The exact cause of social anxiety disorder is unknown. However, it is caused by a combination of factors:
- Environmental factors (growing in a controlling or overprotecting environment)
- Genetics and inherited traits
- Negative experiences such as bullying, sexual abuse, and family conflict
- Physical abnormalities such as a serotonin imbalance in the brain
- Brain structure such as an overactive amygdala (a structure in the brain that controls fear response and anxiety)
What are the reasons for social anxiety?
In general, people experience social anxiety due to an overwhelming fear of being
- Judged by others.
- Embarrassed or humiliated.
- The center of attention.
- Offending to someone.
What is the treatment for social anxiety disorder?
Various treatment options are available to treat social anxiety disorder, and the results may vary from person to person. Some people may require one type of treatment, whereas others may require a combination of more than one treatment.
Treatment options for social anxiety disorder include:
- Psychotherapy: Cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and family therapy
- Medications: Antianxiety mediations, antidepressants, and beta-blockers
- Self-help: Keep fears under control by recognizing the triggers, reframing thoughts, practicing relaxation and breathing techniques, avoiding caffeine, and getting plenty of sleep
What are the complications of social anxiety disorder?
Social anxiety disorder can disrupt a person’s work and social life. If left untreated, it can lead to
- Alcohol and drug abuse.
- Negative self-talk.
- Suicidal ideation.
- Low academic achievement.
- Low achievement at work.
- Low self-esteem.
- Trouble being assertive.
- Hypersensitivity to criticism.
- Poor social skills.
- Isolation and difficult social relationships.
- Reduced quality of personal relationships.
- Reduced quality of life.
Appropriate treatment reduces the symptoms of social anxiety disorder greatly, improving quality of life.
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