In this article we will look at a few of the many causes of social phobia or anxiety. But first, let’s better describe it.
What Is Social Phobia?
Social phobia, also referred to as social anxiety, is a disorder where an individual has extreme anxiety and self-consciousness about social situations.
They have a constant and intense fear of being watched, judged and criticized by others for something they say or do. People with social phobia often have a fear so great that it may interfere with their everyday life at work, school or any social activity.
Although most people with social phobia realize their fear is unwarranted, they are unable to change or stop the fear. They just cannot connect their intellectual comprehension with their emotions or gut reaction.
Social phobia may be involved around many things, such as:
- Some people are afraid to eat or drink in front of others.
- Some are afraid to speak in front of others.
- In some more severe cases of social phobia, the person is afraid to even be around other people. In many cases of social phobia, physical symptoms will develop as well.
- Some of the physical symptoms include but are not limited to sweating, blushing, difficulty talking, trembling, palpitations and stomach discomfort.
Social Phobia – A Vicious Cycle
There entire problem of social phobia can be like a vicious cycle with the individual worrying so much about getting the symptoms that they increase their chances of developing the symptoms and signs, from the extra added stress. If they could only realize and deal with the many causes of social phobia, their anxiety would lessen, but it is a vicious cycle if left untreated.
There are many different causes of social phobia. Here are just a few relevant statistics:
- Many times social phobia runs in the families with the children developing the same conditions as the parents.
- It is often associated with depression and/or alcohol dependence.
- Social phobia occurs in women twice as much as it does in men, for some reason.
- It may occur in childhood or the teen years, but seldom starts after the age of 25.
Research On The Causes Of Social Phobia
There has been ongoing research to learn all the causes of social phobia.
Some research has pinpointed it down to a small structure in the brain called “amygdale” as being a culprit in causing the symptoms. The amygdale is the central part in the brain that controls our sense of fear.
Other research has indicated that it’s believed that social phobia may be inherited and passed down. One group of researchers has also determined that causes of social phobia may come for a high sensitivity to disapproval, which may be based on hormones or physiological reasons.
Yet another cause of social phobia may be the environment according to some research. By this they mean, a person may develop a phobia of a certain situation based on what they’ve seen happen to others in the same situation.
This process is referred to as observational learning, meaning they “learn” how to behave based on what they observe of others.