Social anxiety is one of the largest mental health care problems in the world. Estimates indicate that it affects approximately 7% of the population. Obviously, this is a big problem that has a negative effect on the people it affects.
Overcoming social anxiety might seem like an insurmountable task, but it can be overcome with enough willpower and the proper treatment methods. Some of these treatment methods might include seeing a psychologist, pharmaceutical medication, forcing yourself into social situations, and other natural type remedies. The following article will guide you through the different treatment methods for social anxiety.
Seeing a Psychologist
Seeing a psychologist is the first step to treating social anxiety. A normal session with a psychologist will focus on treatment methods that involve overcoming negative thoughts. The healthcare professional should have a series of exercises that prepare the patient for challenging negative thoughts.
Some of those exercises could be a logical questioning of those negative thoughts. An example would be to keep asking yourself “why?”
“Why do I think I’m the worst?”
“Why do I think that everyone else is better than me?”
Eventually, the patient will reach a point where they reach a logical end. At this point, the only option is to directly confront the negative thoughts. The socially anxious person will soon realize that their negative thoughts are simply a figment of their imagination.
Psychologists have other treatment methods beyond the scope of this article, but the example above is a great introduction to one method. Remember, every psychologist will have a different way to treat social anxiety and will custom tailor a treatment option for you.
Pharmaceutical medication is one of the most popular treatment options for social anxiety. Obtaining pharmaceutical medication is rather easy. Simply go to a psychiatrist, and if they diagnose a patient with social anxiety, then they will often prescribe medication. However, the medication prescribed for social anxiety has a fair amount of controversy surrounding it.
Some studies have indicated that social anxiety medication may actually lead to more anxiety. Anti-anxiety medication has more issues than that though. It works by altering the chemistry of the brain. However, anxiety is generally not considered a mental health issue that requires adjustments to the brain chemistry. In fact, many psychiatrists reject the notion that brain-altering substances are an effective or safe method to treat any type of mental disorder. Finally, pharmaceutical drugs may cause dependency, which means getting off of them could be challenging. Even worse, getting off pharmaceutical drugs may result in a worse position than when the drugs were first taken. Thankfully, natural alternatives to pharmaceutical medication do exist though.
Forcing yourself into social situations
Forcing yourself into social situations is one of the better methods to treat social anxiety. Since social anxiety almost always has a root cause of negative thoughts; the best way to overcome negative thoughts is to confront them directly. Negative thoughts about social anxiety usually involve thinking of yourself as inadequate in social situations.
The best way to dispel that negative thought is a combination of positive thinking and direct experience in social situations. This experience will provide a great reference point to dispel negative thoughts. It allows you to reference a time when you had a good social experience and begins the process of building a positive feedback loop.
A positive feedback loop refers to receiving positive feedback for an event or action. This positive feedback then releases dopamine into the brain. The dopamine release feels good, and it causes you to pursue further dopamine releases. Unfortunately, setting up a positive feedback loop requires facing the fear of social interaction.
Overall, forcing yourself into social interactions might be one of the best methods to treat social anxiety. However, the first social interaction is often the hardest because no positive feedback loop has been established. Working up the courage to face the fear of social interactions often requires some help. This can be from a friend, a job requirement, alcohol, or other alternative methods.
A friend or a job requirement that forces social interactions is often a good method. Not everyone has the ability to switch careers nor does everyone have a friend willing to help with social interactions. The next option would be going out on your own to social events such as the Toastmasters International. Again, this might be hard the first time, and alcohol is not the best option to treat social anxiety. However, cannabidiol (CBD) has some known anti-anxiety benefits.
Using CBD to treat social anxiety
First, CBD is part of cannabis, but CBD does not contain any psycho-active ingredients. In other words, CBD will not make you high. It has all the benefits of normal marijuana, but with none of the downsides of it (dizziness, paranoia, racing heartbeat, etc.).
CBD can be used to treat social anxiety as it increases the effectiveness of serotonin receptors in the brain. This method is actually similar to that of popular anti-anxiety medicines such as Prozac and Zoloft. However, CBD does not have the same addicting side-effects as Prozac and Zoloft.
The CBD gummies available from Sunday Scaries are an excellent way to consume CBD. The gummies are made of regular candy infused with CBD. This means not having to inhale vapor through an e-cigarette or other methods. Simply eat the gummies like any other gummy. The only difference is that these gummies will help with social anxiety.
Overall, the four main methods of treating social anxiety will all work. Each method has pros and cons, but with some methods, mainly pharmaceutical medicine, the cons far outweigh the pros. The best method to treating social anxiety likely involves a combination of speaking to a psychologist, eliminating negative thoughts, forcing yourself into social situations, and maybe using CBD to help.
The CBD is certainly not a necessity to treating social anxiety. However, in the early stages of treatment, it can certainly help. The main point is to not use the CBD as a crutch for treating anxiety. Though CBD does have a multitude of other benefits besides just treating anxiety.