What are the treatment options for social phobia in veterans?

Social phobia is a type of anxiety disorder, and anxiety disorders in general are treated with either psychotherapy, medication, or preferably a combination of both. The preferred psychotherapy treatment for veterans with social phobia is group CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy). The cognitive part of CBT focuses on the patterns of thinking behind your fears, and the behavioral part works on changing how you react to the situations or triggers that create anxiety for you.

If your doctor decides that group therapy is not right for you, or if you have severe symptoms or suffer from major depression in tandem with social phobia, medication would be the next best option. The SSRIs (selected serotonin reuptake inhibitors) or SNRIs (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) are usually prescribed for social phobia. Brand names of SSRIs include Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa, and Lexapro. SSRIs relieve anxiety symptoms by blocking the reabsorption (reuptake) of serotonin in the brain. This makes more serotonin available in the brain, which improves your mood. Brand names of SNRIs include Effexor and Cymbalta. SNRIs work in a similar way to SSRIs, but they add an increase in norepinephrine in the brain, which functions like adrenaline. Increased adrenaline is associated with higher energy and mood elevation.

Some veterans with social phobia find that social skills training is sufficient to diminish their anxiety

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.