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Causes of social anxiety

Social anxiety disorder


Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, is an anxiety disorder characterized by overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations. It may develop as a phobia limited to specific situations for example: fear of speaking in front of the crowd, eating or drinking in front of others or unexplained shyness. The core of social anxiety has been said to be an unreasonable expectation of negative evaluation by others.

Genetic inclination

Genetic predisposition is the potential humans are born with. Many physical features are inheritable but certain behaviors may be inheritable, too. People with specific genetic profiles are more at risk for developing social anxiety disorder than the others. However, this does not mean that disorder have to persist for life, it can be defeated with proper treatment, especially at an early age.

Researchers found that children overprotected or rejected by parents who suffer from depression or anxiety are more likely than other kids to develop the mental disorder, though not necessarily destined to develop it. Studies have found that ten to fifteen percent of irritable infants become shy, scared and publicly inhibited as infants. Later, in their first school years, they remain cautious, quiet and introverted and finally, in teenage years, they had a lot higher percentage of social anxiety disorder.

Development

Social anxiety builds up through different developmental stages. Babies develop fear of unfamiliar persons at seventh month. Separation anxiety emerges in three-year-olds. Between the ages of six to eight, it is hard for a child to be unaccompanied, but it in fact becomes enjoyable in puberty and teenage years when loneliness and nervousness about physical appearance and achievements in school become important. Disturbing events experienced at an early developmental stage may amplify the risk of social anxiety disorders.

Chemical imbalance

Some people have a predisposition toward anxiety in general. Sometimes symptoms of long-term social anxiety disorder may be caused by improper chemical balance in the brain. The brain is literally creating new neural pathways and associations that nourish and grow ones fears and anxieties in social situations. Certain neurotransmitters such as Serotonin, Norepinephrine, and Gamma-aminobutyric acid affect the way people feel about certain experiences and improper chemical balance may cause abnormalities in the functioning of anxiety response system.

Neurochemical processes are very important to support a sense of emotional welfare. They take account of control of thinking, control of physiologic functions, and control of behaviors. Control of thinking, for example, may affect the nature of our thoughts that may range from safe to dangerous, serious to humorous, etc.

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