Social Phobia Social Anxiety Disorder

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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Social phobia is also known as social anxiety disorder. There is no specific cause of this disorder, but there may be links to a serotonin imbalance. There are several factors that can increase the risk of developing a social phobia. These factors include having a family member that has the disorder or negative experiences such as bullying or rejection.A person can develop this disorder as a young teen or any time up until adulthood. Social phobia is an intense fear that causes someone to avoid social situations.

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This disorder may result in not only poor social skills, but also low self-esteem. This intense anxiety can result in the disruption of an individual’s life. This is because there is an intense fear of being judged and a want to steer clear of these social situations. This disability can also affect childhood development because a lot of the social interaction children are exposed to is in school. For many, school can also be a time where individuals fear being embarrassed or humiliated. As a result, the children with a social phobia may avoid school and may make it difficult to complete. This disorder will cause problems in the future when they are working. At work individuals with social anxiety disorder will be exposed to things that will make them feel like the center of attention or others will notice that he/she is anxious in that certain situation.

As a result they will do what is necessary to avoid this supposed judgement. This can include he/she skipping work and as a result, the inability to continue going to work because of this intense fear, and potentially, an eventual loss of employment. When individuals with social phobia are in these social situations they may get physical symptoms which include a fast heartbeat, trembling, and lightheadedness. These physical symptoms also contribute to why an individual may keep away from those social situations, such as going out with friends to enjoy a meal or grab drinks. Doing these daily activities in front of others may be too hard to go through. If these situations continue, individuals will have difficulty keeping these relationships. As a consequence of all of the things listed above, individuals with social phobia are at a higher risk of developing other disorders such as alcohol use disorder and major depressive disorder. Treatment varies from person to person but it is best to treat the disorder early. The longer an individual waits, the more difficult it will be to treat. An individual with social phobia can avoid substances that cause more anxiety such as caffeine. Figuring out what situations and things cause he/she extra anxiety and stress can be useful. Journaling is a useful technique that can help with this. Seeing a mental health provider may also be a good option for individuals as they could suggest medication that can help treat their symptoms.

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Social Phobia Social Anxiety Disorder. (2019, May 12). Retrieved from