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Paper Topic:

Treatment of Social Phobia

Social Phobia Treatment


Social Phobia is a serious condition that needs to be countered immediately . This is a psychological dis wherein one tends to be fearful of being in social gatherings and hinders one from associating with other people . When a person finds it hard to mingle with others , it translates into fewer chances of expressing himself to other people

Individuals with social phobia experience a magnified fear that they will embarrass themselves or be humiliated in public and social situations , which causes their stress level to escalate . As a

result they avoid meeting and socializing with others and dining out . They also fear that they appear nervous or silly in front of others . They are afraid to make mistakes due to their fear of being ridiculed , or that other people will criticize them . Whenever they feel that other people are judging or scrutinizing them , several physical symptoms could be observed which manifest in the form of blushing , trembling , sweating and tachycardia (Haug , 2000 ,


A person with social phobia is aware of his /her condition . However such condition may later on lead to more serious cases , as withdrawing oneself from others may result in behavioral problems and depression and may worsen when drug dependence and alcoholism become involved However , there are certain treatments suggested by experts in to counter social phobia . These treatments may be in the form of medicine or psychosocial intervention . The aforementioned treatments will be more effective with the help of families and friends of the affected person Faster recovery is expected if all the people around the patient lend their utmost support and understanding of the condition and the treatment process . Thus , this aims to discuss the necessary treatment to put an end to this fear and anxiety that make one feel isolated and depressed

Medical Treatment

There are three popular medications according to experts in curing social phobia : beta-blockers , tranquilizers and antidepressants Beta-Blockers aim to suppress the physical shaking of anxiety which is one symptom of social phobia (Timms , 1998 .Tranquilizers , on the other hand , are used to treat almost all kinds of anxiety diss . They keep the patient with social phobia under control while undergoing psychotherapy (National Institute of Mental Health , 2006 . However tranquilizers have a downside as medical treatment for social phobia Although it is effective , this drug is addictive . Because of this experts stopped recommending the use of tranquilizers to social phobia patients . Finally , to treat depression of a social phobic antidepressant drugs are administered . Antidepressants inhibit the anxiety and panic attacks that cause a person to generate feelings of fear amidst the crowd (National Institute of Mental Health , 2006

Although medications can alleviate or suppress the physical manifestations of the condition , they are used not as the primary means to put an end to this dis . It is only useful in terms of keeping the person under control while receiving psychosocial treatments

Psychosocial Treatments

In to manage social phobia , medical help is necessary . The aid of a psychologist , a psychiatrist , or a therapist will help patients take control , think , and handle their emotions effectively amidst social settings (Aitken , 2004 . This process involves a lot of method to help patients improve their socialization (Timms , 1998 . Some of the most popular psychosocial interventions include : social skills training exposure therapy , and cognitive-behavioral therapy

As patients diagnosed with social phobia are not comfortable in dealing with others and have low self-esteem , a social skills training can aid them in showing confidence and comfortability while talking to other people . This treatment involves teaching the patients simple social skills to enable them to talk to strangers . It also helps them to build trust towards other people and abandon their shyness and anxious feelings (Timms , 1998

On the other hand , the goal of exposure therapy is to let social phobia patients experience and get used to the situations that cause their anxiety level to rise . They are given exposure to such situations and at the same time they are given tips on how to stay calm amidst a problematic situation (Markway et . al , 1992 . This form of therapy primarily involves the use of behavioral techniques , including scheduling activities , graded task assignment , distraction , and relaxation (Haug , 2000 ,


Finally , cognitive behavioral therapy is another treatment for social phobia and is considered as the most effective means to eliminate social phobia (Markway et . al , 1992 . Psychologist Thomas Richards suggest this method because the positive effects of this treatment last for a long period of time . This method can put the patients at ease as it can chance a patient 's view about life and towards other people (Markway et al , 1992 . Therapists usually remind their patients that their conditions are not hard to handle especially during occasions of being in a crowd . For instance , whenever they feel fear and anxiety therapists will tell them that other people also experience the same situation (Timms , 1998


Treatments of social phobia require greater effort so that positive outcome will be expected . Patients and psychologists are not the only people concerned in the treatment process . The support of families and friends is vital for immediate recovery from social phobia . It is also important to monitor them from time to time to look for improvements and developments . Enlightenment , inspiration and encouragement are three main components needed by patients to overcome their condition

Patients with social phobia need proper care and attention . It is better to look for signs and symptoms as early as childhood . Parents play a great part in the formation of their child 's social development . Once a child demonstrates too much shyness and anxiety , preventive measures should be followed and a consultation with psychologist is strongly advised . Negative thinking , anxiety , anger , and feelings of embarrassment can impede a person 's self-development . Motivation is needed by patients who suffer from social phobia . Once the dis is properly treated , they can live in freedom , without fear of being judged


Aitken ,

(2004 . Psychotherapy . Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia Standard [CD-ROM]

Haug , T .T , Hellstrshm , K , Blomhoff , S . Humble , M . Madsbu , H .-P Wold , J .E (2000 . The treatment of social phobia in general practice Is exposure therapy feasible ? Family Practice , 17 (2 , 114-118

Markway , B , Carmin , C , Flynn , T Pollard A (1992 . Dying of Embarrassment . Help for Social Anxiety and Phobia . Oakland CA : New Harbinger Publications Inc

National Institute of Mental Health (2006 . Anxiety Dis . National Institute of Mental Health . Retrieved May 6 , 2008 , from http /www .nimh .nih .gov /publicat /anxiety .cfm anx5

Timms ,

(1998 . What is a social phobia . The Royal College of Psychiatrists . Retrieved May 6 , 2008 , from http /www .rcpsych .ac .uk /mentalhealthinformation /mentalhealthproblems /an xietyphobias /socialphobia .aspx



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