Social anxiety is a condition that affects nearly 7% of people in the United States. Common symptoms include extreme uneasiness in social situations, destructive thoughts, low self esteem, and avoiding social interactions.
One shocking fact about social anxiety disorder (SAD) is that it generally takes people around 10 years before they seek out treatment. Many new startups are attempting to offer solutions for those suffering from social anxiety—without leaving the house.
One such service-based company is called Joyable, which boasts that 90% of their clients see a reduction in anxiety. Joyable uses a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) approach to tackling symptoms of social anxiety. CBT is considered the most effective treatment by far for the condition.
The goal of cognitive behavioral therapy is to rewire how your brain interprets certain situations. For example, someone with social anxiety may perceive the experience of attending a party as a fight or flight situation. It might cause tremendous stress to someone with SAD. With CBT treatment, that same person will be able to perceive parties in a much more positive light without eliciting a fight or flight, adrenaline-producing reaction.
In addition to “online therapist” based treatments, there are also a handful of meditation-based applications specifically designed to help people lower their anxiety and stress levels. Buddhify is one app for iPhone and Android devices that allows users to engage in quick meditation sessions even if they are in a hurry.
Mindfulness meditation has quickly been growing as a natural, holistic treatment for a number of different anxiety disorders. There have been a number of recent scientific studies that have highlighted the effectiveness of mindfulness as a treatment for anxiety, stress, and depression.
Meditation only takes 20 minutes per day. It involves sitting upright while carefully watching one’s breath. Any thoughts that may pop into your mind are observed and not judged. Many people have an extremely hard time with calming down their minds and meditating. Apps such as Buddhify can help in this regard.
Diagnosing social anxiety is often easy for a trained professional. The problem is that many people with SAD are often too nervous to make an appointment with a mental health care provider in the first place! Many people with SAD resort to alternative online treatments and therapies to help solve their condition.
There are a number of different tests and quizzes available online for those looking to test if they might have an anxiety disorder. It is important to note that no online test can diagnose you. Only a medical professional is qualified to make a proper diagnosis. However, online tests might be able to point you in the right direction.
Social anxiety can affect anyone at any age, however it generally more common in younger men and women.
Online treatments for the condition are becoming increasingly popular. In fact, in the United Kingdom, some health care providers are prescribing online CBT programs to their patients with mental health issues such as social anxiety.
Many people with SAD are either too anxious to seek treatment, or it costs too much for them afford. This had caused the rise of alternative treatments such as meditation, nutritional therapies, and other online programs including mobile apps and courses.
The good news is that many alternative treatments such as meditation have been shown to be incredibly effective in the fight against SAD disorder. Many people with social phobia often find tremendous relief of their symptoms.
Dealing with an anxiety disorder can be extremely stressful. Side effects of social anxiety include extreme unrest in social situations, avoiding social interactions, and not knowing what to say. Often times, someone with SAD will withdraw from any type of gathering or event.
Although there is currently “magic pill” for the treatment of social phobia, the best approach as of 2016 seems to be a combination of behavioral therapies mixed with natural forms of treatments such as improving diet and starting an exercise regiment that focuses on cardiovascular training.
Because mental health conditions are on the rise in the United States, we can expect to see many more online “e-therapist” solutions arise in the coming years.