what causes a social anxiety disorder?

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asked Jun 7, 2017 in Other- Health by Anxdq (160 points)
What causes social anxiety disorder?

I have severe social anxiety disorder. I can't go outside when neighbors are outside and when I do go outside and get near people I always turn my head away.

I try to avoid eye contact and I get really nervous when speaking to people in person or on the phone.

Whenever I have to call someone my heart starts racing and doesn't slow down until I hang up the telephone.

How can I get over this social anxiety disorder?

1 Answer

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answered Jun 7, 2017 by Judy (27,420 points)

Sorry you're dealing with that. I have a friend with social phobia social anxiety disorder and it's crippling for her too. 

You're not alone in having this disorder. 

Social anxiety disorder likely arises from a complex interaction of environment and genes. Possible causes are.

  • Inherited traits. Anxiety disorders tend to run in families. However, it isn't entirely clear how much of this may be due to genetics and how much is due to learned behavior.
  • Brain structure. A structure in the brain called the amygdala may play a role in controlling the fear response. People who have an overactive amygdala may have a heightened fear response, causing increased anxiety in social situations.
  • Environment. Social anxiety disorder may be a learned behavior. That is, you may develop the condition after witnessing the anxious behavior of others. In addition, there may be an association between social anxiety disorder and parents who are more controlling or protective of their children.

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