Social phobia is defined as a situation where people refrain from interacting in social environments with fears and concerns such as being criticized for wrongdoing in crowded, being humiliated, embarrassed or being unsuccessful. Psychiatrist Asst. Prof. Dr. Yasin Genc stated that there is a genetic predisposition and protective parental attitude in the formation of social phobia.
In some people, anxiety and fear behaviors experienced in situations that require their relations with society prevent social life and cause negative effects on physical and mental health. Social phobia is a condition with the highest prevalence and loss of functionality among anxiety disorders. Physical effects such as palpitations, sweating, flushing, trembling and difficulty in breathing are observed when speaking in public, making presentations or attending events such as meetings.
SOCIAL PHOBIA COMMONLY STARTS IN CHILDHOOD AND ADOLESCENCE
Social phobia usually begins in childhood and adolescence. Psychiatrist Asst. Prof. Dr. Yasin Genc from Istanbul Gelisim University (IGU) Faculty of Economics, Administrative and Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, stated the following: “The age to apply for treatment is between 18-30 years old. Most of the patients do not seek treatment even though they live poorly. Because of this fear, one cannot speak in front of others, make presentations, ask for something from their superiors, offer friendship to the opposite sex, eat at a restaurant or with their friends, and cannot enter public toilets. In cases of anxiety, there may be flushing or paleness of the face, trembling in the hands, sweating, speech disorders, palpitations and breathing difficulties. Some patients may try to treat themselves with substances such as tranquilizers before entering social situations or performing. With substance and alcohol abuse, the situation can become more complicated.”
GENETIC SUSCEPTIBILITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS ARE SIGNIFICANT
It is considered that there is a genetic predisposition and environmental factors in the development of social phobia. Particularly in twin studies, there is a genetic contribution of up to 50%. Asst. Prof. Dr. Yasin Genc: “Overprotective parental attitudes can create a predisposition to social phobia by preventing the normal process of development of social abilities. Parents' overemphasis on the importance of other people's opinions may also make the child susceptible to negative evaluation from other people.” Moreover, socially anxious parents may lead to the development of social phobia in the child in the future by restricting the child's interaction with social environments in order to control their own anxiety. Apart from social phobia, other anxiety disorders, depressive disorders and alcohol use in the parents will also increase the probability of social phobia in the child.
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