A group of researchers at the University Of Cincinnati (UC) are now developing a computer program that can help people to develop some healthy mental habits to reduce their reliance on alcohol for treating social anxiety. Joshua Magee, PhD, the research assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, says that the Attention Modification Program (AMP) is aimed to change what individuals with social anxiety and problem drinking focus their attention under normal circumstances. Magee added that, the way people pay attention to things in their environment is important for both causing and maintaining social anxiety and alcoholism. Both social anxiety and alcohol attention patterns are a part of a certain chain that can lead to complications.
In my own personal experience, as someone who had suffered social anxiety ever since I can remember, I always felt uncomfortable in social gatherings, I want to disappear or dig a hole to where I am standing and to be teleported to somewhere I can be alone. But when there are wines or any alcoholic drink I tend to purposely get myself extra drunk just to conceal or cloak my awkward shyness. This way, I don’t really think that much of any uncomfortable thoughts and appear extra confident. I tend to be over talkative and just blabber about anything without even analyzing my thoughts.
Shifting to alcohol when you are caught under awkward social situations is fine at first, but what happen when you make it a habit? According to Dr. Magee, the Attention Modification Program aims to be an effective method for reducing social anxiety and drinking that can translate out into community settings. It would give people an inexpensive way to reduce the symptoms that is less dependent on a doctor’s prescriptions and could be done at home.