Being the third largest psychological issue in the U.S., the problem of social anxiety has likely affected you directly or someone very close to you. The folks who are afflicted with social anxiety, often classified as social phobia, have trouble interacting in social environments. They will often experience physical symptoms, such as shortness of breath, chest pains, sweating, and nausea. Unfortunately for them, these are often signs of heart attacks. In fact, panic attacks are often mistaken as such, forcing these individuals into a truly awkward social situation where they are indeed the center of uncomfortable attention; the emergency room!
The good news here is that there are many types of effective treatments that can be used. These treatments fall into a group called Social Anxiety Therapy. Typically, Social Anxiety Therapy focuses on exposing the individual to various degrees of social interactions. The thinking is that with a slow enough exposure to more and more complex social situations, with the guidance and safe keeping of a trained therapist, consumers of Social Anxiety Therapy will be able to build their tolerance to social situations. With enough exposure, this problems can be controlled or disappear completely. This form of Social Anxiety Therapy is referred to as Exposure Treatment and falls under the school of thought known as Cognitive Behavioral Psychology.
There are other forms of treatment to Social Anxiety Therapy that can be used instead of, or in conjunction with Exposure Treatment. Among the most common of these is Psycho pharmaceutical Treatment. This, as you might guess, involves the treatment of Social Anxiety Therapy with drugs such as sedatives and anti-depressants. The thinking in this case is that the social component of the affliction can be controlled if either the general anxiety of the individual or the depression of the individual can be addressed. This makes some sense as depression is frequently found with anxiety and is therefore of key interest to Social Anxiety Therapy. This, however, is not without controversy. Is it because the person is anxious that they are depressed or is it because they are depressed that they are anxious? Knowing what drives what can be a very important part of Social Anxiety Therapy, but alas, it can be very difficult to tease apart.