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Stage Fright: 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?

Another name for Stage Fright is Performance Anxiety.

How is the treatment done?

Performance Anxiety or Stage fright is a condition that plagues many, even those who are formidable, professionally. It can affect any person from any profession, (teachers, pilots, surgeons, entrepreneurs) or even those, whose jobs entail performance, like actors and musicians. Amygdala is a mass of grey matter which remains present in each cerebral hemisphere of the brain. In some, the amygdala triggers an overt production of adrenaline when faced by an audience, resulting in increased blood pressure, pounding of the heart, dry mouth and often gastrointestinal disorders. The sufferer finds himself in a fight or flight situation, and most of the time either the latter option is chosen or the person makes a blunder, which aggravates the situation as the person feels more crippled, emotionally.

There are no medicines to treat stage fright as such. Even if there are, a person should focus on self-counseling rather than the intake of medicines. Performance Anxiety is very much intertwined with a person’s ego. It is an outcome of one’s fear of failing to prove himself/herself in front of a crowd. Once we accept the fact that we are fallible creatures and wrap our heads around the saying, to err is human, we would be less fearful of making mistakes. In other words we have to be confident and face our fears.

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

One might say that it is easier said than done, and in fact it is, especially for a person who suffers from acute stage fright. But there are solutions for every problem. One can start with taking parts in small-scale debates and discussions or recitals, depending on his/her profession. This gives the subject enough room to prepare himself/herself even if it is among close friends and family members. For a student, who is otherwise bright, but always shying away from classroom interaction, talking in front of the mirror shall ease up the nerves before a performance.

Practice is of utmost importance and any performance preceded by dedicated practice is likely to bring better results. On the day of the performance a low-fat and carbohydrate-rich diet is advisable. The performer should also stay away from caffeine, alcohol and excessive sugar. Meditation, yoga or breathing exercises before a performance will calm the nerves and will help the performer to focus better on his/her presentation. Some people with debilitating stage fright are compelled to take beta-blockers; however, if the problem is not so severe one can always follow these guidelines to get a better grip on the situation.

Accept the fact that you are not perfect, and thereby, prone to making mistakes. Consider your audience as close friends, smile at them and make an eye-contact to gain their confidence. Be natural and be comfortable in your skin. Do not let any thought deter you from achieving your best and think only of the positive effect that your performance is going to have on the audience.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Anybody who suffers from performance anxiety is free to go ahead with the treatment. One’s inability to face a crowd is just a state of mind and with some grooming and self-motivational regimes one can overcome the fear.

Are there any side effects?

A person who is confident enough to face a crowd without any anxiety or nervousness hitting him/her does not need any counseling. However, he/she can definitely take an initiative to motivate others who have stage fright.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Self-counseling and meditative methods can prove to be very effective when it comes to fighting off performance anxiety. There are no side effects of such measures. However, one who depends on anxiety-repelling medicines too much can face long-term side effects like drowsiness, imbalance, poor concentration and slurred speech.

How long does it take to recover?

A person suffering from performance anxiety should continue following the golden rules of self-motivation till he/she gains enough confidence, so much so that there comes one point when nothing stops him/her from facing the crowd. Stage fright is such a condition where pushing the self is the most feasible treatment available.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

With time and enough perseverance one is likely get over his/her fears. It is not a phobia that is unconquerable. Recovery time can differ from person to person. For one it might take 5 sitting to leverage enough confidence, for another it might take 10.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Performance Anxiety treatment is basically based on self-help programs and could be performed out of one’s own volition, cost-free. However, anti-anxiety medicines can cost anywhere between Rs 500-Rs 3000. For those who need psychological assistance, the cost of one session is at least Rs 600, which is again subject to change depending on the psychologist’s remuneration.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

A person with performance anxiety will enjoy permanent results with enough perseverance and self-boosting therapy.

Popular Questions & Answers

I am an 18 year old boy. And I am very afraid of speaking in public. And have a lot if stage fright. I can not talk on stage and got freeze and very nervous. So I did some research on the internet and I got that I should take some propranolol. So should I take it. And how should I take it. Please help me.

Masters In Speech Pathology & Audiology
Speech Therapist, Gurgaon
This is a very common problem due to lack of exposure and lack of confidence. So just take help of your friends and family to discuss and practice. Join some drama and music classes. Don't takes any medicine.
2 people found this helpful

I have been prescribed telmisartan for high blood pressure as 40 mg twice a day. So far I have been taking this medication for 4 days now. I have a speech coming up In a couple of days time. Can I take 10 mg Propranolol for stage fright (speech is in the afternoon at 1: 30 PM) and skip a dose of telmisartan in the morning or can I take both?

C.S.C, D.C.H, M.B.B.S
General Physician, Alappuzha
You cannot substitute telmisartan with propranolol and you need to take both drugs if needed . However I do not advise using propranolol for stage fright which you need control by m calming mind
1 person found this helpful

What is the initial stage and last stage of MND? How will we know patient is on last stage.

General Physician, Mumbai
Any kind of restricted muscular movement is the first stage for MND and when respiratory muscle are involved it leads to death

I have stage fear and I just used a 40 mg dose of propranolol, now even after 12 hrs I'm still getting headache and no urination, please suggest me something.

Homeopath, Sindhudurg
Do not take such medicines without consulting Dr. Homoeopathic treatment cures stage fright permanently. No side effects.

I am 26 year old I have problem when I want to talk at stage I am so nervous and my legs will shake and I was facing problem at interview also.

Psychology hons, Masters in clinical psychology
Psychologist, Lucknow
Dear lybrate-user you seem to have stage fright nervousness followed by physiological changes such sweating. You can always train yourself step by step. Firstly just stand on a stage when noone is around then once you are comfortable do it when yo...
1 person found this helpful

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