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Social Anxiety Disorder

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Social Anxiety Disorder



Social Anxiety Disorder

Amy McCormick

Louisiana Delta Community College

Psychology 101


December 7, 2005

Social Anxiety Disorder


Social Anxiety Disorder is the world's third largest mental health problem which affects over seven percent of the world's population. Social Anxiety is the fear and anxiety one has in a social situation, or the feeling of being judged by other people in public. It can be described as a more advanced form of shyness in which someone cannot overcome. If left untreated, social anxiety can lead to depression and overall avoidance of daily activities. Social anxiety can control one's life, and it can affect relationships and work habits on a day to day basis. There is not a specific cause known as to why this disorder occurs, since it occurs in different races, ages, and genders.

There are many theories as to what causes social anxiety; such as the theory that it is due to the chemical imbalance of serotonin in the brain. Another is that it is instilled in a child at an early age by the type of environment that the child is raised in, or a traumatic situation which occurred during a person's childhood. Also the way a child is raised and the type of personalities of the parents who raise the child. If a child is raised in an alcoholic or abusive household, then the child has a greater chance of having a social phobia.

Social Anxiety Disorder


Genetics is another cause of social anxiety disorder, in which these phobia genes can be passed on through generations. Another may be from a lack of social interaction at a young age.

There are many different symptoms of social anxiety, such as trembling, feelings of nervousness, sweating, and an increased heart beat. When suffering from social anxiety, one might feel like everyone who is around them is looking at them, judging them, or thinking negatively of them. This feeling could be rooted from a lack of self esteem. A feeling of overwhelming anxiety could also occur, which can lead to a panic attack. Also, one might feel unfocused when they are doing a task in public, because they are so worried about what other people are thinking of them, that they may not be able to perform to their full potential. Some people may just have a fear of public speaking, and others have a fear of just speaking to people in general, which can impair their social activity. Living with untreated social anxiety can be very difficult, because someone with this disorder may not be able to have the self confidence to do everyday activities.

Social Anxiety Disorder


Even the simplest daily activities can be overwhelming to someone suffering from social anxiety disorder, such as going to the store, getting gas, or even going to work. They have trouble meeting or talking to people who they do not know well or even know at all. This can affect a person's ability to get a job promotion or even be successful. For some people it will affect personal relationships, such as family members and friends. Some people will seclude their selves from their own family members because they feel like their family does not accept them, or thinks badly of them. This can lead to the feeling of worthlessness, and not being wanted by their own family. For people with social anxiety everyday living is stressful and challenging, since they have a lack of self confidence and self esteem, it makes it hard for them to go out into public situations. Unfortunately social anxiety does not go away, it will stay with someone for the rest of their life unless they go through therapy, take medication, or face their

Although social anxiety is a life-controlling disorder, there are treatment options.

Social Anxiety Disorder


One includes therapy, which has been proven effective in numerous cases, and another treatment is medication. These therapies include cognitive therapy, self esteem therapy, and behavior therapy. All of these therapies will help the person who is suffering from social



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