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What is a good plan for overcoming social anxiety?

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The most effective treatment for social anxiety disorder is cognitive behavioral therapy, involving change of thought patterns, gradual desensitization and exposure to social situations and even medication, states WebMD. Social anxiety affects patients on a daily basis in social settings, sometimes including specific situations such as speaking in front of an audience, talking on the phone or eating in front of others.

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Cognitive behavioral therapy is a combination of behavioral therapy and cognitive therapy, according to Wikipedia. It is used in the treatment of dozens of different mental illnesses and is shown to be an effective treatment for a variety of anxiety disorders.

During the treatment of social anxiety disorder, patients are often taught how to guide their thoughts in a more positive direction rather than avoiding anxiety-provoking social situations, states WebMD. Patients are systematically desensitized to the idea of the anxiety-causing situations and given increasing real-life exposure to them while under the care of a therapist. Some medications such as antidepressants and sedatives may be used to treat the psychological symptoms of social anxiety disorder. Additionally, heart medications such as beta-blockers may be used to treat physical anxiety symptoms. Counseling and relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, also can be part of a treatment plan for social anxiety disorder.

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