Social anxiety (or social phobia) has many varied causes which include biological, psychological and social. However, each one may be intertwined which makes it hard to specify the exact cause. Although it’s not yet known for sure if social anxiety is caused by a genetic disposition or something learned through family social conditioning, it does appear that it can run in the family.
Let’s look deeper into the 3 main causes of social anxiety, and see if we can pinpoint the main cause for you, the sufferer:
Social anxiety cause #1
The first group of causes include social and environmental. It’s believed by the social phobia experts that it’s possible to learn anxiety from the environment in which you are in. It has been suggested that simply watching and interacting with others with similar tendencies can be extremely influential. Also, it is possible that overprotective and controlling parents may help to develop social anxiety in their children and fail to recognize the anxiety disorder in them because they also suffer from it, and consider it to be perfectly normal. Others think that people may develop social phobias based on a certain negative childhood event, including bullying, being embarrassed in public and even teasing. Such indicators include disfigurement, abuse (sexual and physical), neglect, speech impediments or conflicts within the family.
Social anxiety cause #2
The second group of causes of social anxiety is thought to be due to psychological or emotional trauma experienced during childhood. The subsequent symptoms may be the direct result of unresolved traumatic experiences such as car accidents, abuse, relationship decline, humiliation or possibly even a natural disaster. The key elements that are common amongst all people suffering anxiety as a result of traumas include an event or experience that was not expected, the person was not prepared for, and there was little if anything that the person could have done to have pretended it from occurring. However, such traumas can also run even deeper, including a poor bond between the major caregiver and the person during childhood. The person may not have learned skills needed to regulate calmness, self-soothing and focus during stressful events.
Social anxiety cause #3
The third social anxiety cause is biological, including biochemical reactions, the structure of the brain and the possibility of the disorder having been inherited genetically. In genetical inheritance, researchers believe that the main part of the disorder is born out of inhibited behavior. Young babies with such a disposition are quick to show stress and fear of unfamiliar situations and circumstances around people especially. As they grow into teenagers and adults, their risk for getting social phobia increases dramatically. Also, studies have shown that it may also have something do with the section of your brain that controls fears which is known as the amygdala. Through CAT scans, doctors have found that people with this disorder have an excess amount of activity in the amygdala and too little in the prefrontal brain cortex.
The most common group that social anxiety disorder sufferers fall into is the second one. Traumas like abuse, rape and other experiences can develop from social anxiety to include even post-traumatic shock disorder, which can attack any person at any time in their lives. It may manifest itself many years later, even after the trauma has since been apparently forgotten.
Though there are many cause of social anxiety phobias, the bottom line is that the result is an unnatural fear of social interaction and a lowered self-esteem that can not only hinder a persons ability to function in everyday situations, but in some cases hinder the persons ability to simply live a normal existence outside of their home.