What are the strengths and weaknesses of treatments for social anxiety?
Question by Anonymous:
What are the strengths and weaknesses of treatments for social anxiety disorder?Gary's Answer:
There are therapies like CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and other variations of it that focus on exposure to anxiety-provoking situations with a subsequent guided analysis and reframe of whatever the result of such situation was.
Many have claimed that CBT has only worsened their social anxiety, each to their own. People who are successful will do whatever has to be done when it has to be done to get the results that they want, whether they like it or not.
CBT should be undertaken with the help of a certified therapist, as it is in fact ‘therapy’; that could be a downside for any person with social anxiety as going to a therapist might be a massive anxiety-provoking situation by itself.
Some socially anxious people are more sensible than others to certain anxiety-provoking situations, the anxiety of holding a conversation with a stranger might be too much for some people, they could just not bear with such task and just quit therapy altogether.
Being addicted to negativity can also play a big role, as negativity-addicted people (like most of us tend
to be) are big with expecting instant results but easily demotivated by anything and labeling this as ‘it doesn’t work’.
In a nutshell, don't expect any real cure to your social anxiety to come from being totally comfortable and not doing much; hard work
will eventually lead to success.Hypnosis:
I once downloaded confidence-building hypnosis audios, my surprise was that they actually had some sort of effect for the next couple days, but the problem with hypnosis was that once you've heard them over than three times they somewhat stop being effective.
It's actually not a real long-term fix, it somewhat causes a placebo effect that you can use to your advantage and get started and start facing those fearful situations.Medication:
Medication can actually make you feel good instantly and calm you anxiety, but then again so do other drugs. If your anxiety is just TOO much you could probably opt for medication as some sort of training wheels. In my opinion medication will never be a long-term fix and if you use it, the goal should be to eventually leave it behind.My recommendation:
Make your own plan, get the help from a therapist, medication, hypnosis, or any sort of external help that can get you going, but in the long run it’s only you who can make it all happen, because the only person/thing that can change the way you think permanently is YOU.
What I did was progressively exposing myself to the social life that I wanted and it slowly started to build up from there, you can check the following three articles on how it all started.
How to overcome shyness.
How to get over social anxiety.Social Anxiety Treatments.