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What is the solution for social anxiety disorder?

Q: I am a 24 years old male. I have been facing this problem quite for sometime now and can't bear it anymore. Initially I thought it to be a classic case of shyness however in recent years my problem has grown worse. After browsing some websites I could identify myself as suffering from social anxiety disorder. Almost all the symptoms that are usually mentioned under this disorder matched with those I am suffering from. Till now I have avoided most of the invitations for social gatherings. I don't go out for any social event. I hardly have any friends. I get nervous meeting new people or when introducing myself to anyone. I have completed my studies. Because of my fear of taking interviews, I haven't even found myself a job. I am also scared of working in an office where there will be a score of unknown faces. I fear that people will make fun of me and will always be watching me. I do not know how I will be able to cope in an office. As a result, I am sitting at home and remain financially dependent on my parents. Even during my college days when I was asked to speak in front of a group, I would get nervous and my heart would start pumping faster. I prefer to stay at home for weeks without going out. I feel much more comfortable within the confines of my house. I feel that my life has been a complete waste. However, I am not sure when and how this problem started as I was not like this during my childhood. I am really depressed these days. I cannot share this problem with anyone especially my parents. Please help

A:Social anxiety disorder is more common than most people realise. Fortunately, it is treatable. One treatment involves medications. Serotonin reuptake inhibitors that are usually prescribed for depression can help. Also, neurontin, a medicine that is classified as a mood stabiliser is useful. In addition, a cognitive therapy type of psychotherapy is very helpful. Since this anxiety disorder is not commonly treated, it is important to be sure that the psychiatrist who is prescribing medicine and the psychologist or psychotherapist who is doing the psychotherapy are familiar with social anxiety disorder. It is not treatable with psychoanalysis.

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