Social anxiety disorder is a condition in which a person has an excessive and unreasonable fear of social situations. This condition is usually developed through an individual’s fear of being closely watched, judged, and criticized by others around them. An individual with social anxiety disorder is often concerned that he or she will make mistakes and be humiliated in front of others. There are many cases where anxiety becomes so overwhelming that it can turn into a panic attack. So to avoid a panic attack from happening an individual will often avoid social situations all together. In many cases, the individual is aware that the fear they have is unreasonable, yet they still are not able to overcome the fear of these social encounters.
There is evidence that suggests that biological, psychological, and environmental factors can play a role in the development of social anxiety disorder. Biological causes are closely related to the brains abnormal functioning of the emotional “fight or flight” response Genetic factors may also contribute to the individuals development of social anxiety because this particular condition is more likely to occur when it is also present in a first-degree relative. Psychological causes may stem from social experiences in the past, such as being bullied. Environmental causes may also influence social anxiety disorder from the individuals fear of seeing someone else being bullied or made fun of. Individuals who were sheltered as a child may have also missed the opportunity to develop important social skills.