Symptoms of social phobia / Treatment of social phobia
Almost everyone feels nervous before a big presentation or before a job interview, social phobia or social anxiety disorder is when the nervous feelings are so intense that you end up avoiding a situation just so you won’t have to feel anxious.
People with social phobia have an intensive fear of being on show and are nervous about how other people see them. They may avoid social situations and will get extremely anxious just thinking about them. Their underlying fear is of being judged by others or embarrassing themselves and they feel that others won’t accept them or will think badly of them.
Common situations that cause intense anxiety for people with social phobia:
Talking to people they don’t know
Going to parties
Talking to “important” people or people in authority
Being the centre of attention
Eating or drinking in public
Making phone calls
Being watched while doing something
Adapted from helpguide.org
Social phobia or social anxiety disorder is more than just feeling shy now and again, which is normal, it’s when your anxiety of social situations is so intense that it impacts on your life and has you avoiding those situations regularly.
The good news is help is readily available for the treatment of social phobia. Select Counsellors can help you find a counsellor who is the best fit for you
Treatment for social phobia or social anxiety disorder
Therapy is widely considered the most effective treatment for social phobia and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is one type of therapy commonly used. CBT is based on psychological principles that suggest changing a way a person thinks will result in change for that person at an emotional and behavioural level. CBT focuses on three aspects of treatment for social phobia:
Exposure which involves being exposed to the social situation you are anxious about in a gradual, step by step way without avoiding it.
Challenge your negative thoughts about social situations and learning to be more positive and realistic in the way you view them.
Managing the physical symptoms using relaxation and breathing techniques.
Medication for social phobia or social anxiety disorder
Medication is sometimes used for social phobia in conjunction with therapy. Medication alone does not cure social phobia as it doesn’t get to the cause of the issues.
Some medications that are used are:
Antidepressants are sometimes used when social phobia is severe.
Beta blockers are used for reducing performance anxiety and work by reducing the flow of adrenalin. They help to reduce the physical symptoms such as trembling hands, rapid heartbeat but not the emotional symptoms of social phobia.
Benzodiazepines are generally only used for severe, paralyzing bouts of anxiety. They are quick acting usually within 30 minutes and provide rapid relief however there are some drawbacks such as physical and psychological dependence and therefore are not used commonly.
Adapted from helpguide.org
Recovery from social phobia
It’s good to know that recovery from social phobia is possible with the right treatment. Therapy is widely considered the most effective treatment for social phobia.
Did you realise research has shown that the relationship between you and your counsellor is one of the most important elements for a successful outcome? How do you know if the counsellor you find will be the best fit for you?
Select Counsellors provides a unique client counsellor matching service to ensure you see the right counsellor for you, first time. We have a pool of highly trained Sydney based counsellors, psychologists, psychotherapists and psychiatrists and will match you with the right therapist based on important information collected in a personalised assessment about you and your needs. At Select Counsellors our key priority is Finding you the One. To book an assessment click here or call on 1300 123 680 to speak in person with a Select Counsellor.
Click on the links below to find out more information on anxiety:
The Helpful Guide