Social Anxiety: Treatment

Social anxiety disorder is treated either by behavioral therapy or a combination of behavioral therapy and medication. Children beginning a program of therapy and medication usually don’t take medication for long.

Psychotherapeutic: Children with social anxiety disorder will benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy (or CBT), which is a kind of therapy that teaches kids how to overcome their fear and change anxious thought patterns. It also teaches kids coping skills that they can rely on when they are feeling anxious. Practicing social skills may also be part of treatment.

Pharmacological: Medications can alleviate symptoms of anxiety, which may make behavioral therapy more effective for some children. SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, have proven effective at managing some symptoms of social anxiety disorder. Medications called beta blockers may also be prescribed to curb the fear response and reduce physical symptoms of anxiety, such as palpitations and sweating.

Tips for Managing Social Anxiety