Anxiety disorders are treatable. The vast majority of people suffering with one or more anxiety disorders can be helped with treatment and professional care.
Treatment varies by symptoms and by the disorder. Some people respond to treatment after a few weeks. Others need treatment for more than a year.
In essence, treatment is tailored to the specific individual suffering with the anxiety. Treatment for social anxiety disorder may involve psychotherapy and pharmacological treatments.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is effective for treating multiple anxiety disorders, particularly those specific to phobias, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder.
The cognitive component of CBT helps patients address their fear of being judged. The behavioral component of CBT helps to change a patient’s reactions to anxiety-provoking situations.
Patients are confronted with their fears through gradual exposure, which is an unpleasant technique, but effective for helping patients confront their fears. The aim of the technique is to help patients learn how to react differently when confronted with the same panic situation.
Pharmacological treatments include SSRIs, which is a class of antidepressants and is the first choice of treatment for generalized social phobia.
The use of drugs helps to elevate the level of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is used in antidepressants to treat depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and social phobia.