Therapy for Social Anxiety Can Be Highly Effective

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Social anxiety disorder, like paruresis, can be debilitating and frustrating.

Also known as “social phobia,” social anxiety disorder involves a fear of others judging you negatively. If you have social phobia, you may feel that people are looking down on you, disapproving of you, or making fun of you.

Having social anxiety makes you more likely to think you are a failure at social interaction. In reality,  you could be interacting with others in a way that is perfectly normal, but you tend to see yourself as unsuccessful.

Sometimes the preoccupation with avoiding social “failure” can cause a person with social anxiety to feel awkward and uncomfortable, which can have a negative effect on social interactions. A person with social phobia may decide it is easier to give up on social interaction, which can lead to loneliness and isolation. Others may come to dread having to see or talk with people in everyday situations (not because they dislike people, but because they are afraid of being disliked). This can create a lot of anxiety and stress for people who have to interact with others for work or for school.

A new study from Stanford is examining the efficacy of various treatments on social anxiety. The researchers are finding that cognitive behavioral therapy (also known as “CBT”) is very useful for helping people who have social anxiety issues to think in a more positive way and feel more relaxed when interacting with others.

If you want to know more about the research and how CBT is used to treat social anxiety, click the link here:

http://news.stanford.edu/news/2013/september/anxiety-disorder-therapy-090413.html

Photo Credit: Vicente Alfonso via Compfight cc

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