Where Does Social Anxiety Come From?
Social anxiety is a type of anxiety disorder that’s characterized by fear of social situations and interactions. It’s a common disorder, with an estimated 7.1 percent of the U.S. population suffering from it. While the exact causes of social anxiety are not known, there are several factors that are believed to contribute to its development.
Heredity is believed to play a role in social anxiety. Studies have shown that individuals with close family members who suffer from the disorder are more likely to develop it themselves. Research has also suggested that genetic factors may increase the risk of developing social anxiety.
Personality traits such as shyness, self-consciousness, and low self-esteem are thought to increase the risk of social anxiety. People who are overly critical of themselves and worry excessively about being judged by others are more likely to suffer from the disorder.
Traumatic experiences or life events can also increase the risk of social anxiety. These events can include bullying, teasing, or other forms of humiliation. In addition, people who have experienced chronic stress, such as physical or emotional abuse, may develop social anxiety as a result.
Environmental factors, such as growing up in a home with overly critical or emotionally distant parents, can also increase the risk of developing social anxiety. Additionally, individuals who live in a society where there are strict rules and expectations of behavior may be more likely to develop the disorder.
Abnormal levels of certain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, are believed to be involved in the development of social anxiety. Stress can also affect these levels, which can then contribute to the onset of the disorder.
Substance abuse is also a risk factor for social anxiety. The use of alcohol or drugs can increase anxiety levels and, in some cases, lead to the development of the disorder.
Although the exact causes of social anxiety are not known, there are treatments available that can help. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most commonly used treatment and is designed to help individuals change their thoughts and behavior patterns. In addition, medication, such as antidepressants, can also be used to help reduce symptoms of the disorder.
Social anxiety is a common anxiety disorder that’s characterized by fear of social situations and interactions. The exact causes of the disorder are not known, but there are several factors that are believed to contribute to its development, including heredity, personality, life experiences, environmental factors, brain chemistry, and substance abuse. Treatment for social anxiety is available, and can include cognitive-behavioral therapy and medication.