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Overview

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

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.

Safety: High Effectiveness: High Timeliness: Medium Relative Risk: Low Side Effects: Low Time For Recovery: Medium Price Range: Rs 500 to Rs 2500 per hour

Popular Health Tips

Social Anxiety Disorder: How to Let Go of your Fears!

MBBS MD
Psychiatrist, Chandigarh
Social Anxiety Disorder: How to Let Go of your Fears!

Are you suffering from social anxiety phobia and are looking for ways to get over it? Social anxiety refers to the anxiety in anticipating any kind of social situation or after a certain situation. The fear of evaluation accounts for being the primary factor of social anxiety phobia. Here are the various ways by which you can deal with social anxiety phobia:

  1. Self-help Manual: Self-help manuals are a supplement for this therapy. They act as an effective tool, which helps you to work on your own.

  2. Visit a Therapist: In case your social anxiety phobia is hampering things you need to do along with your social activities, and your self-help measures have failed, you need a therapist. Choose a therapist who specializes in anxiety disorders.

  3. Practice Deep Breathing Regularly: Engaging yourself in deep breathing, before a situation which provokes or triggers your social anxiety, is effective. You need to undertake deep breathing for several minutes every day. This will make it a habit for you, so that you do not focus too much on deep breathing during a situation, thereby missing out on the conversation.

  4. Create an Exposure Hierarchy: An exposure hierarchy refers to a list. In this list, you have to write down about all the various types of situations when your social anxiety phobia gets triggered. The list has to be made in a ladder format, and by performing the easiest behaviors first, you should move up the list. For creating exposure hierarchy, you should note down 10 anxiety triggering social situations you experience, and rate them on a scale of 100. You can also join Toastmasters, which is a website where links to several worksheets based on coping with social anxiety are provided.

  5. Create your Goals: When you feel anxious, it is likely for you to eliminate anything positive during that situation. You might be doing great, but yet face distress in everyday activities because of feelings of anxiety. For this purpose, it is recommended for you to create objective behavioral goals.

  6. Maintain a Rational Outlook: Try to get rid of any bleak thoughts, which hamper your performance and trigger your social anxiety phobia. Also stay away from any kind of unrealistic thoughts, which are positive in an irrational way. Before any situation which enhances your anxiety, you should convince yourself about how it is a familiar situation to you, which you have dealt with smoothly in the past.

If your social anxiety phobia is getting in the way of achieving your goals and is disabling you from living the kind of life you seek, it is important for you to consult a Psychiatrist and go for regular therapy sessions. 

2919 people found this helpful

Social Anxiety Disorder - How It Can Be Treated?

MD - Psychiatry, MBBS
Psychiatrist, Delhi
Social Anxiety Disorder - How It Can Be Treated?

While many of us may feel the pressure of appearing in large social gatherings, there are those who feel positively crippled at the very thought of showing up and interacting with many people at a time. There is a difference between the two scenarios where one may down to an introverted nature, and the other may be a symptom of a greater problem like social anxiety disorder. So what exactly is this condition all about? Here is everything you need to know!

Definition: By definition, social anxiety disorder is marked with many issues including the feeling of pressing self-consciousness, as well as anxiety, fear and embarrassment. All of these may be caused in the natural course of everyday interactions as well. It is a condition where the patient cannot cope with normal interactions without the support of medication and therapy.

Symptoms: There are a number of symptoms which can help in recognizing this condition. Constant worry and concern that one may end up humiliated on a public platform or while having the most mundane discussions at work or at a party, is one of the most pressing symptoms of this condition. Further, the patient will also be fearful of offending people he or she may be interacting with. Also, after an interaction or presence at a gathering, one may sit down to analyze the performance in great detail and be constantly critical of the same. Anxiety may also make the patient avoid any kind of social situation in extreme cases.

Causes: There are a number of things that may cause such a condition. The genetic makeup of the patient may make this an inherited condition that may happen if there were one or more people in the direct family who were suffering from this condition. Also, it may be caused due to changes in the amygdala, which is the part of the brain that controls one’s responses to fear. A person with an overactive amygdala may end up feeling more scared than normal of the most everyday things. Social anxiety disorder can also be a learned behaviour which may come up due to environmental issues like being reared by parents who have been severely overprotective of their children.

Treatment: There are many ways of treating this condition. To begin with, one can turn to psychotherapy. With the help of such therapy, the symptoms can be handled with the help of proper discussions and the programming of new ideas into the brain so that the fear and anxiety gradually recede. Cognitive behavioural therapy is one of the most favoured forms of therapy that psychiatrists consider in such cases. Medication like norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors may also be prescribed for the patient so as to control the amygdala. Further, one may also have to sue antidepressants prescribed by a medical practitioner so as to deal with the anxiety and fear on an everyday basis. Also, one may use beta blockers that affect the way adrenaline functions, by curbing the excess production of the same. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Psychiatrist.

3902 people found this helpful

Are you suffering from SOCIAL ANXIETY DISORDER?? Take this test & Know yourself!!!

Observer Cum Fellowship, Certificate in Forensic Psychology, MD-Psychiatry, MBBS
Psychiatrist, Akola
Are you suffering from SOCIAL ANXIETY DISORDER?? Take this test & Know yourself!!!
Social Anxiety Disorder
An intense fear of social situations that leads to difficulties
with personal relationships and at the workplace or in school is most common in people with social anxiety disorder. Individuals with social anxiety disorder often have an irrational fear of being humiliated in public for “saying something stupid,” or “not knowing what to say.” Some people use drugs and alcohol to try and reduce their anxiety. This is very dangerous because even though some drugs make people feel less anxious when they are high, anxiety becomes even worse when the drugs wear off.
Treatment for Social Anxiety Disorder
What treatments are available for anxiety disorders?
Effective treatments include medications and psychotherapy techniques like imagined exposure. In most cases, a combination of psychotherapy techniques and medications is most beneficial.Some commonly used medications for anxiety
disorders are medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
(SSRIs) like sertraline (Daxid), escitalopram (Nexito) & many more. In addition, importance of having a good diet and getting enough sleep are known to decrease symptoms in people. Regular exercise has also been scientifically proven to be effective.
21 people found this helpful

3 Things That Can Cause Social Anxiety!

Ph.D - Ph.D in Psychology, Ph. D - Education
Psychologist, Kakinada
3 Things That Can Cause Social Anxiety!

