Social Phobia in Children Research Paper

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Social Phobia in Children

It is natural for the people to feel shy, self-conscious or nervous in front of others at certain occasions. Anyone can feel conscious or can have sweaty palms and racing heart when addressing a large audience or while presenting themselves in front of others. Most of the people can easily manage such feelings and can come over them. While for others, the anxiety that accompanies these feelings is very extreme and hence it cannot be handled easily.

Social phobia is also known as Social Anxiety disorder (SAD). It can be defined as a common anxiety disorder which is characterized by the feelings of intense fear humiliation, embarrassment and unpleasant and negative evaluation by other people in various social situations. The people suffering from this disease have a high tendency of avoiding social situations. Recent studies have indicated that social anxiety disorder is very common among adolescents, the life time prevalence rate of this disorder among the young people of United States of America and Germany ranges between five to fifteen percent. According to the statistics provided by National Institutes of Mental Health, the life time prevalence rate of this order among thirteen to eighteen-year-olds is 5.5%.

The children or adolescents suffering from this disease also believe that others are better and are completive than them. Social phobia is quite different from shyness as the people who are shy do not completely avoid the situations that make them uncomfortable, whereas, those suffering from social phobia have a tendency to completely avoid social encounters and keep themselves aloof. The children suffering from social phobia have a disrupted normal life as this disorder deteriorates their school and social relationships. The children and adolescents suffering from social anxiety disorder confront a number of feared situations. These situations include crowds and parties; initiating a conversation or getting indulged in one; talking to a large audience; expressing opinions and points-of-view; making someone new; shaking hands with people; using public washrooms; shopping for stuff; talking to the seniors or higher authorities; being watched by others in various situations, such as eating, receiving a phone call etcetera and facing situations that put them on the spotlight. (Anxiety Recovery Centre Victoria, 2013)

The common fears that emanate in the children suffering from social anxiety disorder as a result of the above mentioned situations include; the apprehension that the other people, noticing them, will observe and identify the physical symptoms of anxiety that they confront such as, nervousness, sweating, blushing and stammering, the concern that all the acts executed by them will make them look stupid, silly, embarrassing or ridiculous, the fear that they will be thought of as quite, boring, arrogant and unattractive by others and the anxiety and stress that others will evaluate and judge them as incapable of tackling social situations or the belief that others will think of them as socially inadequate and inferior. In addition to that, the affected youth also suffer from elevated levels of dysphoria, loneliness, and general anxiety. The children ranging between the ages of 7 to 14 years, who are suffering from social phobia, are reported to have under developed social skills. Apart from that, both the male and female adolescents are also observed to have high levels of social anxiety. They perceive that they are not supported and accepted by their friends and others do not find them romantically attractive.

Social phobia, which was formerly known as the neglected anxiety disorder, is chronic psychological disorder which develops at an early stage and can extend till adulthood. This disorder can have deteriorating impacts on the personalities and everyday lives of the affected children and young people. Tremendous amount of research has been done in relation to the psychological and physiological factors that trigger social phobia. Such researchers would enable the medical practitioners to better understand this disorder and its risk factors and hence will lead towards the improvement of preventive measures and treatment procedures in relation to social phobia.

Social Phobia in Children

Introduction

It is natural for the people to feel shy, self-conscious or nervous in front of others at certain occasions. Anyone can feel conscious or can have sweaty palms and racing heart when addressing a large audience or while presenting themselves in front of others. Most of the people can easily manage such feelings and can come over them. While for others, the anxiety that accompanies these feelings is very extreme and hence it cannot be handled easily. (Lyness, 2013)

The anxiety accompanied with these feelings is so intense that the students might fear giving answers in the class, avoid making eye contact with their teachers and class mates and skip getting indulged in group chats. (Lyness, 2013)

When people become people self-conscious and anxious to a degree that makes them incapable of socializing with others then this condition cannot be termed as shyness, instead it is psychological anxiety disorder known as 'social phobia'. (Lyness, 2013)

Social Phobia

Social phobia is also known as Social Anxiety disorder (SAD). It can be defined as a common anxiety disorder which is characterized by the feelings of intense fear humiliation, embarrassment and unpleasant and negative evaluation by other people in various social situations. The people suffering from this disease have a high tendency of avoiding social situations. (Kashdan and Herbert, 2001)

A person suffering from social anxiety disorder suffers from an unreasonable and excessive fear in relation to social encounters. This fear, anxiety and stress usually arise from the trepidation of being negatively judged and evaluated by others. Such people are afraid of being criticized by others in social situations. This agitation and fear can also be a result of poor social skills and an inability to handle social situations in an effective manner. (Sierra Tucson, 2013)

The people suffering from social anxiety disorder develop a habit of avoiding social encounters. These people may also suffer from 'anticipatory anxiety'. Anticipatory anxiety can be defined as a situation in which people start dreading a social situation even before it occurs. They become anxious and stressed out for weeks or days before the event. These people are aware of the fact that their fear is unreasonable but still they are not able to overcome it. (Sierra Tucson, 2013)

In past social phobia was identified as an inability to perform in front of others. The researches, however, indicated that this definition was very narrow and this disorder encompasses all the fear and anxiety that an individual confronts and which impairs his everyday routine and dealings in the social situations. The individual suffering from this disorder, for example, may feel excessively uncomfortable in having a conversation with others and he might not talk to others, especially with the ones whom he does not know. In addition to that, a person who dreads the realization of being watched by others might avoid going on dinners with others as others might watch him or her eating. (American Psychiatric Association, 2013)

Researchers have identified that millions of people suffer from social anxiety disorder. In addition to that, it has been indicated by a number of studies that around seven to eight percent of the total population of the United States of America suffers from this disorder. In addition to that, the life time prevalence rate in relation to the development of social anxiety disorder is thirteen to fourteen percent. This disorder can be related to other form of mental illnesses such as, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and depression disorders. (Sierra Tucson, 2013)

Social Phobia in Children

Recent studies have indicated that social anxiety disorder is very common among adolescents, the life time prevalence rate of this disorder among the young people of United States of America and Germany ranges between five to fifteen percent. According to the statistics provided by National Institutes of Mental Health, the life time prevalence rate of this order among thirteen to eighteen-year-olds is 5.5%. (National Institutes of Mental Health, 2013)

If taken individually, the life time prevalence rate among thirteen to fourteen-year-olds is 3.9%, that among fifteen to sixteen-year-olds is 6.1% and the life time prevalence rate among sixteen to seventeen years old is 6.9%. The National Institutes of Mental Health also indicated that on the basis of gender, the rate of prevalence among female adolescents is 6.6% and that among males is 4.5%. Apart from that, the rate of prevalence of severe social anxiety disorder is reported to be 1.3% among thirteen to eighteen-year-olds. (National Institutes of Mental Health, 2013)

As discussed above, social phobia can be defined as a violent and acute consternation or unease of being criticized and humiliated in social situations of social encounters. This disorder generally starts developing among individuals during their adolescence or at an even younger age. Children suffering from this disease demonstrate intensively shy behavior in social situations as they fear that anything that they will do will lead towards embarrassment. (the Child Anxiety Network, 2013)

The children or adolescents suffering from this disease also believe that others are better and…

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