Prescription medication and behavioral therapy are the two effective treatments for social anxiety disorder. You may receive both at the same time.
Here is the best therapy for social anxiety:
Medications: For some, taking a prescription medication can be an easy and effective treatment for social anxiety disorder. The drugs work by reducing the uncomfortable and often embarrassing symptoms.
Sometimes medication can dramatically reduce your symptoms or even eliminate them. Some people may not react to a particular medication, and some aren't helped at all. There is no way to predict whether a medication will help you or not. Sometimes, you must try several before finding one that works.
If you take medication for social anxiety disorder, call your doctor immediately if you develop any side effects, including feeling down and depressed. And never stop taking any anxiety medication without talking to your doctor first. Suddenly stopping an anxiety medication may cause serious side effects.
Behavioral therapy: Behavioral therapy with a trained therapist can help you identify and change the thinking that makes you anxious in social situations.
A type of behavioral therapy called exposure therapy is frequently used for social anxiety disorder. Exposure therapy works by gradually exposing you to social situations that are uncomfortable and waiting until you feel comfortable. During this process, your brain is learning that a social situation you were afraid of is actually not so bad.
Most therapists who practice exposure therapy begin with small exposures to uncomfortable situations, then move on to more difficult exposures once they feel comfortable. The advantage of this therapy is that you are treating the underlying problem, not just the symptoms of social anxiety disorder. So if you stop behavioral therapy, the chance of your symptoms returning is less likely.