How Oxytocin May Help Reduce Social Anxiety

While social anxiety can become a troublesome issue for many individuals at different points throughout their lives, many who suffer from chronic social anxiety can easily become overwhelmed during this time of year as they find themselves inundated with holiday party invitations and invitations to New Year’s celebrations.  The holiday season is particularly difficult for those who suffer from social anxiety and loved ones may not always understand the condition, making it even more difficult to get by.  Those who suffer from social anxiety often find themselves trapped and unable to enjoy themselves in social situations, however, a recent report has suggested that there may be a new remedy for those who suffer from social anxiety – Oxytocin spray. According to psychcentral.com, a new study published by Concordia University found that Oxytocin (a naturally occurring hormone in females) if taken intranasally, may help to increase the self-esteem of those who suffer from social anxiety, making it easier to enjoy parties, dating and even family gatherings.  As reported by psychcentral.com, “Oxytocin is a natural hormone released by the body to ease childbirth and facilitate breast-feeding.  Recently, the hormone has been dubbed the ‘love hormone’ as it is believed to be involved with social recognition, pair bonding, anxiety and empathy.”   As reported by psychecentral.com, participants in the Concordia study self-administered a dose of Oxytocin intranasally and were given a questionnaire containing questions about their current mental state 90 minutes after the dose had been given. The Concordia University study found that individuals who used an intranasal form of Oxytocin reported feeling more extraverted and open to social experiences when compared with those who had received a placebo.  While Oxytocin isn’t considered to be a complete cure for social anxiety or other mental conditions, it is believed to help improve one’s perception of self in social situations, making individuals feel more at ease and comfortable in social settings.  This finding could potentially make it easy for those with social anxiety to attend business lunches, job interviews and even large gatherings with ease.

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