Monday Mind Talks: Knowing the causes of the increase in social anxiety among youth and how to overcome it

Here is some insight on understanding the reasons why social anxiety is on the rise in young people and how to combat it.

Published on Sep 26, 2022 01:15 PM IST  |  219.6K
Social anxiety

While the majority of young adults have moments of typical worry connected to the changes that come with youth, people with severe social anxiety experience fear that is excessive compared to the circumstances they are faced with. While some anxiety in unfamiliar social situations is normal, people with social anxiety disorder experience excessive self-consciousness, misery, and fear of rejection in regular everyday interaction.

We have Ms. Akanksha Pandey, a clinical psychologist consultant from Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road, with us today. She will share her knowledge with us about understanding the reasons why social anxiety is on the rise in young people and how to deal with it.


Causes of social anxiety

What are the causes of social anxiety amongst teens and young adults?

Social anxiety disorder has no single identifiable cause, and some people are significantly more prone to anxiety problems than others. According to Ms. Akanksha Pandey, “Social anxiety tends to have a multifactorial etiology, such as genetic predisposition, hyperactivity in a part of the amygdala (part of the brain), negative parenting styles, environmental influences, and stressful life experiences."

In addition to inherited causes and specific brain structures, she continues, “Environmental factors or traumatic experiences such as physical/sexual/verbal/emotional abuse, bullying, loss of a loved at an early age, domestic violence, strained family dynamics etc may also contribute.”


Social anxiety

How can it affect their life?

When you have social anxiety disorder, your life may be disrupted by avoidance caused by fear and anxiety. As per Ms. Akanksha, this prevents people from developing good relationships, communicating effectively, and embracing new opportunities due to their constant fear of being judged and given to intense anxiety, which leads to avoidant behaviours.

Does parenting style affect youth’s social anxiety?

The way that parenting is done has a big impact on how well-being in youngsters develops. Ms. Akanksha claims. “Parenting styles characterized as over-controlling, over-critical, comparative, invalidating, vulnerable to others' opinions often result in low self-esteem, low confidence, poor self-concept and constant reassurance seeking or approval seeking in adolescence. These become more pronounced during adulthood." These parenting approaches frequently and forcefully discipline their kids, which might cause them to become overly anxious about making mistakes.


Treatment of anxiety disorder

How can we manage and treat anxiety amongst young adults?

Although anxiety problems can be upsetting and crippling, recovery is achievable with the right care. Each person's treatment is different, and medical professionals can collaborate with you to determine whether or not the medication is required. Ms. Akanksha highlights, "Treatment for social anxiety disorder includes psychotherapy such as cognitive behavior therapy, social skills training, coping strategies, and relaxation training.” She also reveals that some cases of florid anxiety manifestation, particularly in the form of panic attacks, may call for the use of medication.

You may feel isolated if you have anxiety issues. An excellent method to meet people and learn what works for them is through support groups. Consult your physician or counsellor for advice. One must expect recovering from anxiety disorders and feeling better soon.

Also Read: Panic Disorder: Here is everything you need to know about it


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