How to Overcome Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety disorder, sometimes called social phobia, is a very common type of anxiety disorder that affects approximately 15 million adults in America. People with social anxiety are overwhelmingly anxious in everyday social situations, despite often realizing that their fears and embarrassment are excessive.

Social anxiety is treatable

Because it is impossible to live a normal life while avoiding all social situations and it is extremely draining to be anxious all the time, it is important to learn ways to overcome your social anxiety. The good news is that social anxiety is actually a quite treatable condition. While it will require effort on your part, it is absolutely possible to overcome social anxiety disorder.

As with other mental health conditions, there is no one size fits all treatment approach for social anxiety. Some people find that employing various self-help strategies lessens their anxiety enough to function normally, while others require professional therapy or medication. Many people benefit from some combination of these different approaches. No matter what treatment plan you choose, hard work is going to be the key to overcoming your social anxiety.

Find a mental health specialist

If you aren’t sure where to begin, making an appointment with a professional mental health counselor or psychiatrist is often a good first step. They can walk you through your different treatment options and discuss with you whether you would benefit from medication.

Most professionals will discuss cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) as an option, with or without the assistance of medication. CBT is one way of retraining your brain to think more rationally about situations that cause excessive fear and anxiety, and it has been shown to be quite effective in treating social anxiety.

Social anxiety will not go away overnight, but with the dedication to a treatment plan, it is something that can be overcome.

Photo: Pxhere

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