Social Anxiety Medication

master social anxiety

The use of social anxiety medication may temporarily relieve feelings of anxiety but they are not a long term solution. If you do choose to use medication the best thing to do is use it in combination with other treatments much as cognitive behavioral therapy. Stopping the use of social anxiety medication may cause the symptoms to come back even stronger.

We live in a society that chooses to medicate everything. Can’t focus? Take Ritalin. Can’t lose weight? There are a plethora of diet pills on the market and most of them are rubbish. Can’t control your cholesterol? Forget about healthy eating and living a healthy lifestyle, there’s a pill for that.

Don’t take my cynicism to mean that medication doesn’t have a place. My problem is with the fundamental believe that you don’t need to take action to improve your life, and that a simple pill will cure all your ailments.

I always recommend people try to cure their social anxiety naturally without the use of social anxiety medication. That being said the use of medication can be very beneficial for those with severe anxiety problems. The three most common drugs used to treat social anxiety are:


There are three groups of antidepressants that have been proven to help with social anxiety

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs): the most popular social anxiety medication treatments are SSRIs. SSRI stand for Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. Lack of the neurotransmitter serotonin is believed to play a role in depression (which is often correlated with social anxiety).

SSRIs work by preventing the reuptake of serotonin, which allows more of it to remain in your system. This helps increase mood and lower levels of anxiety. Think of serotonin as the happy chemical in your body.

Paxil and Zoloft are antidepressants that have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of social anxiety. Others include:

  • Celexa
  • Lexapro
  • Prozac
  • Luvox

Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs): SNRIs are like SSRIs except that they work on both the serotonin and norepinephrine neurotransmitters in the brain. Effexor  is an SNRI that has been shown to be effective social anxiety medication.

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs): MAOIs are not often used to treat social anxiety anymore due to numerous side effects and dangerous food interactions. Therefore it is often used as a last resort. However, MAOIs have been proven to work in some cases.


Benzodiazepines are fast acting drugs that lower anxiety. They should only be used as a short term solution, because they have a powerful sedating effect and are addictive. That is the reason SSRIs are preferred for long term management of social anxiety.

Clonazapam and Alprazolam  are have been studied the most for their effects on lowering social anxiety. Other benzodiazepines that have been proven to lower anxiety are:

  • Xanax
  • Klonopin
  • Valium
  • Ativan

Beta blockers

Beta blockers are medications used to lower the physical symptoms of social anxiety (such as sweating palms and rapid heartbeat). However, they do not fix the emotional symptoms of social anxiety such as anxious thoughts.

Beta blockers are not a very effective treatment for general social anxiety, but they can be effective for certain performance related anxieties such as having to give a speech or play an instrument in front of a large crowd. An example of a commonly used beta blocker is propranolol.

Social anxiety medication should never be thought of as a quick fix. Drugs temporarily relieve symptoms and they often have negative side effects. The medication should always be used in conjunction with therapy and self-help techniques that get to the root of your social anxiety.

It’s also possible to beat social anxiety without the help of any drugs at all. However, if you truly believe you could benefit from certain medications talk to a qualified psychiatrist who has lots of positive references from other clients. Here’s a link to help you find one. A shady psychiatrist who doesn’t care about their patients and just medicates them can do more harm than good.

Social anxiety medication is just a part of the overall process in your transformation into a healthier, confident, and vibrant individual.

If any of you have had success with any medications please leave a comment below. I hope you enjoyed this article.

Best of luck!

Arnov Rahman

One Response to Social Anxiety Medication

  1. […] forms. Above were just five tips to help cure your social anxiety that has nothing to do with medication. This isn’t to suggest that taking medication is a bad thing. It is just offering five […]

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