These are the main ways of treating social anxiety:
Anti-anxiety pills and anti-depressants can help, especially in conjunction with action therapies.
CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)
This is the most well-known and recommended therapy for social anxiety. The cognitive part is designed to change thought patterns. For example, if you think people are secretly laughing at you, the corrective thought might be that you can’t possibly know that and they’re probably smiling because they’re interested in what you have to say.
The behavioural part involves changing behaviours – accepting invitations instead of making excuses, taking part in a discussion instead of listening in.
Other therapies include hypnotherapy, psychotherapy, biofeedback (in which psychologists help tense and anxious clients to relax by using signals from their own bodies) and neuro-linguistic processing (which uses vivid mental imagery to change the way we think about things).
These therapies can be performed in a group, alone with a therapist or alone with a self-help book.
Do they work?
In many cases, yes. In some cases, no.
I will say more about this in my next post.