If you suffer from social anxiety, you know how it can make going out with friends and family a harrowing experience. You don’t feel comfortable expressing your fear of social settings and sometimes you even keep away from these places completely. It can severely limit your ability to live a full and successful life and keep up relationships with those whom you love. If you want to get rid of this problem for good, you need the right kind of social anxiety therapy.
The most common way to cure social anxiety therapy is through medication – and frequently both. You typically need about 12 to sixteen therapy sessions over a period of time. The aim is to slowly build social confidence, learn new social skills to help you handle the situations that scare you the most, and eventually get out into the real world where you can successfully meet new people. Depending on your doctor’s recommendation, you might be given medications to ease your symptoms and improve your mood. Or you might be put on an antidepressant to deal with the emotional side of the disorder.
CBT is widely considered the best social anxiety therapy around today. It combines the best of traditional therapy and modern medication, using a blend of psychological and medical approaches to treat your underlying condition. The idea is that such a complex mix can improve your mind and body and give you a much more effective way of dealing with both anxiety and the real world. In other words, CBT is one of the most comprehensive and effective forms of treatment available today.
Cognitive behavioral therapists (CBT) are experts in the way you think about social situations and yourself. CBT uses the concept of avoidance to help you deal with social anxiety disorder. You learn to recognize the symptoms of anxiety, such as excessive sweating, blushing, rapid breathing, and trembling, and how to respond to them. With careful and patient work, you gradually overcome these symptoms and learn to relax more naturally.
A big part of CBT is exposure. If you suffer from social anxiety, you probably find yourself being intensely uncomfortable in a variety of social settings, such as at a restaurant, when you’re with friends, or even at your own house or work. Through various techniques and processes, you gradually become less able to avoid these situations and feel better about being in them. When you can no longer avoid social situations, cognitive restructuring starts to help you deal with hot thoughts and prevent you from becoming overwhelmed by them.
The belief that “I don’t have to worry about what people think of me” is the most common cause of social anxiety. People with social anxiety often worry that they’ll look bad in front of other people, or that their social event will end up being a disaster. Cognitive restructuring helps you to replace these negative beliefs with new ones. You start out by imagining a positive outcome. Eventually, you’ll believe that you can handle any situation, and that nothing will affect your life, including those imagined problems.
The problem with medication for social anxiety disorder is that it’s a short-term solution. Medications work by suppressing your emotions, which in turn stops you from experiencing your true feelings. Cognitive behavioral therapy, on the other hand, treats your problem from the inside out – it teaches you how to change your thinking, change your behaviors, and train your mind to think differently. With consistent treatment, sufferers of social anxiety disorder can lead normal lives free from the fear that grips them when they’re around others.
Cognitive behavioral therapy may sound complex, but in fact it’s quite simple. Once you know the process and what to expect, you’ll be well on your way to beating social anxiety disorder. It’s important to remember, however, that this condition isn’t curable. However, if you are persistent, you can slowly overcome your fears and lead a more normal life. You just need to be persistent!