Causes of Social Phobia

Social phobia is a form of anxiety disorder, where the individual suffers from an intense and irrational fear, causing a feeling of fear. People who are troubled with social phobia usually have a hard time keeping a steady job and interacting with the people around them. They also tend to be very sensitive and self conscious, and are afraid of being judged by others.

Often, the individual is aware that this fear is irrational, but is powerless to stop the emotions. It is not so much the public’s scrutiny that causes them discomfort, but their own interpretation and negative thoughts of themselves. They find it difficult to focus, and experience blushing, excessive sweating or tunnel vision.

There are many root causes of social phobia, such as a previous embarrassing experience, genetic reasons, or psychological factors. Social phobia if not treated, can degenerate into social disorders and panic attacks. Only by understanding the root cause of the social phobia can you take steps towards treating and eliminating it.

1. Previous Experiences
For individuals who have experienced traumatic moments, they may feel such intense humiliation or embarrassment.

2. Genetic or Hereditary
Social phobias may also be hereditary, and you are more likely to develop it if someone from your family suffers from it.

3. Extension of shyness
For children who are very shy, social phobia may be an extension of this as they did not have the opportunity to learn social skills and the ability to relate and communicate with others confidently.

4. Stress
This occurs when individuals experience high levels of stress in their environment, be it family, work or social life. This can be seen as the straw that broke the camel’s back, when a single event can tip the balance and cause the individual to spiral into social phobia. Often, the trigger event can be something small and insignificant.

5. Social Modeling
Children who grow up in environments where their parents or peers behavior tend to be shy and introverted may end up with social phobia due to the process of observational learning. They pick up the traits and behaviors from the individuals around them, and are influenced by their environment, thus developing social phobia.

There are many causes of social phobia, such as low self esteem and a tendency to suffer from depression, and research to determine the causes of social phobia is still ongoing. Those who suffer from this condition often develop a deep fear of experiencing the panic attacks again and this can lead to a dimished sense of self confidence.

It is important that individuals are able to recognize that they suffer from social phobias, and not simply a case of shyness. This will enable them to actively seek treatment, instead of living a life of fear, wondering when the next attack will occur.

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