Social Anxiety Treatment
Social Anxiety Treatment
Learn about available social anxiety treatments and how they can help you or a loved one overcome anxiety.
Table of Contents
What Is Social Anxiety?
Social anxiety, also known as social phobia, is a disorder that induces an intense fear of socializing and any engagement with other people.1
When Does Social Anxiety Happen?
Typically, social anxiety occurs in everyday social situations that involve communication and interaction with other people. Certain things can trigger a person’s anxiety, or they can be triggered by the routines and relationships of their daily life.
Impact of Social Anxiety on One’s Life
Social anxiety can have a significant negative impact on one’s life. A person experiencing social anxiety may notice damage to their relationships, career life, self-care, and mental health.
Signs of Social Anxiety Disorder
Several signs are found in people experiencing social anxiety disorder. Here are some symptoms to look out for when seeking a diagnosis:
Trembling or Shaking
Trembling or shaking is a common sign of social anxiety disorder. Anxiety can send the body into fight or flight, triggering a stressed bodily response that results in trembling.
Difficulty speaking can often signify social anxiety disorder. This happens because a person experiencing social anxiety is fearful of how their words will be perceived when speaking to others. The fear of embarrassment makes it difficult to speak.
Dizziness or Light-headedness
A spell of dizziness or light-headedness is a symptom of an anxiety attack or social anxiety disorder. This takes place due to a sudden change in blood pressure that occurs during an anxiety attack or panic response.
Rapid Heart Rate
Rapid heart rate can be used to identify a social anxiety attack. The body goes into a panic when anxious, releasing excess adrenaline and increasing the heart rate.
Avoiding Social Situations
If a person frequently avoids social situations, they will likely experience social anxiety disorder. The fear of socializing that can arise with social anxiety can drive a person to avoid social situations altogether.
How Anxiety Affects You
Anxiety can affect you in a wide variety of ways. Here are some adverse effects that can take place if you are experiencing an untreated anxiety disorder.
A person experiencing anxiety may feel restless for long periods. These feelings of restlessness can last for days if the anxiety disorder is left untreated.
Being Easily Fatigued
Being easily fatigued is a common negative side effect of anxiety disorder. This happens because the body is worn out from constantly being in an anxious state of fight or flight, leading to overall exhaustion and fatigue.
When suffering from anxiety, it’s usual to have trouble concentrating on everyday tasks. Anxiety can put a person into a panicked or worried state, making it challenging to keep their mind focused on tasks, conversations, work, and other daily responsibilities.
Irritability can occur within people suffering from untreated anxiety. This sign of social anxiety can create conflicts within a person’s social life if the person does not address the anxiety disorder they are dealing with.
How to Deal with Anxiety
There are several healthy ways a person can choose to deal with their anxiety. Here are some steps a person can take to improve their mental health:
Accept Things Out of Your Control
Accepting things out of your control can help control the way you react to problems and obstacles that can arise in life. There is no way to control every outcome in life and accepting this can help alleviate anxious feelings.
Learn Your Triggers
Learning what triggers your anxiety can help you find ways to avoid these triggers. If the triggers cannot be avoided, you can learn ways to emotionally endure these scenarios without experiencing an anxiety attack.
Get Enough Sleep
Making sure that you get enough sleep can help decrease the severity of your anxiety symptoms. Lack of sleep can cause increased anxiety, stress, and irritability.
Seek Out Support Groups
Seeking out support groups is an excellent way to manage anxiety disorder. Attending these support groups can help you connect with people facing similar struggles and learn anxiety management tips.
Talk to Someone
Talking to someone about your mental health struggles can help you process your anxiety disorder. This is a great way to find emotional release and productively manage negative emotions.
Treatment for Social Anxiety Disorder
There are several treatments available for social anxiety disorder. A person can choose to take medication, attend therapy, or do both to fight anxiety.
- Benzodiazepines: Benzodiazepines are the most common medication used to treat social anxiety disorder. This substance can calm the mind and body, having a somewhat sedative effect while alleviating anxiety symptoms.
- Beta-Blockers: Beta-blockers are used in social anxiety disorder treatment to slow the heart rate and provide an overall calming effect on the body. These drugs are effective in treating panic attacks and social anxiety disorders.
- Tricyclic Antidepressants: Tricyclic antidepressants are antidepressant drugs that are effective in treating social anxiety disorder. This substance can prevent obsessive-compulsive thoughts and antisocial behaviors.
- Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors: Some treatments feature monoamine oxidase inhibitors due to their antidepressant properties that can alter the chemicals within the brain to prevent anxiety symptoms.3
Therapy for Social Anxiety
Another effective way to mitigate the impact of social anxiety is to attend therapy. There are different therapies to fit you or your loved one’s individual needs. A trained professional will help guide you in the right direction through therapy, addressing the root of your anxiety to best implement healing plans. Types of therapies include:
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is frequently used to treat anxiety disorders. When partaking in CBT, a person can work on hardwiring their brain to react differently to triggering situations.
Exposure therapy is an excellent tactic for people who want to learn how to manage their anxiety symptoms. By safely exposing themselves to their triggers, people can address what causes their anxiety and learn how to manage it upfront.
How to Address Social Anxiety in Day-to-Day Life
In addition to the above treatment methods, you can take several other approaches to fight their anxiety symptoms.
Set Up Daily Goals to Accomplish
Setting up reasonable daily goals can help alleviate a person’s social anxiety symptoms. Taking one goal at a time is a great way to make progress while overcoming anxiety. These goals do not need to be major; even little things like drinking enough water or going on a brief walk can help build confidence.
Get Out There
Although it may seem difficult, getting out there and forcing yourself to face situations you fear is the best way to overcome these anxieties. Social anxiety disorder will be challenging to treat if you cannot work up the courage to face society.
Address Financial Concerns
Financial concerns can often play a significant role in a person’s anxiety disorder. Addressing these financial concerns head-on is the only way to manage them and doing so can help alleviate a person’s anxieties around finances.
Do More Relaxation Activities
Relaxing is a vital aspect of self-care. Partaking in more relaxation activities can help combat social anxiety disorder. Lifestyle can have a big impact on a person’s anxiety levels, so making time for activities that bring feelings of peace and relaxation can stop recurring anxiety symptoms.