Study: Talk Therapy May Trump Medication For Social Anxiety

September 28, 2014 12:09 PM

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New research in The Lancet Psychiatry suggests that for people with social anxiety, talk therapy may be a better option than medication. The study is one of a growing number that suggests that talk therapy may rival medication for certain mental health disorders. And in the current study, cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) lives up to its reputation as the gold standard in psychotherapy. In CBT, a person is taught to identify the negative thought patterns one falls back on and replace them with more positive and effective ones. Numerous studies have illustrated the value of CBT and other types of therapy for treating other mental health issues – most notably, depression – and the new one adds some compelling evidence that it may also work well as well as, or even better than, medication for social anxiety.

About 12-14% of people in the U.S. will suffer from social anxiety, also called social phobia, over their lifetimes. The symptoms include a sometimes-debilitating discomfort around people; fear or avoidance of social situations; blushing, trembling, sweating, and feeling nauseous or panicky when aro...

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