What Causes Anxiety?
Have you been wondering what causes anxiety? This is really a subject that is becoming more and more relevant as time goes on. Anxiety, clinically referred to as Social Anxiety Disorder is reaching near-epidemic levels in our pressure packed world. Maybe you’ve a loved on who is displaying symptoms of anxiety. Or perhaps it is you who have these extremely unpleasant feelings.
Either way, it is important for all of us to understand the problem before we can seek out solutions.
Let’s start with the basics. What exactly is Social Anxiety Disorder?
Social Anxiety Disorder is characterized by intense fear in social situations causing considerable distress and impaired capability to function in at least some elements of daily life. The diagnosis can be of the specific disorder (when only some specific situations are feared) or a generalized disorder. Generalized social anxiety disorder usually involves a persistent, intense, chronic dread of being evaluated by others and of being embarrassed or ashamed by one’s own actions. These fears can be triggered by perceived or actual scrutiny from others.
Putting it in layman’s terms: Social Anxiety Disorder is a dread of having to interact with other people in a social situation. People who have social anxiety frequently fear that they are being watched, judged, and evaluated by other people. It’s frequently mistaken for shyness or low self-esteem. There are lots of different causes of social anxiety, however, the trigger of social anxiety in some individuals simply cannot be explained.
What causes anxiety example #1: A common trigger of social anxiety is a traumatic social experience. If a individual is ‘picked on’ or made fun of throughout childhood, they are likely to create social anxiety. Social Anxiety can even develop during adulthood, as a result of a traumatic interpersonal encounter. Some researchers think that adult onset social anxiety, because of a traumatic social experience, is the easiest social anxiety to treat, because the individual merely needs to regain their self-confidence. This isn’t always so for everyone.
What causes anxiety example #2: Another typical trigger of social anxiety is a learned response. If a child has parents who have social anxiety, there’s a good chance that the child will learn to fear interpersonal situations too. As kids, we learn everything from the people who are around us the very most. Alternately, some individuals who’ve vivacious, outgoing parents develop interpersonal anxiety as a result. They have fundamental fears that make them feel that they could never live up to the standard that their mother and father have set – so, rather than becoming outgoing, they withdraw, and develop social anxiety as a result.
What causes anxiety example #3: Social anxiety can develop due to misleading or inaccurate info. For instance, if a girl is a tomboy as a child, and she is often discouraged from playing sports and climbing trees – while being encouraged to play with dolls, she could develop social anxiety. She would yield to interpersonal pressure from friends and family members to ‘do what girls do, not what boys do.’ This could become a large problem as she grows up. Dating could turn out to be a challenge, because she will not feel that she is not feminine, or ‘lady like’ enough for any boy to be interested in her – she likes sports after all. The thought process is completely incorrect, but it is what she learned as a child. She would be confronted using the issue over and over as time goes by, and eventually, she would develop social anxiety – never feeling like she fits in, and always feeling like she is being judged.
What causes anxiety example #4: Researchers now also believe that social anxiety can be inherited genetically. Research has demonstrated that identical twins, who share identical genes, experience comparable social anxiety symptoms, whilst fraternal twins, who don’t share identical genes, don’t encounter comparable social anxiety symptoms. Research in this area is still on-going.
The causes of social anxiety vary from individual to individual. Frequently, the trigger could be discovered via therapy. Counselors agree that once the underlying trigger of social anxiety is found, most people are able to begin dealing with their interpersonal anxiety in efficient, successful ways.
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