The root cause of social anxiety
Fear is usually the root cause of social anxiety. It is the fear of being judged by others, ourselves, and that we don’t fit into society’s norms. This fear triggers our fears of embarrassment, something all people want to avoid. Let’s face it, no one likes to be embarrassed. Especially not amongst friends, family or our peers. Several people can think back to when they felt singled out, judged or criticised.
Your environment can also play a role in developing social anxiety. Some speculate that social anxiety may also be learnt behaviour. Parents who model anxious behaviour in social settings are rubbing off on children. As the saying goes, “Children are like sponges” they take in more than we care to realise.
The amygdala structure in the brain may also be a factor as it controls your internal fear response. People with an overactive amygdala typically have a heightened fear response which is a cause of social anxiety.
This fear can at some point manifest and begin to wreak havoc on relationships, daily routines, work, school or other social activities. Signs and symptoms typically start showing in the mid-teens. However, it can sometimes begin surfacing earlier in a person’s life. People with this condition constantly analyse their performance and identify internal flaws after a social encounter. This leads to avoiding social environments altogether, which is certainly not good as it has been proven that humans need social interactions.
Physical symptoms of a social anxiety disorder include:
- Racing heart
- Muscle tension
- Blank memory