Social anxiety disorder, a condition that affects nearly 20,000,000 Americans at this very moment, is a very real and very damaging condition. Sufferers experience a tremendous degree of anxiety in social situations.
Symptoms are not limited to emotional anxiety, but often manifest physically with heart palpitations, nervous stomach, muscle tension stiffness of gauge, shakes and stammering. The condition affects different people to different degrees.
Some people are able to mask their discomfort and go about their lives mildly uncomfortable in social situations, while others remain perpetually in a living hell. Those whose condition affects them to the degree that their lives are severely diminished are in need of treatment.
What’s the cause of this phobic reaction to personal interaction? The causes may be either or both biological or learned. It’s possible that the initial cause of social anxiety disorder is an underlying chemical imbalance affecting the neurotransmitter, serotonin. Some theorize that this imbalance restricts the way messages travel between nerve cells. This imbalance can alter the way people react during stressful situations. Research is still in its infancy.
Conditioning as a result of childhood humiliation, psychological abuse, sheltering, nervous parents, lack of praise, an overabundance of criticism, trauma can have psychological ramifications resulting in social anxiety disorder.
But the cause is not as important as the cure. To date, there is no complete cure, however there is treatment which can alleviate most of the symptoms and enable a person with this disorder to function happily and productively. If you know of someone that you believe suffers from this crippling disorder, understand and accept them, love them and get them into treatment. The successful completion of the treatment program can be like a rebirth for those who suffer from social anxiety disorder.