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How To Treat Social Anxiety Without Medication

Unresponsiveness To Standard Treatments

Managing Anxiety Without Taking Medications…

Before considering a patient to be treatment unresponsive, it should be ascertained that the diagnosis was correct, adherence to the treatment plan was sufficient, the dose prescribed had covered the full range, and there had been a trial period of adequate duration. When patients report previous treatment failures, it often turns out that a drug was only prescribed in the lowest dose or was stopped within the first 2 weeks due to side effects that occurred in the initial phase before the patient could experience improvement.

Elderly patients may take longer to show a response. Table III contains options in case of drug inefficacy or intolerance. In patients who are unresponsive to psychotropic drugs, the addition of CBT is generally recommended.

A combination of antidepressants and benzodiazepines is sometimes used in treatment-refractory cases.

When all standard treatments have failed, the off-label use of drugs may be considered, for example, drugs licensed for another anxiety disorder or that are not licensed but have shown efficacy in clinical studies. Such drugs include quetiapine and agomelatine.

Why Does It Happen At Night

Anxiety is a normal human emotion characterized by feelings of nervousness and worry. You may find yourself experiencing anxiety during stressful situations, such as a first date or job interview.

Sometimes, though, anxiety may linger around for longer than usual. When this happens, it can interfere with your daily and nightly life.

One of the most common times when people experience anxiety is at night. Many clinical trials have found that sleep deprivation can be a trigger for anxiety. Historically, research also suggests anxiety disorders are associated with reduced sleep quality.

Treating your nighttime anxiety and addressing your sleep issues are important steps in improving your quality of life.

There are manysymptoms of anxiety. Everyone experiences anxiety differently. Symptoms can happen anytime of the day, morning, or night. Common symptoms of anxiety include:

  • feelings of nervousness, restlessness, or worry
  • trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
  • gastrointestinal problems

Another symptom a person with anxiety may also experience is a panic attack. A panic attack is an episode of extreme and intense fear, often accompanied by physical manifestations. The common symptoms of a panic attack include:

  • a sense of impending doom
  • increased heart rate and chest pains
  • shortness of breath and throat tightness
  • sweating, chills, and hot flashes
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • a feeling of detachment, or like nothing is real

Be Accountable To Someone

You may stay in your rut forever if nobody knows you are trying to move past your social anxiety and you are not accountable to anyone. Choose someone you trust , and tell them about your plans to make changes in your life.

This works very much like having an exercise partner the other person keeps you honest and keeps you from giving up when the road seems to hard and long.

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Strike Up A Conversation

Do you shy away from talking to strangers? Do you avoid eye contact at the grocery store? Do you look at your feet in the elevator? Today, instead of doing what you normally do in those situations, try doing the opposite. Engage the other person in a bit of small talk, just for the sake of getting the practice and learning not to be afraid.

Types Of Cbt Techniques

5 Tips on Handling Anxiety Without Medication
  • exposure
  • social skills training

Exposure

Exposure can take place either through imagining or experiencing a specific performance or social situation in real life. If you have extremely severe social anxiety disorder, your therapist may begin with imagined exposure and eventually progress to real-life exposures.

The underlying principle of exposure therapy is that through practice and experience, you will become more comfortable in situations that you would otherwise avoid. Below are some exposure exercises that you can practice on your own.

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Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors

SSRIs are often the first-line treatment for social anxiety and depression.

These medications which include paroxetine and sertraline work by increasing the level of serotonin in your brain.

Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter, a molecule that helps send messages throughout your body. Low levels of serotonin have been linked to depression and anxiety.

Dont Dismiss Natural Medicines

Its easy to think every supplement and tea is a scam. Some are, but some arent.

Personally for me, understanding the power of nutrition, supplements, teas, natural extracts, etc has been paramount for me and my journey towards healing.

For example, something as normal as Chamomile, and its active compound have been shown to decrease overall anxiety if supplement regularly long-term in various studies.

Additionally, the Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience launched a study titled How to increase serotonin in the human brain without drugs and showed the power of going outside in the sunlight to help properly synthesize vitamin D and serotonin.

