraw from any gatherings.

What is the treatment of social phobia?

Social phobia, now known as social anxiety disorder, is a type of anxiety disorder defined by intense fear or anxiety in social situations such as eating in the cafeteria, talking, using public bathrooms, or exercising in the gym. 

For many teens with social phobia, the potential distress is so enormous that they will try to avoid any situation outside their comfort zone.

 For others, their anxiety pushes them to the other extreme and causes them to overcompensate in social settings. Fortunately, social phobia can be largely controlled when its symptoms and coping skills are understood.

Social phobia can also appear in a variety of emotional and physical forms. Phobias look different for different people, but some of the most common symptoms are listed below.

 

Emotional signs and symptoms:

  • Excessive anxiety in everyday social situations.
  • Intense anxiety for days, weeks, or even months before a social situation.
  • Fear of being watched or judged by others.
  • Fear of self embarrassment.
  • Fear of others noticing that you are stressed or uncomfortable.

Physical signs and symptoms:

  • increased heart rate.
  • Facial flushing, sweating, or trembling.
  • breathing difficulties.
  • Difficulty making eye contact.
  • stomach upset or nausea;
  • Feeling dizzy or fainting.
  • Rigid body posture or speaking in a very low voice.

Behavioral signs and symptoms:

  • Avoid places where you might bump into other people.
  • Avoid social situations.
  • Stay calm to avoid being noticed or embarrassed.
  • Drinking alcohol or using other calming substances in social situations.

Social Phobia Treatment

Here are ways to deal with social phobia:

Know when to get help

Social anxiety disorder often goes untreated, but it doesn't have to be the case for you. A study found that the average age of people who first experienced social phobia was 15 years, but most people (80 percent) did not receive any treatment, and those who experienced it often wait 10 to 15 years before doing so. If you think you have a social phobia, be the one to break that mold and seek help from family, friends, or professionals.

Challenge negative thoughts

We are our worst critics, which makes it easy to get stuck in our heads. When we adopt negative thoughts such as "I'm so shy and have nothing to say" or "People might think I'm stupid or boring," we contribute to our fears and anxiety.

Instead, try to paraphrase these ideas. For example, you might think you acted shyly the last time you saw certain people, but you'll be prepared for a truth or story the next time you meet them. This gives you the opportunity to change the way you see yourself, as well as the way you feel that others see you.

Reduce the severity of situations that frighten you

Exposure is the process of confronting and eventually overcoming your fears. The idea behind situational exposure is that by starting with less fearful scenarios, you have time to build confidence to face situations that cause a lot of anxiety.

How it works? The high-level overview is: identify some of the social situations that frighten you, challenge yourself with easier or more difficult scenarios, and prioritize positive self-talk and relaxation techniques. And remember, dealing with anxiety is a lifelong process, so don't be too hard on yourself.

Explore Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Other Forms of Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is often used to manage phobias and other anxiety disorders. 

For those with social anxiety disorder, cognitive behavioral therapy can help them understand why and what their thought cycles are. 

Once a person becomes aware of inaccurate or negative thought patterns, they can see the situation with a clear head and respond accordingly.

Connect with Others

Take some time to think about the people you feel comfortable with. Have an honest conversation with them about what's bothering you. 

Communicating honestly with people you trust will help you build a support team that can be there for you during difficult social situations. 

Your support team can accompany you to new social settings and even help you practice what you say and how to act until you feel better prepared.

Join a support group

You are not alone if you suffer from social anxiety. Support groups provide a way to connect with others who have had similar experiences so you can share encouragement and feedback.

 Attending a support group in person can allow you to practice your behavior in awkward or unfamiliar social settings, but an online group may feel more appropriate for someone who is not comfortable with other people yet.

Lifestyle commitments

Physical health can improve mental and emotional health. Adopt healthy habits that include staying physically active, eating enough, staying hydrated and well-fed, and limiting or eliminating substances that can help trigger anxiety, such as alcohol, drugs, caffeine, and nicotine.

Diverting attention

The goal of shifting the focus is to allow patients to focus on how others respond to them, rather than images or impressions of how they think. 

Role playing, in which attention focus is manipulated to show the negative impact of attention and self-centered safety behaviors. 

The patient is asked to compare the degree and content of self-awareness and self-anxiety and whether the self is still in the observer's perspective.

What causes social phobia?

Researchers don't know exactly why some people develop social phobia (or any anxiety disorder really), but they have a few theories. 

They found that people are more likely to develop the condition if their parents or siblings have social phobia, but more research is needed to confirm whether this is mainly due to nature or nurture.

Shy, sensitive, and withdrawn children and teens may be more likely to develop social phobia, as well as those with a physical condition that may attract unwanted attention.

We also know that stressful events, such as bullying, abuse, and public shame, are common causes of social anxiety. And speaking of stress, stories in recent years suggest that the fear and anxiety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has caused more teens to suffer from social phobia.

Thus, we have identified the problem of social phobia, its causes and methods that help in treating social phobia.

 


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