In extreme cases of social anxiety, the individual loses all interest in stepping out of the home. Sometimes severity of symptoms get worse with age. These factors vary individually.
Psychotherapy works for social anxiety through a 2 step process:
- behavioral change : client is motivated to make baby steps, like making eye contact in conversation, leaving the house, envisioning a change. This measure helps the patient active in making change, but does not necessarily solve the underlying problem.
- emotional awareness: client is supported in being aware of negative feelings (of e.g. fear / panic / loss etc.) that underlie the anxiety. This method provides for lasting alleviation of the distress.
Group therapy is recommended for clients who have progressed in individual therapy or who have very mild anxiety.
The goal of therapy in this situation is to enable the client to analyze the root of his/her distress, overcome setbacks, and learn new behaviors that would turn into second nature.
The test below is by no means diagnostic, but rather educational. If you or anyone you know find the self having debilitating issues regarding social anxiety, do seek a professional’s services.