Both of these are huge factors when it comes to mental health, and for managing social anxiety on a regular and long-term basis.

While nothing is a magic pill, dont dismiss this, as it has helped many people.

PS. Im running a virtual event this Wednesday, learn more here.

Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Magnesium For Anxiety And Depression

Medications Just Hold The Problems At Bay Until You’re Ready To Deal With Them

Launching a teaching career and finding my now-husband held the social anxiety at bay. It wasn’t until I was 38 and my 3-year-old son got diagnosed with autism that my life started to unravel and I couldn’t pull it together any longer. My doctor prescribed medication for social anxiety that I more than readily agreed to take.

But, what I realize now with the wisdom of hindsight is that I should have gone to therapy as well as taking the prescription. I should never have stayed on the drug for as long as I did 7 long years with no plan for stopping. When I finally weaned myself off it, a sad fact remained I was right back where I started with fear dominating my existence. That’s when I decided to discover healthy ways to deal with my social anxiety and bring back the joy that had been missing from my life for far too long.

I believe my doctor did me a great disservice by putting me on an anti-anxiety drug with no plan for getting off it. I should have been seeing a therapist while taking it so I could implement changes in my life.

Pixabay

What Is Social Anxiety?

It’s an anxiety disorder in which a person experiences an unreasonable fear of social situations. This fear is intense, causing such distress that the person may avoid social situation altogether. Some people struggle with “anticipatory” anxiety meaning they fear the event for days and even weeks before it happens. Social anxiety is often accompanied by depression.

How To Overcome Social Anxiety

How I Cured My Anxiety Without Medication | AmyCrouton

The good news first: Treatment for social anxietydisorder is pretty effective.

The bad news? Only one in five people ever receive professional therapy for their condition.

With 80% of socially anxious people never reaching out for help, you could think that someones math is off. But there is nothing wrong with these numbers.

Sadly, social anxiety disorder often leads to a paradox. The reason why affected people crave the help and assistance of a qualified professional also explains why they do not seek it: they fear being judged and negatively evaluated.

This conflict is a major problem when it comes to potential treatment. The abbreviation for social anxiety disorder, SAD, was certainly chosen wisely.

Other reasons why socially anxious people may refrain from reaching out for help are the treatment expenses, longdistances to therapeutic facilities, and a lack of professionals specializing in social anxiety disorder .

In this comprehensive guide, we will do four things.

First, we zone in on the different treatment variations that have been proven effective to overcome social anxiety disorder.

Like this, you gain an understanding of the different branches of psychotherapy and how they explain and treat social anxiety disorder. This will allow you to identify the treatments you are most inclined to and how they can help you reduce your social fears.

Lets dive into it!

Read Also: How Much Can Anxiety Raise Blood Pressure

Keep Your Blood Sugar In Check

Even if you don’t have diabetes, skipping meals or loading up on junk food can lead to blood sugar drops that make you irritable, jittery, and anxious. Try to eat three balanced meals and two snacks each day. Choose foods that are high in fiber, fruits and vegetables, nuts, small servings of lean meat, and low-fat milk or cheese. If you have diabetes, take your medications as prescribed.

Tips For Getting Rid Of Social Anxiety Disorder

Ask For Help

Sometimes, social anxiety may be overwhelming, and often, people with social anxiety are left feeling down in the dumps because of it. We understand that during the battle for control over your life, it could get like that full of angry questions and unhappiness.

However, do not despair or shut yourself in. There is a lot of avenues for you to let out the frustrations and strive for better.

  • You can always meet up with a mental health professional about your fears and your condition.
  • If you are too ashamed to seek professional help from a doctor, you can start small by contacting mental health helplines to address the issue.
  • You can supplement with asking mental health groups that cater for people with social anxiety.

Have A Sound Support System

It is a bonus if those you love and care to understand how difficult leaving with social anxiety is, especially for you. This is great as they know your quirks and know about your struggle with it.

