According To The National Institute Of Mental Health, Social

1315 WordsMay 22, 20176 Pages
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, social anxiety is a mental disorder with a lifetime prevalence of 12%. It is characterized by a persistent, intense and chronic fear of being scrutinized by others when engaging in, as well as a fear of, social interactions. In this form of anxiety, individuals are afraid of saying or doing something that will embarrass or humiliate them and have unrealistic appraisals of the negative consequences of social encounters. There are many factors that contribute to social anxiety such as sexual abuse, family conflict, or a natural tendency for a child to be shy or withdrawn. The cognitive behavioral model explains how this disorder is maintained after developing. Individuals do not have to…show more content…
From a young age their perception of the world is skewed and these children begin to selectively process life by using attentional bias which is when anxious people are hypervigilant for threatening stimuli more than non-anxious people. This attention can be divided into four stages: 1) orientation of attention towards a given stimulus; 2) attentional engagement with that stimulus; 3) disengagement from attending to the stimulus; and 4) avoidance of attention to the stimulus. Anxiety can be experienced in each stage. Interpretive bias is also used and it is when people that suffer from social anxiety interpret ambiguous events as negative or threatening. Results from dot-probe paradigm research showed that anxious people have greater attentional bias to threat-related stimuli than non-anxious people. This attention to threat stimuli is important to maintaining social anxiety because it conditions them to use avoidance behaviors and self-focused attention in situations that they believe threaten them (Robinson 2010). Socially anxious individuals have an issue with their perception and information processing when they are presented with a social threat their attention shifts inward and they commence an analysis of themselves from the observer’s perspective. The social standards are perceived as high, and they believe they are unable to meet those standards because of their social skills are not up to par. Self-perception is
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