What the NHS Offers

The first NHS treatment you should be offered is a psychological therapy called cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT for short). It should be a type of CBT that has been specifically designed to treat social anxiety disorder. See our page on What is CBT.

The NHS NICE guidance recognises that attending a doctor’s appointment or making phone calls can be very difficult for those with SA. It provides a series of recommendations to make communication and appointments easier.

You may be able to ask your GP to ring you rather than you having to attend the GP practice in person. You could ask friends or family to help you make the first phone call. You could ask your health and social care team to communicate with you over text or email.

Your GP may recommend talking therapy or medication, or maybe both, to help support you with your difficulties.

You can also self-refer for NHS Social Anxiety CBT via the NHS Talking Therapy Search Page

Getting some kind of therapy for social anxiety is important as it may not improve on its own. Left unhelped, it can get worse, lead to other health problems, or last for a long time. Deciding to talk to your doctor about your social anxiety can often be the first step on your journey to feeling better.

If you are nervous about talking to your GP it may be worth considering talking to a friend or family first or – if that is difficult – you may be able to find others with SA at support groups or discussion boards.

Self refer for NHS Social Anxiety CBT via the NHS Talking Therapy Search Page

Please see NHS CBT pages Overview and How it Works

Read the SAAUK page about CBT here.

Read more about the NHS Talking Therapy service