After having suffered with crippling social anxiety for years and trying all the common and “normal” treatments for it, I decided to experiment with unconventional, uncommon and alternative therapies for getting rid of my social phobia. This is what I discovered!
Alternative Treatment #1
My Behavioural Approach
Because social anxiety disorder was created by your behaviour, I am certain that the only way to fix it is with new, different behaviour.
How is this different from cognitive behavioural therapy? CBT has some parts to it that help make SA worse. For example, getting you to talk about your anxiety.
I’m currently in the process of putting together a system that you can use to UNdo your anxiety disorder in the exact same way that you made it happen in the first place.
I believe that anyone who ever overcomes social anxiety, will have to go through this process (even if it happens by chance) because it is the only way.
Verdict: This is one of the only treatments that works for social anxiety based on my personal experience. I am probably bias because I created the plan, yet I am happy for everyone to use it.
Alternative Treatment #2
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
EFT is like acupuncture without using needles. You focus on your negative beliefs, whilst “tapping” on certain “meridian” points on your body, and this supposedly makes your anxiety go away.
Believers in EFT say that emotional problems (like anxiety) are caused by energy imbalances, and that by tapping on specific points on your body, you can rebalance that energy.
I didn’t try it, personally. I believe that if it does work, it’s because the tapping acts as a distraction of the mind away from anxiety symptoms – which is good, but isn’t the purpose of EFT. I think that if it works, then it works by accident.
‘Meridian’ points on the body? I’d call that jargon to make it believable.
Emotional problems caused by energy imbalances? What exactly do you call an energy imbalance? None of it makes enough clear sense to be believable.
Verdict: Nonsense that might work by accident
Alternative Treatment #3
Hypnosis is an attempt at a “quick fix”, and quick fixes fail in all aspects of life. Everything that is worthwhile in your life (like becoming socially comfortable) will take effort and subsequent time to achieve. It’s the way the world works.
Quick-fix solutions never solve problems – they cover problems up, which makes the problems worse in the long-run.
If you think that being hypnotised will help to undo a piece of confused “processing” in your subconscious mind (SAD), then I believe that you’re mistaken.
I know that your SA started because of the behaviour you adopted in response to a stressful social situation. This means that the solution is a behavioural one. The way you created it is the way you can UN-create it. I just can’t see how hypnosis fits in.
Verdict: If you can get a session for free, why not? If you’re going have to pay for the session then it’s up to you. Probably not.
Alternative Treatment #4
Aromatherapy might actually help – but only along with a behavioural solution to social anxiety. This treatment uses aromatic compounds to alter the function of your mind towards a more relaxed state.
In terms of reducing the severity of social anxiety disorder symptoms, this could well help. But as I keep saying, SAD is a behavioural disorder. Behaviour created it and so behaviour will be the only thing that destroys it.
The more relaxed you are when you practice the new non-anxious patterns of behaviour that work for overcoming social anxiety, the better. For this reason, aromatherapy could be helpful.
Verdict: Not crucial, but try this if you’re enthusiastic about it, along with behavioural changes.
Alternative Treatment #5
Given that SAD is a behaviourally created disorder (you must be sick of reading that by now!) I don’t see how dietary supplements can have much effect.
Your best chance of supplements succeeding is if you believe they’ll work, and because of this belief on your part, you find that your anxiety starts to back off. This is called the Placebo effect, where something works because you think it will, not because it actually does work.
For example I could give you a painkiller and say “here, take this anti-anxiety tablet.” Because you believe it’s an ‘anti-anxiety tablet’, you might find that your anxiety reduces.
Verdict: If you can fool yourself to believe that supplements work, then go for it. If they do appear to work, it’ll actually be a case of you using the behavioural solution to social anxiety, completely by accident.
Alternative Treatment #6
When used in a positive manner, visualization can be really helpful. It can help you to feel more enthusiastic about mixing with others, because you’ll have imagined this mixing going positively, beforehand.
Visualization is not enough to change the faulty programming in your subconscious mind.
The faulty programming (SAD) can only be corrected in real situations – it’s just how the mind works.
Verdict: Helpful as an addition to the behavioural solution that I addressed to begin with.