Other Treatments for Social Anxiety Disorder
The following treatment approaches are often effective for treating
The exposure process often involves three stages.
- The first stage involves introducing you to the feared situation.
- The second stage is to increase the risk for disapproval in that situation. This builds your confidence that you can handle rejection or criticism.
- The third stage involves learning techniques to cope with disapproval. In this stage, you imagine your worst fears and are encouraged to develop constructive responses to those fears.
Cognitive-behavior therapy for social anxiety disorder also includes anxiety management training—teaching you techniques such as deep breathing, relaxation exercises, or meditation to help control your level of anxiety. Another important aspect of treatment is called cognitive restructuring, which will help you to identify unrealistic thoughts and develop more realistic expectations about the likelihood of danger in social situations. The duration of this treatment varies from one to four months. Approximately 50% of the patients show symptomatic improvement.
Other Types of Therapy
You can also benefit from supportive therapy, such as
The idea behind this type of psychotherapy is that symptoms of social anxiety disorder may be the result of mental processes which the patient is not aware of. The psychiatrist or clinical psychologist could help the patient clarify these mental processes, thus relieving their symptoms. The duration of treatment is approximately 12 weeks.
Any program to relieve stress and anxiety (such as
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Social anxiety disorder (social phobia). Anxiety Disorders of America website. Available at: http://www.adaa.org/GettingHelp/AnxietyDisorders/SocialPhobia.asp . Updated October 2008. Accessed October 30, 2008.
Social phobia (social anxiety disorder). National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/anxiety-disorders/social-phobia-social-anxiety-disorder.shtml . Updated October 2008. Accessed October 30, 2008.
Last reviewed July 2008 by
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