Friday, February 16, 2007

Social phobia treatment

Researches have shown, that the combination of medical treatment and behavioral therapy is the most effective way to treat social phobia.

Medical treatment. Social phobia is generally treated with antidepressants, precisely those that are known as inhibitors of monoamine oxidase. Also physical symptoms of stress and tension can be reduced with the help of beta-blockers. They are frequently prescribed in case of such symptoms as trembling during public performances. More positive and stable results can be achieved when the use of antidepressants is combined with behavioral therapy.

Behavioral therapy is one of forms of psychotherapy, which is focused on the proof reduction of symptoms. In the beginning it is necessary to determine the cause of the symptoms and find out what keeps them up. Then a certain plan of treatment is developed. The expert selects methods and techniques, which are efficient in case of these or those symptoms. Patients also do their homework, which gradually, step by step, becomes more complicated.

All in all three important points are essentially important in behavioral therapy of a social phobia. They are:
  1. Work with the thoughts that cause anxiety
  2. Development of social skills
  3. Overcoming of alienation
These three fields of therapy can be either combined, or used independently of each other. I will dwell upon it in more detail next time.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Types of social phobia

There are several types of social phobia. Among them there are:
  • anthropophobia – fear of people in general
  • anuptaphobia – fear of loneliness, celibacy
  • atelophobia – fear of imperfection
  • atihiphobia – fear to fail
  • autophobia – fear to loose a close person
  • bromhydrophobia – fear that someone may notice bad smell and sweat of one’s body
  • cacophobia – fear of ugliness
  • coitophobia – fear of sex
  • colpophobia – fear of woman’s genitals
  • contrectophobia – fear of sexual abuse
  • deipnophobia – fear of conversation at meals
  • demophobia – fear of crowd
  • dismorphophobia – fear of ugliness of one’s body
  • dorophobia – fear to receive and give presents
  • gerontophobia – fear of old people and becoming old
  • glossophobia – fear to perform in public
  • gymnophobia – fear of nudity
  • gynecophobia – fear of women
  • hamartophobia – feat to do a bad deed
  • hamophobia – fear of marriage
  • haptophobia – fear of touch
  • harpaxophobia – fear of robbers
  • hedonophobia – fear of pleasure and joy
  • heleophobia – fear of laughter
  • heterophobia – fear of opposite sex
  • hobophobia – fear of beggar
  • homicidophobia – fear to kill a human
  • hominophobia – fear of men
  • homophobia – fear of homosexuals
  • intimophobia – fear of the first copulation
  • itiphallophobia – fear of penis
  • lalophobia – fear to speak
  • logophobia – fear to speak wrong words
  • monophobia – fear of loneliness
  • partenophobia – fear of virgins
  • pedophobia – fear of children
  • penteraphobia – fear of the mother-in-law
  • philemaphobia – fear to kiss with somebody
  • philophobia – fear to fall in love with somebody
  • phonophobia – fear to speak on the phone
  • scopophobia – fear to appear funny, to draw attention
  • sociophobia – fear of society in general
  • soteriophobia – fear to depend on others
  • syngenesophobia – fear of relatives
  • telephonophobia – fear of telephone
  • venstraphobia – fear of beautiful women
  • verbophobia – fear of words
  • virginitiphobia – fear to be raped
  • xenophobia – fear of foreigner and strangers
  • zelophobia – fear of jealousy
Of course, this is not a complete list of social phobias but it is quite typical and demonstrative.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Causes and consequences of social phobia

Causes of social phobia
The causes underlying occurrence and development of social phobia remain a riddle until now. Psychologically traumatic social situations are considered of little significance. Various theories have been offered. According to one of them a child imitates sociophobic behavior of his or her parents. Another theory puts restriction of development of social skills as the main cause, i.e. if a person does not know how to behave in this or that situation it can be the reason of anxiety and excitement. Hyper-care or, on the contrary, lack of attention and love in childhood also plays not the last role in development of social phobia. It was established that hereditary predisposition to constantly growing pressure can also be a cause of this psychological disease.

Consequences of social phobia
Investigations showed, that people with social phobia are more often lonely, they seldom celebrate holidays, and they have less chances to marry. They frequently have problems in getting education as fear before group and public performances can prevent the process of study and even terminate it. Such people are often hopeless in having career growth. In attempt to escape anxiety many sociophobics start to abuse alcohol that finally results in self-destruction. Depression is also characteristic of people suffering from social phobia.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Social phobia in a nutshell - part 2

How widely is social phobia spread?
It is established, that from 3 up to 13 % of people suffered from various social fears during certain periods of their life. From 1 up to 2,5 % of people suffer from social phobia during all their life. In course of investigations from 80 up to 90 % of people answered in the affirmative to the question whether they ever felt shyness in their life. And 30-40 % of men and women consider themselves shy all the time.

What are sociophobics mainly afraid of?
Overwhelming majority of people with social phobia are afraid to perform in public as it is accompanied with the necessity to communicate with strangers. Other wide-spread social phobias are: fear to consume food and water in the presence of other people, fear to fill in receipts, checks and other corresponding written forms in the presence of third parties, etc.

When does social phobia usually appear?
Fear of communication usually appears between fifteen and twenty years. Usually it goes away as a young person gets accustomed to this or that situation. But sometimes it takes the form of phobia and people start to avoid those social situations. Thus, social phobia may take a prolonged form if it is not treated on the fly. Social phobia can recede, for example, when a person is in close relations with someone dear to him or her.

Who usually suffer from social phobia?
Social phobia can victimize both men and women, irrespectively of their education and occupation.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Social phobia in a nutshell

A person with social phobia is nervous in the company or presence of other people. He is afraid of what he may be thought of. He tries to make a good impression, but he always doubts that he really makes it. For this reason such person prefers to be unnoticeable and avoids other people.

People suffering from social phobia often have trembling hands, reddening face, increased sweating, nausea, constraint, etc. Social phobia can be revealed in such situations as communication with strangers, public performance, telephone conversation, visiting of a public toilet. Most frequent kind of social phobia is fear to be rejected by others. In this case a person is afraid of any sort of criticism about his or her appearance, behavior or character.

If fear of certain social situations is expressed enough, people with social phobia will try to avoid such situations by all means. He or she will be compelled to stay at home instead of going out. Social phobia may cause impossibility of communication with shop assistants and social workers. At work people with social phobia keep aloof of the collective. They never put up questions at assemblies or conferences. They try to put on plain, unremarkable clothes. They never start conversations. They avoid sights of other people and answer their questions briefly and laconically. They do an excellent job to prevent any criticism of colleagues and the boss.

Some people with social phobia behave too briskly or ingratiatingly. Thus, they try to hide their anxiety and to prevent possible hostility from the part of associates who frequently can't even suppose how they feel inside.

In the majority of cases social phobia have nothing to do with the real state of affairs. It is not a real negative opinion of other people or expectation but an ASSUMED one. Sociophobics assume that they are thought of as ugly, nervous, clumsy, shy or whatever.

Social phobia is different from social anxiety. Almost each person in his or her life experienced anxiety or tension conversating with other people. Many of those who were criticized had stress. Such negative experiences are often caused by such unpleasant situations as a conflict with a colleague, a refusal to perform before the audience, ets. We can’t speak of social phobia if a person who experiences anxiety or excitement does not desperately try to avoid the situations connected to his or her negative experiences. Though, to tell social phobia from social anxiety in reality is quite different.