Several social phobia treatments have been developed by psychologists throughout the years; there is a wide variety of manners in which these experts have tried to help people deal with the causes and symptoms of social anxiety, and they’re all somewhat effective in their own manner, from hypnotherapy to sleep deprivation I have tried them all! Some worked better than other of course.
Now that I control my anxiety and it doesn’t control me I can share with you the ins and outs of every social phobia treatment that I have personally tried.
Several treatments try to directly attack the effects of social anxiety: Controlling fear, anger, frustration, and depression.
Learning breathing techniques can help you get over the effects of social anxiety, breathing slowly and deeply happens naturally when you are relaxed. But actually, you can flip cause and effect on this one.
If you’re in an anxiety provoking situation, you can take the time to walk away for a bit and breathe in the same way you would if you were completely relaxed, taking deep and slow breaths, the kind of breaths that cause your belly to inflate with air.
It will not make the anxiety disappear completely but it will get it to a bearable level if it’s just too much.
If everything was as easy as ‘dude, just relax!’ But that’s not what it’s all about; relax in acceptance, acceptance is in realizing that:
In really bad cases of social anxiety where constant panic attacks occur, generalized anxiety has taken over, and depression is on its way or already here; medication can be advised. Medication is always a mean and not an end, the final destination is getting to a point where social anxiety does not interfere with the life you want anymore.
Check out the various social anxiety medications.
Attacking the effects of social anxiety is just like 10% of it all; you don’t fix an overheating car by turning it off and letting it cool down, you must go in and get rid of the causes and that’s what most social phobia treatments focus on.
‘CBT’ has shown to be one of the most effective forms of social phobia treatments. It focuses on two main areas the ‘Cognitive’ (your thoughts) and the ‘Behavioral’. It has been developed as a method that focuses in the problem and then takes a call for action to fix such problem.
It first gets you to the root of the negative thought that is causing any strong emotional reaction, for example:
Then you search to understand the logical reasons why this is not true: Understanding that this belief is actually a distortion of your self-perception.
And then taking action on facing that situation and proving that such a though is not true:
All with the help of a therapist, CBT is usually occurs in various sessions, but it can be taken online as well. If you are interested you should go find a CBT specialized therapist around your area.
In my case I sort of figured it out all by myself and did my own version of a ‘CBT’ treatment, luckily I got the results that led me to constant reduction of my social anxiety. I think this kind of therapy is actually the ultimate way to get rid of social anxiety.
Stopping the constant negative thoughts in your mind can actually be practiced, I have been practicing meditation for a while and it’s amazing. Meditation is basically the practice of sitting somewhere where no one can bother you, without any kind of distraction and practicing ‘not thinking’/ ‘living the moment’. A lot of what causes anxiety is either related to your mind dwelling on past situations or trying to predict future situations, if you were ‘living the NOW’ then you’d have no problems of getting in your own way.
Meditation is like hitting the gym for your brain in this sense, calming the mind storm down and peacefully observing without getting involved. This kind of meditation is called ‘mindful meditation’.
And no, this has absolutely nothing to do with becoming Buddhist or any other thing.
I can’t actually give you a serious opinion on this but; I’ve tried it.
Listening to a couple confidence-building hypnosis clips did cause an amazing effect, I felt more confident the day after falling asleep to such tracks, but the effect would wear off the day after that if I didn’t hear it again, and after listening to the same track over and over it stopped having any ‘effects’.
Hey, I’m a science guy and I’m not actually sure of the scientifically proven effect of hypnosis but it did help me as a social phobia treatment at least for a few days, totally worth mentioning.
There are several other social phobia treatment that I haven’t looked much into such as:
Group cognitive-behavioral therapy: CBT in groups.
Acceptance and commitment therapy: Similar to CBT but instead of attacking the negative thoughts it tells you to take a more ‘accepting’ approach towards it – just like in meditation.
Any social phobia treatment should be taken seriously, and you should seriously consider going to therapy at least a few times depending on how bad it gets, meanwhile keep your mind positive and keep moving towards what you want. Go out and get social.