  • They could accompany you to seek professional help.
  • Go with you for a support group meeting,
  • Be there when you are frustrated and do not know what to do.
  • It could be a family member or friend. Either way, you need a support system, as you cannot rely on yourself all through the road to recovery.

Join A Support Group

Stop Being Hard On Yourself

Eat Well And Exercise

Keep A Journal

Celebrate Your Wins

Above All, Do It For You

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is social anxiety a severe disorder, is it not just shyness?

Read Also: What Does Anxiety Look Like

Anxiety: 15 Ways To Feel Better Without Medication

Anxiety comes in all shapes and sizes and theres no one-size-fits-all approach to managing it. Although medication can be effective, its not without potential side effects and is generally preferred as the last resort option. Most of us have had some sort of brush with anxiety, but for those whose lives are deeply affected every day, there is hope. Theres still a lot we need to learn but anxiety has spent quite a bit of time under the research spotlight recently. As a result, were becoming wiser about the way anxiety works and ways to manage anxiety without medication. Here are 15 of them:

  • Omega-3.

    Hearts love omega-3 and so do heads. In one study, 68 medical students who received 2.5 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids each day for 12 weeks showed less exam anxiety than students who were given a placebo for the same duration. Omega-3 can be found in supplements or naturally in flaxseeds, walnuts, edamame, salmon, sardines and grass-fed beef, all of which are excellent sources.

  • Unfriend. Unfollow. Un-him. Un-her.

    If theres anyone in your life or in your social media circles who sets you to feeling bad, move them along. You just dont need it or him or her. You dont have to explain and it doesnt need to make sense. Its enough that it happens. It doesnt mean theres anything wrong with either of you. Its just the way it is. Just dont keep putting yourself through it. If you need permission, here it is.

  • Tip : Focus On Others Not Yourself

    Relieve Anxiety Without Drugs

    When were in a social situation that makes us nervous, many of us tend to get caught up in our anxious thoughts and feelings. You may be convinced that everyone is looking at you and judging you. Your focus is on your bodily sensations, hoping that by paying extra close attention you can better control them. But this excessive self-focus just makes you more aware of how nervous youre feeling, triggering even more anxiety! It also prevents you from fully concentrating on the conversations around you or the performance youre giving.

    Switching from an internal to an external focus can go a long way toward reducing social anxiety. This is easier said than done, but you cant pay attention to two things at once. The more you concentrate on whats happening around you, the less youll be affected by anxiety.

    Focus your attention on other people, but not on what theyre thinking of you! Instead, do your best to engage them and make a genuine connection.

    Remember that anxiety isnt as visible as you think. And even if someone notices that youre nervous, that doesnt mean theyll think badly of you. Chances are other people are feeling just as nervous as youor have done in the past.

    Really listen to what is being said not to your own negative thoughts.

    Focus on the present moment, rather than worrying about what youre going to say or beating yourself up for a flub thats already passed.

    Recommended Reading: How Can I Fall Asleep With Anxiety

    Talking About Anxiety With Your Child

  • 1Teach your child about anxiety. Your child may have a lot of strong feelings, but he or she may not yet know how to understand them, label them, or figure out where they come from. Your child may recognize the feeling, but not much else. Teach your child about anxiety and how it may feel.XTrustworthy SourceNational Health Service Public healthcare system of the UKGo to source
  • Say, Anxiety is something that helps our minds and bodies signal danger. If you go to the edge of a cliff or see a bear, your body will react in a way that signals danger to help you get through that scary situation. Sometimes, the body can react in the same way as seeing a bear even when there isnt a big danger ahead. Thats called anxiety. The body signals danger even when there isnt any.
  • 2Explain social anxiety. Explain to your child that some people feel scared or embarrassed when in front of other people. It might be scary to talk to people in a group, be around other people, or speak in front of people. Let him or her know that feeling this way is normal and that he or she is not the only person who feels this way.XResearch source
  • Say, There are times you might feel like everyone is watching you or that you are on stage when in front of people. You might feel embarrassed about saying the wrong thing, or that youll do something wrong, or that people will think badly of you. A lot of children and adults have this exact same fear.
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