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How Do I Choose the Best Performance Anxiety Treatment?

By Tara Barnett
Updated May 17, 2024
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Performance anxiety is a term commonly used to describe two very different problems. On the one hand, this type of anxiety affects people who see themselves as performing, and on the other, it is a problem affecting men who have anxiety about sexual situations. In general, treatment consists of therapy and restructuring thought, although medication may be involved as well. Specific treatment relating to the target situation is usually the best kind of help available for people who suffer from this type of anxiety.

Stage fright can happen in many different situations far from the stage and is therefore not always recognized as a kind of performance anxiety. In truth, many different kinds of situations involve a kind of performance for people. Choosing the best performance anxiety treatment for stage fright usually means choosing the most effective therapist for the job. The therapist may provide treatment that involves performing for the therapist as well as others or simply working to restructure how the performer thinks about his or her audience.

There are also medications that may be considered the best performance anxiety treatment in a specific case, typically if they are used only for a special event. These medications, called beta-blockers, work to inhibit the uptake of adrenaline and prevent the response to anxiety typical of stage fright. On the one hand, this type of medication can be very effective, but on the other, there are serious side effects to using beta-blockers in this way. Although this solution might seem like the best performance anxiety treatment, it does not address the underlying psychological disposition that makes anxiety so problematic.

For sexual performance anxiety, treatments must take into consideration the frequency of the problem and the likely causes. Typically, a man can overcome sexual performance anxiety with the right partner and sufficient time. Simply being more informed about sexual activities and receiving positive feedback from a partner may be all the treatment a person needs in this case. Alternatively, therapy can provide healthy ways to work though problems prior to finding the right partner. Sexual performance anxiety is usually not treated using medication, although in some cases medication can be used to elicit an erection. Most of the time, the best sexual performance anxiety treatment is to find a partner who is willing to work through the problem patiently, as this will reduce anxiety over time.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon953922 — On May 29, 2014

Do beta blockers work for this?

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