What Are The Main Causes Of Social Anxiety Disorder?

Did you know that social anxiety is among the most common mental disorders?
We all experience social anxiety throughout our lives to a certain extent. An example of this may be the fear and panic you experience prior to having to deliver a presentation to a large audience.
For some though this can develop into social anxiety disorder which can really affect a persons ability to cope in the most un-demanding social environments/ engagements.
So what are the causes?

There has been much research on this subject but there still remains no certified answer as to the exact cause of social anxiety disorder.
Research suggests that a persons genes or genetic makeup is a contributing factor. This would suggest that a person is more likely to develop the disorder should either parents or direct relatives have the disorder.
Nuerological research has linked the development of anxiety related disorder to a small part of the brain called the "amygale". This is the portion of the brain that handles fear which is said to be a contributing factor.
Finally there are psychological factors which I commonly refer to as "social conditioning". These are in my opinion the biggest contributing factor in the development of most anxiety related disorders in general.
Social conditioning simply refers to the environment that a person is exposed to throughout their adolescence and adulthood.
Lets say for instance a person has been subject to intimidation/ bullying throughout their schooling years.
Is this person more likely to develop social anxiety?
Of course they are.
Even singular events such as a person being humiliated publicly or perhaps a particular event such as being stood up at the school prom can have a psychological baring that could be a contributing factor in the development of the disorder.
There are also other factors relating to social conditioning such as "observational learning". Observational learning basically refers to the manner in which people behave based on what they observe others around them doing.
A person may also develop a high sensitivity to disapproval (fear of rejection) which could also be a contributing factor in the development of social anxiety disorder.
Based on the sheer number of possible causes it's clear to see why it's hard to determine an exact cause but social conditioning and the psychological baring are in my opinion the biggest factors.
In reality it's more than likely a combination of social conditioning, genes and neurological factors. No two people are the same and one persons reason for developing the disorder will not be the same as another persons.
If you're suffering with social anxiety disorder and would like to learn more on the causes and treatment then check out our post on overcoming social anxiety.

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