Social anxiety disorder is a chronic mental health condition in which a person has excessive and unreasonable fear of certain social situations. Anxiety and self-consciousness arise from a fear of being scrutinized, embarrassed or judged by others. The fear may be made worse by a lack of social skills or experience in social situations. This persistent anxiety can build into a panic attack, and the affected person may start avoiding social situations under extreme distress. People with social anxiety disorder also suffer anticipatory anxiety, which is the fear of a situation even before it happens. In many cases, the person is aware that the fear is unreasonable and overblown, yet is unable to overcome it.

Like many other mental health conditions, social anxiety disorder arises from a complex interaction of environment and genes. The possible causes are:

  1. Inherited traits - Genetic factors may contribute to the development of social anxiety disorder if it is present in a first-degree relative (parents, siblings or child).
  2. Brain structure - Nuclei shaped part of the brain called amygdala may play a role in controlling the fear response. People with overactive amygdala may have a heightened fear response, increasing anxiety in social situations.
  3. Environmental factors - Social anxiety disorder may be a learned behavior. You may develop the condition after witnessing the anxious behavior of others. Also, there may be an association between social anxiety disorder and overprotective parents wanting to control their children.

Social anxiety disorder is the second most common type of anxiety disorder, which most often surfaces in adolescence or early adulthood. It is more common in women than in men. There is no way to predict what will cause social anxiety disorder, but some steps can be taken to reduce the impact of symptoms by getting help early instead of delaying, managing stress in daily life and avoiding unhealthy substances like alcohol, drugs and caffeine. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Psychologist.

4850 people found this helpful

Factors That Can Cause Social Anxiety!

Masters of Philosphy, Master of Science, Bachelor of Sciences
Psychologist, Kolkata
Factors That Can Cause Social Anxiety!

Social anxiety disorder is a chronic mental health condition in which a person has excessive and unreasonable fear of certain social situations. Anxiety and self-consciousness arise from a fear of being scrutinized, embarrassed or judged by others. The fear may be made worse by a lack of social skills or experience in social situations. This persistent anxiety can build into a panic attack, and the affected person may start avoiding social situations under extreme distress. People with social anxiety disorder also suffer anticipatory anxiety, which is the fear of a situation even before it happens. In many cases, the person is aware that the fear is unreasonable and overblown, yet is unable to overcome it.

Like many other mental health conditions, social anxiety disorder arises from a complex interaction of environment and genes. The possible causes are:

  1. Inherited traits - Genetic factors may contribute to the development of social anxiety disorder if it is present in a first-degree relative (parents, siblings or child).
  2. Brain structure - Nuclei shaped part of the brain called amygdala may play a role in controlling the fear response. People with overactive amygdala may have a heightened fear response, increasing anxiety in social situations.
  3. Environmental factors - Social anxiety disorder may be a learned behavior. You may develop the condition after witnessing the anxious behavior of others. Also, there may be an association between social anxiety disorder and overprotective parents wanting to control their children.

Social anxiety disorder is the second most common type of anxiety disorder, which most often surfaces in adolescence or early adulthood. It is more common in women than in men. There is no way to predict what will cause social anxiety disorder, but some steps can be taken to reduce the impact of symptoms by getting help early instead of delaying, managing stress in daily life and avoiding unhealthy substances like alcohol, drugs and caffeine.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2748 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

Hello sir, Meri age 25 years hai aur sir mai Main Jab Kisi Se baat karta hoon ya phir mere saath difficult situation hoti hai toh main dar Jata Hoon ya mere saath Koi Tej Awaz se baat karle to bahut Dar Jata Hoon hai Please sir help kare.

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. I can understand. You are YOU. Whatever your behavior today, whatever your body language today are learned from your past experiences and social interactions. Whatever you have learned can be unlearned or over written. This is a continuous process happening throughout your life. I suggest cognitive behavior therapy for you. Take care.

My cousin is 40 year old and he is very shy and cannot start discussion with someone who is not very close to him. This is affecting his work as he is not able to market himself though he is a very good in his work. As he is in Management cadre (senior management) this is affecting his credibility in his organization.

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. I can understand. You are YOU. Whatever your behavior today, whatever your body language today are learned from your past experiences and social interactions. Whatever you have learned can be unlearned or over written. This is a continuous process happening throughout your life. I suggest cognitive behavior therapy for you. Take care.

Dear Doctor, I am suffering from social phobia from my childhood. I am not able to face public. It has ruined my life. Can't speak anything to anyone.

MBBS
General Physician, Mumbai
Increase your self confidence and Eat protein rich food and take tablet Nurokind-more RF (1-1 )for a month and follow up on completion

I always gets afraid while talking with anyone. Because of that I can not speak very well with another person. I have stuttering problem. So how to solve this problem?

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 Lybrate user. In many of the cases Stammering has two important reasons. Vocal chord misalignment or other problems are the primary reason. For this vocal chord complaint, you should consult an ENT specialist and get it corrected. Second reason is purely psychological. Stammer therapy can help you in psychological reasons. Take care.
2 people found this helpful

Table of Content

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?
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice