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Social Anxiety Disorder: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment? How is the treatment done? Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?) Who is not eligible for the treatment? Are there any side effects? What are the post-treatment guidelines? How long does it take to recover? What is the price of the treatment in India? Are the results of the treatment permanent? What are the alternatives to the treatment?

What is the treatment?

Psychological counseling such as cognitive behavioral therapy and self control are the two most effective treatments for social phobia. Some of the best techniques for fighting social phobia are to avoid negative thoughts, deep breathing and facing the social situations you fear. Personality development is also an effective method of treating social anxiety disorder. Work on your communication skill, interact with new people, take social classes and volunteer for working in groups or taking group therapy.

Social anxiety disorder (SAD) or social phobia is a psychological condition where you feel intense fear of certain social situations. Since it is not a physical condition, the treatment for SAD doesn’t include medication at the core. However, medication is used in addition to psychological therapy and self control techniques. Some of the most common medication used in treating social anxiety disorder is Beta blockers, antidepressants and Benzodiazepines.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle is also very helpful in treating SAD. Caffeine act as an active catalyst in triggering anxiety, so avoiding drinks that contains caffeine such as tea, coffee and soda. Also increase the intake of omega 3 fats in your diet. Quit smoking and drinking if possible or limit it to occasions. Proper rest and sleep also brings down anxiety level.

How is the treatment done?

A person who is suffering from minor social anxiety disorder, it is preferable to avoid medication. However, certain physical conditions of social phobia such as elevated heartbeats, sweating and shaking can be controlled by Beta blockers. They don’t have any effect on emotional anxiety conditions and are only used for relieving performance anxiety. Anti depressants are also commonly used by psychiatrist to prevent wasteful thinking and inducing sleep.

Treatment of social phobia doesn’t include medication as it is purely a psychological condition. The most effective treatment for social anxiety disorder is psychological counseling. Visiting a certified psychiatrist on a regular basis will help you in understanding your psychological condition deeply, its point of origin and what triggers the anxiety. Once you get a clear understanding of these, overcoming the social anxiety disorder is almost half done. There are a lot of self controlling techniques that will help you come out of social anxiety disorder. Few of the techniques that you can adopt in your daily life includes deep breathing to control anxiety, facing the situation that triggers anxiety and avoiding negative thoughts. The best way to avoid negative thinking is to avoid reading other persons mind and predicting the future.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Almost every person get nervous and self conscious on certain social occasion but that does not necessarily mean they are suffering from social anxiety disorder. A person suffering from social anxiety disorder will have certain physical and mental symptoms. Always fearing that you are being watched and people are judging you, excessive self consciousness and nervousness leading to a mindset that it is noticeable. Physical symptoms include red face, shortness of breath, nausea, shaking, sweating and feeling dizzy. Person suffering from such conditions needs consultation.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

As getting nervous and being self conscious is natural on social occasions. Meeting new people, public speaking and being centre of attraction are some of the situations in which people get nervous but that don’t make you eligible for treatment of social phobia. Only if these symptoms are constant in everyday life then it is a major point of concern.

Are there any side effects?

As for self controlling techniques, there are no side effects on a person’s life as it can also be used by any person even if he/she is not suffering from social anxiety disorder. Psychological counseling is a bit concerning only if it is not yielding any result. It can have a negative effect on a person mind if psychological counseling doesn’t help you in overcoming your social phobia. Medication is always the last resort in treating social phobia as it has many side effects on a person’s physical and mental health. Getting addicted to anti depressants is one of the major point of concern. Apart from that both anti depressants and beta blockers have effect on your cardiovascular health.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

One of the best post treatment guideline for social anxiety disorder is to lead a healthy social life in order to prevent negative thoughts from coming back. Never avoid social situations especially the ones that trigger your anxiety. Avoiding caffeinated products such as tea, coffee and soda, getting proper sleep and rest to avoid deep thinking of future situations and fortune telling are some of the most effective and common post treatment methods. Quitting or limiting smoking and drinking as it is proactive in triggering anxiety. If you have any medication, then shortening the dosage over a period of time to finally quitting it.

