Behavioral theory can replace antidepressants

Now a days antidepressants are commonly used to treat social phobia, but researchers argue that the “talk therapy” would be better first option. They had reviewed 13,164 participants in 101 clinical trials and found that “cognitive behavioural theory” often helped people with social phobia. Social phobia is a type of anxiety disorder in which one cal have a deep fear of being judged by other people or feels embarrassed in public. The research was funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in England and Wales.

The most traditional approach to tackling social phobia are antidepressants that are well known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) — also helped, the review found. SSRIs include broadly prescribed medications like Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft. However, these drugs can ease symptoms of the disease; they can also have side effects such as sleep problems and sexual disinfection.

“The other issue is that drugs often stop working. With “cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)”, you’re teaching people skills that they take with them after the treatment,” a researcher at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Evan Mayo-Wilson says.

The goal of CBT is to help people suffering from social anxiety disorder, change their way of thinking and learn better response to situations that probably makes them fearful.

“Greater investment in psychological therapies would improve the quality of life, increase workplace productivity, and reduce healthcare costs,” Wilson concluded. “The healthcare system does not treat mental health equitably, but meeting demand isn’t simply a matter of getting insurers to pay for psychological services. We need to develop infrastructure to handle mental health problems as the evidence shows they should be treated. We need more programs to train clinicians, more experienced supervisors who can work with new practitioners, more offices, and more support staff.”

A report from the U.S. National Institutes of Health states that symptoms of social phobia were found in 15 million US adults. According to Wilson the problem was more than mere “shyness”, and the fear regarding other people is intense enough to interfere their education, relations and ability to work.

The findings of the study were published online on September 26 in The Lancet Psychiatry.

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