In the news: talking therapies and social anxiety disorder

A recent study published in the Lancet Psychiatry has found that taking medication for social anxiety disorder is much less effective than undergoing talking therapy sessions to work through said problems. The study was conducted in collaboration with Oxford University, University College London and John Hopkins University.

A report from BBC News explains how social phobias are a very common form of anxiety disorder, in which a sufferer may experience a constant fear of certain social situations. BBC News highlights how a review of over 100 trials indicated that talking therapies are a much more effective treatment than medication such as antidepressants.

The study involved more than 13,000 participants, and according to the Telegraph’s report, around 9,000 were given medication or a placebo, and the remaining 4,000 participants underwent a talking therapy such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

According to NHS Choices, CBT helps people with anxiety to change their thoughts and alter the way they behave to combat the issues in question. The aim of this is to help people to break the cycle of worry and negative thoughts, and begin to look at any problems more positively.

As well as anxiety disorders, NHS Choices explains that CBT can be used to treat other problems such as obsessive compulsive disorder, depression and phobias, amongst other issues.

The Telegraph’s report explains that the study found CBT to be the most effective form of talking treatment, and showed that a combined use of the therapy and medication didn’t have any extra effect compared to just therapy alone. However, it does explain how for those unable to access talking therapies, medication can be an effective option for some, but does not provide long-lasting results once the medication is no longer being taken.

Please be aware, this data is based from the Telegraph report. Please consult your doctor for your individual needs.

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