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What is exposure therapy for treating social phobia?

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Exposure therapy for social phobia works by gradually exposing you to social situations that are uncomfortable and waiting until you feel comfortable. During this process, you learn that a social situation you fear is actually not so bad. The advantage of this therapy is that you are treating the underlying problem, not just the symptoms of social phobia. So if you stop behavioral therapy, the chance of your social phobia symptoms returning is less likely.

From: Do You Have Social Phobia? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: 

Schneier, F. , 1992.  Archives of General Psychiatry

Barlow, D. "Psychosocial treatments for panic disorders, phobias, and generalized anxiety disorder" in: , Nathan, PE, and Gorman, JM (Eds), Oxford University Press, New York, 1998.  A Guide to Treatments that Work

Anxiety Disorders Association of America: "Social Anxiety Disorders."

National Institute of Mental Health: "A Real Illness: Social Phobia" and "Facts About Social Phobia." 

Facts for Health: "Social Anxiety, Medications (Pharmacotherapy) and Ineffective Treatments." 

Anxiety Disorders Association of America: "Anxiety Medications and Kids." 

Medline: "Anxiety Disorders." 

National Institute of Mental Health: "Social Phobia."

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on February 22, 2018

SOURCES: 

Schneier, F. , 1992.  Archives of General Psychiatry

Barlow, D. "Psychosocial treatments for panic disorders, phobias, and generalized anxiety disorder" in: , Nathan, PE, and Gorman, JM (Eds), Oxford University Press, New York, 1998.  A Guide to Treatments that Work

Anxiety Disorders Association of America: "Social Anxiety Disorders."

National Institute of Mental Health: "A Real Illness: Social Phobia" and "Facts About Social Phobia." 

Facts for Health: "Social Anxiety, Medications (Pharmacotherapy) and Ineffective Treatments." 

Anxiety Disorders Association of America: "Anxiety Medications and Kids." 

Medline: "Anxiety Disorders." 

National Institute of Mental Health: "Social Phobia."

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on February 22, 2018

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When should I talk to my doctor about social phobia?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.