Social Anxiety Disorder Treatment Overview

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While there are many people who are introverts and therefore naturally shy away from the limelight in any social setting, social anxiety disorder or SAD as it is called at times, is more than just shyness or apprehension on meeting new people. Social anxiety disorder treatment takes into account the specific sudden and irrational fear that people have of social gatherings. Underlying the fear is generally a feeling of inadequacy that creates an irrational fear of being evaluated, assessed and critiqued.

The main trigger for social anxiety disorder to surface are events like meeting new people who are known to be influential, public speaking or performance of stage and being the bait of group criticism. Sometimes, in extreme cases, events like using the public bathroom, eating in public, making phone calls while someone is listening or attending parties can also cause social anxiety disorder to surface.

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Many people face fear when they know that the spotlight is likely to be on them. What differentiates social anxiety disorder from the natural feeling of discomfort or anxiousness is the fact that disorder is accompanied by symptoms of phobia. These are:

  • –        Worrying for days before a likely social situation
  • –        Self consciousness
  • –        Avoidance of social situation at all costs
  • –        Shaky voice, trembling and muscle tension
  • –        Quick heart beat, palpitations or chest pain
  • –        Excessive sweating and dry mouth
  • –        Dizziness, nausea and vomiting
  • –        Nervousness

Social Anxiety Disorder Treatment Overview

Like any anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder treatment involves psychotherapy and medication if required. Other forms of social anxiety disorder treatment include natural options like deep breathing, yoga, meditation and lifestyle changes. Suggestive techniques also work as a good social anxiety disorder treatment. Other than these some herbal remedies have also been known to be effective social anxiety disorder treatment.

Psychotherapy – This social anxiety disorder treatment helps in understanding how to control the various symptoms of social anxiety disorder. It is also a process in which the counsellor helps you understand that the phobia or fear is perceived and not real. Making the effort and actually facing social situations that threaten you is part of this social anxiety disorder treatment too. Sometimes this social anxiety disorder treatment is carried out in groups so that people can share their apprehensions about being in public and also get some exposure to their fear of talking in a group.

Conventional Medication

Conventional medication To be used only when necessary, this social anxiety disorder treatment involves the prescription of beta blockers, antidepressants and benzodiazepines. While beta blockers help in alleviating the physical symptoms of social phobia, antidepressants help by reducing the flow of adrenalin. Zoloft, Paxil and Effexor have been approved by the FDA as a social anxiety disorder treatment. Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOI’s) and Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI’s) are also sometimes used.

Herbal remedies

Herbal social anxiety disorder treatment comprises of herbs that have been known to relax nerves, balance brain chemicals and calm the mind. These can be administered in various ways like aromatherapy, massage and can even be consumed. St. John’s Wort can also be taken in the form of a pill. Other remedies include rhodiola rosea, winter cherry or Indian ginseng, chamomile, passion flower and valerian root.

Self suggestion

While this social anxiety disorder treatment sounds extremely easy, it does take a lot of effort to practice. The remedy necessitates that the patient suggest to himself or herself that the fear is perceived and not real. It is almost like chanting to yourself that you are not afraid and that it does not matter what the other people are talking about. Making such suggestions to yourself when you are otherwise feeling paranoid can be tough.

Other natural remedies

Meditation, deep breathing and yoga are techniques that help the body relax better. Coupled with herbal remedies and self suggestion, they can form the basis of a long term cure for this condition.

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