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Social Phobia

how can we help a adolecent that is diagnosed with social phobia?
What type of therapy will be suitable?
5 Responses
242532 tn?1269553979
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
The best way to answer that question is for you to seek a consultation with a good therapist who can evaluate the adolescent and make that decision with him or her and you...there are several different approaches     but they depend on the type and extent and source of the social anxiety.
Avatar universal
I'm not sure.  Not force them into social situations.  Educate yourself around the diagnosis and how best to support the individual (whilst facilitating their recovery).  Seek out a support group for yourself if necessary.

I'm not sure about treatment (and I feel I should know because I was diagnosed with moderate social phobia several years ago).
De-sensitization is one treatment that comes to mind.  This exposes an individual to increasing levels of stress.

Good luck with your search.

J
Avatar universal
first off a medication for anxiety would help partly, ive taken numerous meds and have only found xanax to work the best, that along with therapy helps a lot
Avatar universal
Consult a psychologist and have the adolescent receive some individual therapy first. Then, I would see if the psychologist finds the adolescent to be a good fit for a cognitive-behavioral group therapy. This type of therapy has been proven in the research to be effective. With social phobia, guided exposure to anxiety provoking situations in combination with cognitive restructuring has been proven to help significantly with social phobia.

Medications also are usually useful but true change will not happen with medications alone.

But, yes. A consultation first to assess the severity and therapy that would be of the best fit for the adolescent. Other mental health disorders such as depression or another anxiety disorders may also be present and these might take precedent over the social phobia.
Avatar universal
I used to have social phobia for a long time
and now I no longer have problems with it.

I never taken benzo's or other medication to combat it
because I believe the cause for social phobia is mental.

My problem was that I cared about what other people think of me.
Are my clothes ok?
Does my face look normal?
Do i act normal?

How high I valued myself depended on how high other people valued me.
When i used to walk outside, i often felt as if everybody was looking at me... and this made things even worse.

The thing that helped me was to stop letting my self value depend on what other people think of me.
No matter who you are, there is always people who look down on you for one reason or another.

I have managed to get to the point of not wanting to be accepted by other people.
If other people don't like me, then that's a pity because I think that we're all brothers and sisters who should get along as one family... but i will no longer make myself feel inferior,
even if the whole world would look down on me.

I must admit that learning to be meditative has helped me reach this stage,
because as (socially) anxious people know out of nowhere the anxiety is suddenly there
and even though you logically understand that you shouldn't be anxious,
you still can't get yourself to get rid of the fear.

Being meditative learned me how to cope with that feeling of fear...
Ocasionally it would still pop up inside my heart and mind (because i have been socially anxious for years, these patterns are rooted very deep in the mind)
but instead of letting it take control over myself like i used to...
I now take control over myself.

All the paranoid and fearfull thoughts that are linked with the feeling of anxiety,
I don't give attention to any of them... and because i dont give them food.. they can't take control over me... And so i become confident.

The kind of meditation i prefer over all others i have yet encountered is explained in the book "I am that" by Nisargadatta,
although many people will probably prefer a less mystical approach.

To them i would recommend to look into either Vipassana, Zen meditation or mindfullness.


I have read that "Emotional Freedom Technique" seems to be very good as well.
It is a western approach based on meditation, although it's not exactly meditation.

Good luck on your quest for the best suitable solution for you(r adolescent).
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