What Causes Social Phobia?

In this article ‘ What causes social phobia? Can social phobia be treated? How long does the counseling process take?I will try to answer questions such as:

Social phobia can be summarized as a state of extreme anxiety when meeting someone new, talking or entering an unfamiliar new environment, in short, in a large part of daily social situations. If you have social phobia, you probably think that you are being watched, judged, shamed or humiliated by others because of your own actions, and you experience this fear intensely and chronically. In fact, you may also realize that this extreme anxiety or fear you experience may be excessive or unreasonable, but you usually find it very difficult to overcome them. If you have a negative experience that you might consider horrific, it will likely take days or weeks before you recover from it. In addition, due to this intense anxiety and fear, you may experience other problems that will accompany your illness, such as low self-esteem and depression.


Individuals with social phobia tend to avoid situations where they can be criticized or evaluated. The main reason for this is; They have intense fear, such as exhibiting behaviors that may humiliate, embarrass, or embarrass themselves in the environment they are in. There are also physical symptoms accompanying this intense stress;

  • acceleration of the heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath and shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Abdominal pain and nausea
  • Shake
  • flushing
  • Difficulty speaking or speaking very quietly
  • muscle tension
  • a rigid body posture
  • Dry Mouth

These visible physical symptoms ‘disapproval’ It increases the fear even more. With this intense fear they experience, they actually bring themselves into focus and a vicious circle occurs. At the same time, the intense anxiety they feel due to experiencing these symptoms also reduces their ability to cope with this situation and triggers anxiety.

Disorders Accompanying Social Phobia:

Often accompanying social phobia; Apart from panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression, unfortunately, some of the social phobics may experience addiction problems by turning to alcohol or other drugs in order to reduce their anxiety level.


While research continues to better understand the causes of social anxiety disorder, some studies point to a small structure in the brain called the amygdala in the symptoms of social phobia. It has been determined that the amygdala is a central region of the brain that controls fear responses and works more actively in people with social phobia.

In another study, it has been shown that the presence of social phobia in first-degree relatives increases the risk of developing this disorder two to six times compared to other people. In other words, if your mother, father or one of your siblings is social phobic, your risk of being social phobic is two to six times higher than other people.

Childhood maltreatment and stressful life are also among the risk factors for the development of social phobia.

What Age Range Does It Start In?

Social phobia usually begins in childhood or early adolescence before adulthood and rarely develops after the age of 25.

Consulting Process

The most common types of therapy in the counseling process of Social Phobia; Cognitive and Behavioral Therapyused in the treatment of post-traumatic symptoms all over the world and in our country. EMDR  Therapymodels are applied.

cognitive therapyThe physical reactions of the individuals and the negative thoughts of the person causing the anxiety are questioned and support is given to develop coping skills.

EMDR therapy On the other hand, it is a method in which the emotional, physical and negative beliefs of individuals caused by their negative life experiences in the past are eliminated. With the EMDR, eye movements desensitization and reprocessing model, the individual is desensitized to these negative life experiences in the past, and at the same time, support is provided to become more functional now and in the future.

According to studies, social phobia is a very common health problem faced by one in eight people at some point in their life. If the person believes that the quality of life has decreased due to these problems, he should definitely get professional support because the problem can last for many years unless support is received.

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