Author: Bertil Hjert
Social phobia can develop for a variety of reasons. The disorder starts in childhood or young adulthood and may grow by slow degrees as time passes. While this phobia often presents itself at a young age, it can stay with a person for years or decades and can snowball into an even greater problem.
Some of the reasons that the phobia occurs include:
1.Â In some people, the phobia develops from a long-term history of shyness or social inhibition.Â
2.Â In other young people, it crops up after a change in situation, such as a move to a new school. For adults, this change in circumstances could be a change of jobs, a promotion, a public speaking job or even a new relationship.Â
3.Â A lot of people experience a sudden onset of social phobia following a particularly humiliating or frightening experience.Â
Social phobia is caused by a combination of environmental and physical factors. As with panic disorder, a personÂ´s natural temperament may be an important factor in determining why they develop panic attacks and phobia when others do not.Â
If as a child, you were behaviorally inhibited, you are more likely to develop an anxiety disorder in adulthood. You can recognize behavioral inhibition by reflecting on your experiences as a child or asking people who knew you as a child.
The behaviors you are looking for include nervous moving around, crying, and general irritability, followed by withdrawing and seeking comfort from familiar people when confronted with a new person or situation.Â
Also stopping what you are doing when noticing a new person or situation is another indication. While these manifestations are important determinants, it is also important not to obsess over every little indication. Factors should be taken as a whole and examined in terms of frequency and severity.
The sufferers should also examine their interactions with their parents. If your parent struggled with major depression, panic attacks, or other anxiety problems, you are at an increased risk of developing social phobia. This family pattern of phobia is more likely in cases of generalized, not specific phobia.
For children of parents who struggled with depression, it is more likely that they acquired certain attitudes and behaviors from their parents that make them more susceptible to developing the phobia.
People with parents who suffered from depression often see the negative in any given situation. They overestimate the threats and dangers in life and underestimate their strength, intelligence, and other resources for coping with these situations. The social modeling they are taking from their parentÂ´s influence how they react and interact with the world and thus, may make people with these types of parental relationships more susceptible to social phobia than those that do not.Â Â
Another reason for the development of this phobia in children and adolescents is the deterioration of the social network of family and friends that surrounds young people. We live in a culture where the nuclear family has become the norm, social gatherings limited and general interaction with the television set more common than friends.Â
Children are exposed to more adult situations, more aggressive behavior, more foul language and more unpleasant situations whether through real life or television than ever before. The world is rougher and people meaner and many people that may have made it in a kinder, gentler world have been overwhelmed with the requirements of modern society and have developed phobias such as social phobia to cope.Â About the Author:
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