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Social anxiety is a disorder that occurs because of the fear or anxiety that the person in question feels in certain social situations. Even though some of them might seem really trivial to other, these people cannot function normally because of this problem and they cannot perform a number of everyday activities. For many it is hard to admit that they have a problem, and it is even harder to look for help, particularly to look for professional help. And what makes the whole problem even bigger is the fact that a number of them actually thinks that they can deal with the problem on their own, which is definitely almost always wrong belief. So, they keep waiting, while the symptoms keep worsening, and they never go away on their own.

Therapy for social anxiety

Even though medications are not always necessary in the treatment of social anxiety, psychological counseling is something that the treatment is based on. If medications are employed, then it is for the purpose of reducing the symptoms of anxiety and depression, which is why antidepressants are primarily prescribed. However, benzodiazepines and beta-blockers can also be prescribed if necessary, all with the same purpose. It is not uncommon that the patient does not respond well to the first medication prescribed, and then the doctor will prescribe some other, so the patient needs to be patient indeed.

In some cases, especially if people are diagnosed with generalized anxiety or if numerous social situations are a reason for fear, a combination of medications and psychological counseling is actually a winning combination on the long run. The main purpose of professional counseling is to face the fears that the patient feels and to overcome them gradually.

Types of psychological counseling

Cognitive-behavioral therapy and supportive therapy are the main types of psychological therapy. The first one will definitely be effective when the patient needs to recognize and identify the situations and circumstances that provoke the fear or anxiety, and even though it will probably not be a comfortable experience, it is of essential importance for recovery. It has several types, and which one will be employed depends on each particular case and the therapist. Exposure therapy, social skills training cognitive restructuring and symptom management skills are therapies that belong to this category.

As for supportive therapy, the truth is that it is mainly focused on educating the person in question about the disorder, and since even family members or people close to that person can be a part of it, it is focused on educating them as well.  

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