Woman in need of social phobia therapy at a social phobia treatment centerSocial anxiety symptoms don’t have to control your life. Many clients we see struggle with anxiety disorders, including social phobia. Our treatments for social anxiety are evidence-based and compassionate. We address the underlying reasons behind your mental health disorder so you can heal fully. Without help at our social phobia treatment center, social anxiety disorder can lead to a number of problems, including:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Difficulty setting boundaries or conveying needs
  • Underachievement at work or school
  • Substance abuse
  • Hypersensitivity to criticism
  • Social isolation

Get the treatment you need to head off these issues or prevent them from getting worse.

How Social Phobia Therapy Works

Promises provides safe, intimate treatment settings where you’ll receive social phobia treatment and attention to co-occurring disorders like substance abuse. You’ll practice new skills to manage anxiety symptoms and feel empowered and supported.

Treatments for social anxiety and co-occurring disorders may include:

Medical Detox

People with social anxiety often struggle with co-occurring substance abuse. They use alcohol and drugs in an attempt to self-medicate their anxiety disorder or social anxiety.  If you’re struggling with substance abuse, the first step in treatment is a drug and alcohol detox center. We make sure this time is safe and as comfortable as possible. Withdrawal symptoms treatment may include medications as well as alternative approaches to ease discomfort. Our medical team monitors you around the clock in a welcoming setting. Medical detox helps you enter inpatient treatment with a clearer head, better able to focus on getting better.

Inpatient Social Phobia Treatment Center

We offer addiction and mental health care in a home-like environment. Warm decor, comfortable furniture and inviting gathering areas are some of the touches that help you feel at ease.  Components of inpatient treatment may include:

Individual therapy

Treatment of social anxiety includes one-on-one work with a mental health professional. A counselor trained in social phobia therapy approaches will help you address the reasons behind symptoms of of social anxiety. Sometimes struggles like past trauma and other negative experiences can fuel social anxiety and substance abuse. You’ll work through these issues with research-backed approaches like cognitive behavioral therapy. Within a trusting therapeutic relationship you can address feared situations and learn strategies for healthier thinking and coping.

Group therapy

Initially, group therapy can feel intimidating for people with social anxiety. However, many find it to be one of the most transformative social anxiety treatments. A small group of peers sharing similar struggles can provide a safe, nurturing space to begin facing some of your fears. Benefits of group therapy include:

  • Improved communication skills
  • Self-insight
  • Accountability in recovery
  • Social skills training
  • An accepting place to practice being vulnerable

Co-occurring disorders treatment

People with social anxiety often require a dual diagnosis treatment program because they have one or more co-occurring issues. For instance, depression and anxiety actually occur together a lot of the time. Other issues that commonly affect people with social anxiety include:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Panic disorder
  • Alcohol abuse

Medication management

Certain types of medication can be useful for treating social anxiety disorder. Anti-anxiety medications like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may ease symptoms of social anxiety. Our psychiatrists will evaluate you to determine if anti-anxiety medications are appropriate for your situation. It’s imperative that any medications for social anxiety are used in conjunction with behavioral therapy. Anti-anxiety medications are helpful in restoring chemical imbalances in the brain and alleviating some of the symptoms of  social anxiety. They cannot address the underlying emotional factors that fuel mental illness though. This work is done in individual and group therapy.

Alternative treatments

In addition to traditional approaches, we offer alternative treatments. Approaches like adventure and experiential therapies help tackle both emotional and physical symptoms. Alternative therapy approaches for social anxiety may include:

Aftercare Planning

You’ll make much headway in overcoming social anxiety during inpatient treatment. But recovery from mental illness and substance abuse is an ongoing process. You’ll work to maintain your newfound healthy life skills after social anxiety disorder treatment. We’ll help you build on the strong foundation you’ve created with comprehensive aftercare planning. This may include:

  • Appointments with counselors trained in therapy for social anxiety
  • Family therapy or couples therapy
  • Appointments with psychiatrists to manage any medications for social anxiety
  • Recovery resources like support groups in your area or sober-living residences
  • Referrals to alternative treatments for social anxiety such as acupuncture
  • Promises alumni groups and events

What Is Social Phobia?

It’s normal to get stage fright or worry about a public speaking engagement. It’s also common for some people to get a little anxious before meeting someone new or speaking up in a classroom or business meeting. However, a person with social anxiety will worry excessively, sometimes weeks in advance about relatively minor social situations. Social phobia, or social anxiety disorder, causes people to feel intense, uncontrollable fear or worry in everyday social situations. Day-to-day tasks can feel impossible. Causes of anxiety can result from everyday experiences like:

  • Using a public restroom
  • Interacting with strangers
  • Ordering food at a restaurant
  • Engaging in small talk
  • Being called on to speak at work or in school
  • Eating in front of others

Social phobia is different from shyness, nervousness or social awkwardness. It’s far more severe and impacts normal activities of life. Often fueled by concerns about being judged or embarrassed, feared situations can stop people from doing things they enjoy, or from succeeding at work or school.

Social phobia can be specific to certain situations or it can be almost any social interaction. Signs of social phobia typically appear in childhood or adolescence and last more than six months. Women are more likely than men to develop social anxiety disorder.

Do You Need a Social Phobia Treatment Center?

Social anxiety disorder can affect how a person looks, feels and acts. Some signs that you should consider a social phobia treatment center include symptoms such as the below to the degree that they greatly interfere with your quality of life:

  • Feeling self-conscious or embarrassed around other people
  • Overwhelming fear of interacting with people, being judged or embarrassing oneself
  • Avoiding work, school or other activities or responsibilities because of anxiety symptoms
  • Difficulty making eye contact or speaking
  • Struggling to make or keep friends
  • Staying away from crowded places
  • Experiencing panic attacks (sometimes people mistake these symptoms for a heart attack)

In social situations, people with social anxiety disorder may experience physical symptoms like:

  • Blushing
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Tension
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Rapid heartrate
  • Elevated blood pressure

Because social interactions are so uncomfortable, people with this mental health disorder may avoid triggering situations altogether. This sets in motion a cycle that makes the problem worse.

Depending on other stressors and the degree to which a person avoids anxiety-provoking situations, symptoms of social anxiety may come and go and change over time. This doesn’t mean the disorder no longer exists. For lasting relief, social phobia treatment is typically required.

Causes of Social Phobia

Anxiety disorders run in families, but many other factors are also at play. Scientists suspect the following contribute to the disorder:

  • Environment
  • Chemical imbalance in the brain
  • Hyperactivity in certain structures of the brain
  • Stressful life experiences such as abuse, bullying or family problems

Personality and having parents who are excessively controlling or over-protective could also be risk factors for social anxiety disorder.

Social Phobia Therapy

Social phobia is usually treated with anxiety medication and psychotherapy. Beta blockers are sometimes prescribed off-label for their effectiveness in treating the physical symptoms of anxiety. Many mental health professionals use cognitive behavioral therapy and other approaches to help clients develop skills to cope with feelings of fear and worry. Clients also benefit from social skills training, confidence building activities, and relaxation techniques, such as acupuncture and meditation.

Reclaim Your Life

If you’re plagued with social phobia or other anxiety disorders, life may feel like a constant struggle. At Promises, we’ll help you manage your symptoms, learn healthy coping skills and create the life you’ve always imagined. Call us today for a free, confidential consultation: 1.713.528.3709.

Posted on July 21, 2017 and modified on April 27, 2019