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Home » Health and Fitness » Diseases and Conditions » Social Phobia

Social Phobia Treatment

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The two effective types of treatment for social phobia is medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy (a specific form of short-term psychotherapy).

Medication used in the treatment of social phobia include two kinds of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Paxil (paroxetine) or fluvoxamine (Luvox) and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Other social phobia medication includes high-potency benzodiazepenes such as Xanax (alprazolam) and Klonopin (clonazepam).

Social phobia can also be treated with cognitive-behavior therapy.  Exposure therapy is used which helps tue patient become gradually more comfortable with situations that frighten them or makes them anxious. This exposure process usually has three stages:

  • introduce people to the feared situation
  • increase the risk for disapproval in the situation
  • teach coping techniques to deal with disapproval

Cognitive-behavior therapy for social anxiety disorder and social phobia also can include anxiety management training. Parts of this include teaching people deep breathing techniques to control their levels of anxiety or cognitive restructuring, which involves helping individuals identify the misjudgments they've made. Cognitive restructuring also helps them to better understand the likelihood of danger in certain social situations.

Other types of supportive therapy can be helpful in the treatment of social phobia. This type of treatment can include group therapy, couples therapy, or family therapy. In some cases social skills training can augment social phobia treatment.

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