People all over the world struggle with fears related to social interactions and group situations. Living with this condition has its challenges and can be an ongoing, daily battle. But is social anxiety treatable?
Although social anxiety may not completely curable, it can be treated with a few different methods. According to the Social Anxiety Association, "the feelings that accompany social anxiety include anxiety, high levels of fear, nervousness, automatic negative emotional cycles, racing heart, blushing, excessive sweating, dry throat and mouth, trembling, and muscle twitches." So learning how to manage these feelings is the cornerstone of treatment for this condition.
Although a person living with social anxiety disorder may find some wins by trying to conquer situations on their own, the most effective way to treat this condition is with professional care. As the website for Psych Central pointed out, both psychotherapy and medications have been proven tools to help with social anxiety, but using the two together has been proven to be the most beneficial solution. Regularly meeting with a therapist who is skilled at cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) helps to reduce symptoms of social anxiety. However, the length of treatment depends on each individual and the level of their anxiety.
"Some may respond to treatment after a few weeks or months, while others may need more than a year," as the Anxiety and Depression Association of America's website pointed out. However, no matter how long it takes, the tried and true method turns out consistent results. As Stefan G. Hofmann, the director of the Social Anxiety Program at Boston University, told The Atlantic, cognitive behavioral therapy for social anxiety has a response rate of 75 percent for patients. In addition to traditional therapies, researchers are constantly studying new approaches to treatment. People open to new methods can find clinical trials for social anxiety and opt to be a participant in the study.
The bottom line is, facing the daily challenges that social anxiety presents doesn't have to be a lonely battle. With different options for treatment, people struggling with this condition can lessen their symptoms and feel more in control of emotions about social situations.