What is Social Anxiety?
People with social anxiety experience intense fear and worry when faced with social situations. This may lead them to avoid engaging in activities they find stimulating, as well as stop going to school or work altogether.
Depressed individuals may experience difficulty connecting with others or partake in activities they find enjoyable, such as playing video games with their friends. This can lead to feelings of social isolation and the development of substance use disorders or eating disorders.
No one knows the exact cause, but many children are born with a natural shyness or cautiousness that can be influenced by life events and experiences such as having a traumatic experience or being criticized or humiliated.
Genetics also plays a role in how it develops, especially if one parent has the disorder – this is known as heritability.
Sometimes, children with social anxiety tend to grow up with parents who suffer from the disorder themselves and tend to exacerbate it by overemphasizing negative thoughts about their child and disregarding positive aspects of their personality. Other parenting behaviors that may contribute to social anxiety include yelling, controlling their child’s behaviour, being emotionally distant or rejecting them completely.
Treatment options for social anxiety include antidepressants and therapy. Medication can help manage symptoms associated with social anxiety, such as rapid heart rate, sweating, and trembling. It may take several weeks before these medications start working fully; however, these measures have proven successful in managing symptoms of social anxiety.