How long does it take to recover?

there is no fixed duration for the treatment of social anxiety disorder. It totally depends from person to person and how deep rooted the cause for social anxiety disorder is. In some cases, self controlling can be used to treat social phobia while some cases can be treated by medication. As for psychological counseling, it may last for a month and can even go up to 6 months to a year. Some patients have recovered in only a matter of days.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Psychological practice and treatment are very expensive in India as of now it is only limited to upper class. However, identifying and treating psychological disorder are now being introduced at the grass root level. Psychological counseling mat start from as low as INR 500 per hour and can go up to INR 2000 per hour depending on the psychiatrist. Medication related to psychological treatment comes with moderate price tag.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Since social anxiety disorder is a psychological condition, it can be triggered at any point of time making the treatment partially permanent. However, elongated treatments are mostly permanent treatment in most cases. Some treatments are also backed by medication and those have the maximum chances of reappearing.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

if you are not planning to consult a psychiatrist or take medication then self control techniques are the best alternatives. One of the best ways to overcome social anxiety disorder is to face your fears that trigger your anxiety.

Popular Questions & Answers

I am 24 years old talking escitalopramám 10 mg and etizolam 0.5 mg for a year. And also clonazepam 0.5 mg in case of panic attack. I started reducing dose but symptoms of anxiety again come. Should I continue the medicine in same dose because I am fear about taking etizolam dependence and tolerance.

Reparenting Technique, BA, BEd, Transactional Analysis
Psychologist, Bangalore
More than considering your dosage and lowering it, I suggest that you seek the help of a counselor and develop some skills and tools to tackle life under your condition. The medication is very suitable for you but you are not developing any life s...

I am 74 years of age man. I have an issue of depression/anxiety. Whenever asked to go to a distance place alone or hearing of sad news or asked to stay alone specially in the night, I start feeling nervous and feel heavy around rectum area to go for passing of stool/urine. I am 6 feet tall with 79 kg but thin looking person. I am taking urimax 0.4, colwin r and nurokind fort along with cipcal/becosules/limcee. Advise.

Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, Mphil in Medical Psychology, PG Dip Edu Counselling , Certificate in Nutrition & Mental health, Consultant Clinical Psychologist , EMDR Part I&2
Psychologist, Trivandrum
Hi seems like related to some trauma related symptoms or panic. Of course need more details trauma informed psychotherapy, stress management methods etc will be of great help. Can take help even online. A physical examination by a physician may al...

Is it ok to take d'veniz 50 mg in the morning and ventab 25 mg + clofranil 50 mg at night for depression and anxiety will it have any side effects or affect my job?

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Psychiatrist, Noida
Why take three antidepressants together and that too not in full doses? I suggest take lesser number of medicines and higher doses. Every medicine has some or the other side effects. But if you are not getting any side effects as of now then it’...

Sir I used to have a beer around 5 pm daily, but now due to lighten I am not able to drink, at that time I feel very anxious and depressed, I am not able to concentrate on anything, my family doctor gave me anxit. 25 mg on the night, after taking I feel very relaxed, can I take anxit. 25 mg around 5 pm, I am 44 years old and I am taking amlong 5 mg tablet for bp, pls help me sir.

Psychiatrist, Kozhikode
Dear , if you are feeling uncomfortable on days when you are unable to drink beer, you might have developed an addiction to it. The best person to help you is a psychiatrist, as they will assess the severity of the problem. It is better to seek he...

My brother is 30 years old. He is suffering from social anxiety disorder .(a type of phobia disease) he is not able to talk to any people (new or old, to attend social gatherings .when someone comes. Read more.

BASM, MD, MS (Counseling & Psychotherapy), MSc - Psychology, Certificate in Clinical psychology of children and Young People, Certificate in Psychological First Aid, Certificate in Positive Psychology, Positive Psychiatry and Mental Health
Psychologist, Palakkad
Dear user. Thanks for the question. I can understand. You are suffering from social anxiety disorder. Social anxiety disorder is a chronic mental health condition in which social interactions cause irrational anxiety. For people with social anxiet...
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