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What Is Involved in the Management of Social Phobia in Teenagers?

Alex Tree
Alex Tree

The management of social phobia in teenagers usually involves anti-anxiety medications, developing a routine schedule, and going through talk therapy. Anti-anxiety medications can be prescribed by general practitioners once a patient is evaluated for the tell-tale signs of anxiety in regard to social situations. Developing a more routine schedule or changing one’s schedule in other ways, such as getting an hour more of sleep per night, might also help in relieving anxiety. Lastly, while medication is often effective at treating social phobias, managing this kind of problem in teens might be even easier when combined with talk therapy.

Taking anti-anxiety medications or antidepressants is a common method of treating social phobia in teenagers. These medications are often also effective in treating obsessive compulsive disorder, clinical depression, and general anxiety disorders. Many people see improvement in their social phobia after one month of treatment. The dosage or the medication might be switched every few weeks to find the most effective dose and medication for a person’s severity of social phobia.

A counselor working with a teen with a social phobia.
A counselor working with a teen with a social phobia.

Another way of managing social phobia in teenagers is to change one’s lifestyle a bit. It is important to get an adequate amount of sleep, regular meals, and daily exercise. Sometimes it is surprising how much these steps can help when it comes to diseases, disorders, and other ailments. Failure to get enough sleep each night, for example, can lead to extreme irritability. depression, and other negative feelings that have the potential to aggravate social phobia.

Some studies also show that talk therapy can be beneficial when attempting to manage social phobia in teenagers. In general, therapy in addition to medication works better than either alone. Therefore, the parents of teenagers should seek multiple methods of management, especially if one is clearly not effective enough. Teenagers with severe social anxiety may need to have a talk therapist visit their home, because it can be difficult to get a person crippled with anxiety to leave his or her home.

Social phobia in teenagers, especially severe social phobia, should be brought to the attention of a health professional as soon as possible. Some symptoms of social anxiety are avoiding people, refusing to go outdoors, and having difficulty talking to other people. Sweating and vomiting out of fear or anxiety are also symptoms. A common form of social phobia is the inability to talk in front of crowds, but this symptom alone is usually considered minor, though it is treatable through therapy.

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    • A counselor working with a teen with a social phobia.
      By: Lisa F. Young
      A counselor working with a teen with a social phobia.