What Is Social Anxiety? Why Does It Happen?

Social anxiety disorder is a common mental health condition marked by intense and persistent fear of being watched or judged by others. Those with social anxiety don’t necessarily fear the social situation itself. Rather, they fear how others will respond to their presence and actions.

People with social anxiety disorder have an intense fear of social situations such as meeting new people or going to job interviews because they are worried about being judged for being humiliated. Even doing everyday things in front of others, such as eating or drinking, can cause fear and anxiety. You can even talk to our professional physiatrist to know about the best medication for social anxiety disorder.

Why Does It Happen?

Like most mental health conditions, it is believed that social anxiety disorder is caused by a complex interaction between biological and environmental factors.

For one, anxiety disorders are believed to run in families. If you have a family member with anxiety, it may put you at a predisposition to develop it.

Additionally, social anxiety is thought to be a learned behavior. If you experienced an unpleasant or embarrassing event in a social context, you may start to associate social interactions with the humiliation of that isolated event.

Finally, brain scans revealed that people with social anxiety disorder have hyperactivity in the amygdala, which is the area of the brain responsible for the physiological changes associated with fear and the stress response. Activation of the stress response can cause immense anxiety and stress in the face of perceived danger, even if actual danger isn’t present.