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7 Comments Already

Muffett : Said,
April 26th, 2011 @3:15 am  

only if you are a qualified therapist to reduce a the risk of a lawsuit

Desiree H Said,
April 26th, 2011 @3:45 am  

I think it should be a psychiatrist should be diagnosing a mental illness.

oleo Said,
April 26th, 2011 @4:10 am  

Yes, but not with medication. I think the most effective treatment is with talk therapy and medications together.

kellie h Said,
April 26th, 2011 @4:54 am  

yes just with out medication

shaneris5 Said,
April 26th, 2011 @5:48 am  

Try the following and you may well not need anything else: View the information and weblinks for social anxiety/shyness, and self confidence, in sections 9, and 38, at Here is an exercise that can help you. It is called “Act as If.” When you are in a social situation, act as if you are outgoing. Talk more, smile at everyone, ask questions, speak in a normal or excited tone, not a meek tone. Watch some of your outgoing peers, and imitate the style of their social behavior. (I PRETEND that I’m an ACTOR, PLAYING a PART).

Research shows that when you “act as if” continually, your image of yourself begins to conform to your new behavior. In this case, you will gain self-esteem and self-confidence, and begin to see yourself as socially normal, not shy. You will become more socially successful, and this will motivate you to continue your new social behavior until it becomes a habit. Try this for a month, in every situation you can. I am confident that you will become much more comfortable and outgoing. One form of therapy is to go somewhere that nobody knows you, and deliberately make an utter fool of yourself: put on a paper hat, and scream out: “I’m queen/king of America!”, or something else ridiculous, then get back in the taxi, (warn the driver of your intentions, first) or car, and leave.

People will point, and say: “Look at that idiot”. But, you’re probably not up to the stage where you can do that, yet (I can, and I used to be shy). It will teach you that, although it isn’t actually pleasant, (EXPECT MODERATE DISCOMFORT) you will survive; be stronger for the experience, and the next time (should you need to repeat this type of therapy) will be considerably easier. Remember: “A fear avoided is a fear strengthened; a fear faced is a fear reduced.” Regard it as your final test: once you have accomplished it, the barrier will be broken; just don’t go too far, the other way! Learn to laugh at yourself, and give a big, cheesy grin when others see you do something foolish, as we all do, occasionally. It is endearing, if you don’t do it too often. Use positive affirmations: for example: “I am very likable and other people feel comfortable around me”.

Write down all of your self limiting beliefs; then write down the positive counter of them, (exact opposite) and repeat them and imprint them into your mind. Most importantly: Force yourself to approach somebody and initiate some sort of communication. Start out small by asking the time and directions and gradually go bigger. Although there are anti-anxiety medications (anxiolytics) available, these come with risks, and the possibility of side effects, habituation, even addiction, and withdrawal problems, and are unsuitable for young people.

Try having a cup of “Tension Tamer”, herbal tea, by Celestial Seasonings, (from supermarket tea, or health food aisles) or make some at home, and cool, then bottle, and drink as needed (I find it so strong tasting, that I need to drink it quickly, followed by something like fruit juice, to take away the taste, but others may find it more tolerable). C(h)amomile tea is a more palatable option. As with all herbal/green teas, use lemon/lime, and/or a little sweetener (NOT ARTIFICIAL!!!) but no cream, or milk.

Xylitol, or Stevia is preferable, (health food stores) or fruit sugar (fructose, such as “Fruisana”, from supermarket sugar aisles) or even a little honey, because these will reduce “sugar spikes”. Valerian has also been recommended, but some people experience “valerian hangovers”. Ensure you know how you react to it, before doing something potentially dangerous, like going out on the roads. The idea is to use the above like water wings, to provide initial, short term support, while you become proficient in the above techniques.

Loopie365 Said,
April 26th, 2011 @5:53 am  

Absolutely, and as others stated, without the ability to prescribe medication. However don’t be afraid of the Social Work degree. Many choose to get a degree in Social Work rather than a more specific psychological degree simply because that degree affords them more employment opportunities. By the fact that this person pursued schooling past the usual Masters level shows their dedication to their work. This fact would make me more confident in the person I was going to work with.

daver Said,
April 26th, 2011 @6:12 am  

They can certainly *treat* them, as others here have pointed out, but perhaps a better question might be: how EFFECTIVE will they be in assisting the client to OVERCOME their social anxiety disorder (SAD)?

As you may know, most everyone has some degree of social anxiety. It is not like having a broken leg; you either have it or you don’t… the real issue is how much does it interfere with your happiness and life. It becomes a DISORDER when a person spends too much time avoiding activities they would like or need to do because the threat of feeling anxiety in those situations becomes too great to bear.

Having said all that, a few other things are worth noting:

1. SAD seems to be treated most effectively by identifying and changing the negative thoughts (cognitions) that fuel the anxiety.

2. The most successful treatment seems to be Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for this disorder. Talk therapy by itself is NOT effective for SAD.

3. Your therapist, whether they are a social worker, mental health counselor, psychiatrist, etc MUST be familiar with CBT and also, specific principles that work for SAD.

4. The best therapists are those who really understand Social Anxiety Disorder. Many DO NOT, and at best, they waste your time and money, and at worst they can increase the level of your anxiety.

5. Medications, such as SSRI’s can also be very effective, and can be prescribed by your MD, as most physicians are familiar with them.Tranquilizers are also prescribed for anxiety disorders, but many experts recommend avoiding them if possible, for a variety of legitimate reasons.

6. The bottom line is that the best therapist will be someone who TRULY understands the condition, and has had success in treating it.

There are several University clinical programs devoted strictly to social anxiety, as well as several PHd’s who have overcome their own social anxiety disorder, and now specialize in treating it. If you need to use a local therapist, do not be afraid to question them thoroughly before beginning treatment. Questions you might ask are:How much experience (and success)have you had specifically treating SAD, and what treatment method would be be using to help me?

Hope that helps, and Good Luck!

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