Social Phobia treatment
February 24, 2016

Social Phobia, or Social Anxiety Disorder, is an anxiety disorder where people have an overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations. Social phobia can be limited to only one type of situation such as a fear of speaking in formal or informal situations, or eating or drinking in front of others or, in its most severe form, may be so broad that a person experiences symptoms almost anytime they are around other people.
   In some cases Inderal, or propranolol, could be used occasionally to reduce tension related to public speaking.

Psychiatry Res. 2015. Fermented foods, neuroticism, and social anxiety: An interaction model. Animal models and clinical trials in humans suggest that probiotics can have an anxiolytic effect. However, no studies have examined the relationship between probiotics and social anxiety. Here we employ a cross-sectional approach to determine whether consumption of fermented foods likely to contain probiotics interacts with neuroticism to predict social anxiety symptoms. A sample of young adults (N=710, 445 female) completed self-report measures of fermented food consumption, neuroticism, and social anxiety. An interaction model, controlling for demographics, general consumption of healthful foods, and exercise frequency, showed that exercise frequency, neuroticism, and fermented food consumption significantly and independently predicted social anxiety. Moreover, fermented food consumption also interacted with neuroticism in predicting social anxiety. Specifically, for those high in neuroticism, higher frequency of fermented food consumption was associated with fewer symptoms of social anxiety. Taken together with previous studies, the results suggest that fermented foods that contain probiotics may have a protective effect against social anxiety symptoms for those at higher genetic risk, as indexed by trait neuroticism.

Social phobia treatment questions
Q. I have suffered from social phobia and social anxiety since I was a kid. At the time, I never realized that this is what I've been dealing with over the years, not until I began to educate myself and do more reading up on shyness, fears, anxiety and feeling uncomfortable doing certain things around people. In general, I love being around people, but have a hard time trying to socialize and make conversation, for fear I will say the wrong thing and have the other person hate me. I want to be more social and want to make new friends but this always holds me back. I also have a difficult time talking on the telephone, and not if it is with a friend, but in a social environment, say for example, at work, if my boss comes into the room, or even another co-worker! I know my job well and have been doing it for over 25 years, but I still have anxiety over this and would like to see if there is a specific herb or supplement that I can use. Every medication my doctor has tried to put me on (Paxil, Lexapro, Buspar, to name a few) have only caused me side effects that I could not deal with. I can certainly deal with being a little tired, if it relaxes me and takes away the anxiety and my racing thoughts, but these things made me severely nauseous and actually interfered with my bladder, and passing urine. Xanax has helped with my anxiety and I don't have any of these side effects, but I'd have to take it 2-3 times a day to cure the social phobia, on a daily basis. It wears off quickly and then I have to start all over again. I was reading about Mucuna Pruriens on your website and wondered if this may be good for me to try? I have a pill splitter and thought about trying a small amount to see if this works. I have gotten WONDERFUL benefits from using sam-e, but while this enhances my mood and cures some of my anxiety, it doesn't help too much with my social phobia, so I thought maybe trying mucuna would be worth a shot - do you think it's safe to use the two together? I have been taking sam-e for a while- about 100 mgs. a day - I split the pill - and it does provide a lot of benefit for me. Honestly, I would not be able to function without it. And, to boot, it's a wonderful joint support - I have mild arthritis in my knees and this has done wonders for my flexibility and soreness. Please email me as soon as you can to let me know if Mucuna Pruriens is worth a try - I am a healthy, active 44 year old - work out 3-4 times a week and just need to get rid of the phobia.
   A. It is difficult to predict which supplement or combination of supplements will help in any particular person. Mucuna pruriens is worth a try if your doctor approves. There are others your doctor may consider including passionflower, 5-HTP, and tryptophan. Yoga can be very helpful in overall mood enhancement and wellbeing. It may be a matter of trial and error until the right supplement or combination is found. Keep us updated.