When treatment is needed for phobic disorders, cognitive and/or behavioral therapy may help desensitize the person to the thing or situation that causes the fear. Therapy involves gradually exposing the individual to the feared situation while teaching the person how to use various relaxation techniques to confront the fear.

Social Phobia Treatment

Recent studies have shown that people with social phobia (also called social anxiety disorder) respond to the SSRIs Luvox and Paxil; other SSRIs, such as Zoloft, and the extended-release serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor Effexor XR may provide benefits as well. Tricyclics and benzodiazepines also may be used.

Many people who suffer from stage fright (such as classical musicians) use beta-blockers, like Inderal, for performance anxiety. Although the drugs may reduce the physical symptoms of performance anxiety associated with a particular event, they are not recommended for ongoing treatment.

Publication Review By: Karen L. Swartz, M.D.

Published: 07 Mar 2011

Last Modified: 12 Feb 2015