Social anxiety disorder is one of the most common mental disorders. It usually begins in the early to midteens, although it can sometimes begin earlier in childhood or in adulthood.
A number of factors can increase the risk of developing social anxiety disorder, including:
Aug. 23, 2011
- Being female. Females are more likely than males to have social anxiety disorder.
- Family history. You're more likely to develop social anxiety disorder if your biological parents or siblings have the condition.
- 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.
- Temperament. Children who are shy, timid, withdrawn or restrained when facing new situations or people may be at greater risk.
- New social or work demands. Meeting new people, giving a speech in public or making an important work presentation may trigger social anxiety disorder symptoms for the first time. These symptoms usually have their roots in adolescence, however.
- Having a health condition that draws attention. Facial disfigurement, stuttering, Parkinson's disease and other health conditions can increase feelings of self-consciousness and may trigger social anxiety disorder in some people.
- Social phobia (social anxiety disorder). In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR. 4th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2000. http://www.psychiatryonline.com. Accessed June 11, 2011.
- Schneier FR. Social anxiety disorder: Epidemiology, clinical manifestations, and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed June 17, 2011.
- Hollander E, et al. Social phobia (social anxiety disorder). In: Hales RE, et al. The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychiatry. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2008. http://www.psychiatryonline.com. Accessed June 11, 2011.
- Phobic disorders. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec15/ch196/ch196e.html. Accessed June 17, 2011.
- Hofmann SG. Psychotherapy for social anxiety disorder. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed June 17, 2011.
- Bruce TJ, et al. Pharmacotherapy for social anxiety disorder. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed June 17, 2011.
- Lee RA. Anxiety disorders. In: Rakel D. Integrative Medicine. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/154207005-3/0/1494/57.html?tocnode=54111716&fromURL=57.html#4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-2954-0..50014-4_229. Accessed June 10, 2011.
- Lakhan SE, et al. Nutritional and herbal supplements for anxiety and anxiety-related disorders: Systematic review. Nutrition Journal. 2010;9:42. http://www.nutritionj.com/content/9/1/42. Accessed June 17, 2011.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.