Social Anxiety Disorder

by: Brishetaa Gajendra


If the person has a fear of these situations/ everyday activities they might have social anxiety disorder:

  • Eating or drinking in public areas or in front of anyone.
  • Working in groups at school or anywhere.
  • Voicing their opinion in discussions.
  • Being the center of attention.
  • Interacting with people at social events or even dates.
  • Asking questions in a classroom or in public.
  • Talking on the phone.
  • Using the public bathroom.

The person might also show physical symptoms which include:

  • Confusion
  • Heart pounding very fast
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Blushing
  • Muscle tension
  • Upset stomach
  • Diarrhea

What is it?

Also known as social phobia, when a person has this disorder they have unreasonable fear in social situations. Their anxiety level rises from a fear of being watched, judged and criticized by others as they are very self-conscious. A person with this disorder has a fear of making a mistake, looking bad, be embarrassed or humiliated in front of others. This disorder may make the person lack social skills and social experiences.

Who is affected?

It is the second most common anxiety disorder which affects all ages but mostly in adolescence or early adulthood. This disorder also affects more women than men.

Cause of Social Anxiety Disorder

Their is no one certain cause for this disorder but reasearchers say that biological, environmental and psychological factors may play a role in the development of this disorder in a person.


This disorder could be caused by abnormal functioning in brain circuits that regulate emotions as well as the 'fight or flight' response in the brain. It can also be genetics as well as developed first hand; if a close relative, parent or sibling has this disorder.


The development of social anxiety disorder could also come from bad social experiences where they were embarrassed, neglected by peers, been bullied, humiliated in front of others etc.


He or she who has social anxiety disorder might have developed their fear of people when they witness someone else being made fun of or being embarrassed infront of everyone. Also children who are overprotected by their parents might lack social skills compared to everyone else.

How this disorder would impact an individual

Their life would be filled with avoidance, pain, loneliness and a lot of fear. Depending on where the individual lives their lifestyle might be normal or very difficult. If you lived in an urban community where you see people everywhere and you had to get basic needs from stores it would be very difficult compared to someone who lived in an rural area where it was just them by themselves all the time and yes they would have interactions once in a while but it would not be as intense as someone who lived in an urban community.

If the individual did live in an urban community it might also be hard for them to get a job as most jobs today require you to work in an area surrounded by people for example an office where even though you might not talk to anyone you will still be in the presence of a lot of people which might be frightening for someone with social anxiety disorder.

The persons health and diet would be greatly affected as well. For example if the person has a fear of eating in public or using the public bathroom it would not be in the best interest for the person as they would either be starving themselves for a period of time or holding in their pee for a certain period of time which is not good for their health in the long run.

Where can you get help?

You can get help from most therapists and their are some support groups and facilities where you can get help.

  • Mississauga shyness & social anxiety club at 870 Shiyastas Rd
  • Call 289-724-0246 (therapy line)

  • There is no close facility just for social anxiety disorder.


"What Is Social Anxiety Disorder? Symptoms, Treatments, & More."WebMD. WebMD. Web. 4 Jan. 2016.

"Social Anxiety." AnxietyBC. 14 Nov. 2014. Web. 4 Jan. 2016.

"Social Anxiety Disorder | Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA." Social Anxiety Disorder | Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA. Web. 4 Jan. 2016.

"Social Anxiety Fact Sheet: What Is Social Anxiety Disorder? Symptoms, Treatment, Prevalence, Medications, Insight, Prognosis." Social Anxiety Fact Sheet. Web. 4 Jan. 2016.