Social Anxiety Disorder is characterized as a mental illness in which a person is diagnosed with having thoughts of uncertainty about how they will behave in present and future social gatherings. People who suffer from this mental illness usually worry about future events and the manner in which their behavior will be viewed by other individuals. The fear of socializing causes people who suffer from this mental illness to shy away from speaking and participating in in social events.

People who suffer from this mental illness will usually keep focusing on events they will have to partake of. Constant worry about having to speak and the manner in which they will act in upcoming events interfere with daily activities. Because of the constant thoughts of socially interacting with people and the attention they place on such thoughts these have a difficult time interacting with others. The causes of social anxiety disorder are not currently known.

Researchers are currently trying to determine whether genes or the environment itself are what causes this mental disorder to surface in a person. Most researchers have concluded that social anxiety disorder is caused by a combination of hereditary genes and the environment; although some researchers have drawn the conclusion that social anxiety disorder is a mental illness that is learned through a child’s observation of a family member’s behavior when dealing with situations that the person usually avoids.

To diagnose whether or not a person suffers from social anxiety disorder mental health experts have developed a criteria that must be met before it is determined that a person suffers from this mental disorder. The criteria a person must meet to be diagnosed with social anxiety disorder is spelled out in the Mental Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Presently there is no known cure for social anxiety disorder. A person diagnosed with this mental illness has it for life.

The only known treatments for this illness are psychotherapy and mental illness drugs. Even though a person may have social anxiety disorder for life it is possible for the person to become more confident and relaxed in social situations through the use of one of the treatments available or a combination of both treatments. A person must continually undergo the treatment process for social anxiety disorder in order to diminish the symptoms of this mental illness and become a more socialized person.

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