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Difference between Social Anxiety Disorder and Shyness - Research Paper Example

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Difference between Social Anxiety Disorder and Shyness

This fear results in the inability of persons suffering from the condition to function normally in social situations. Social anxiety disorder is the most common mental condition around the world and it is estimated that at least twelve percent of the world’s population of children suffer from the condition which develops into their adulthood (Bandelow, Dan & Stein 2004). Social anxiety disorder is normally categorized into two; that is general and specific. The social anxiety disorder that is generalized is normally characterized by the intense fear of someone being humiliated or embarrassed by their actions and fear of being judged by those surrounding them. Specialized social anxiety disorder is where someone is chronically afraid of specific situations. Social anxiety disorder symptoms appear at an early stage in life. For instance, it is estimated that at least eighty percent of people suffering from the disease usually start experiencing symptoms by the time they attain the age of 20 years (Bandelow, Dan & Stein, 2004). Symptoms associated with the social anxiety disorder are categories into three categories which are behavioral aspects, physiological aspects, and cognitive aspects. Cognitive symptoms of the disorder are where someone has the fear of how they will be presented to others. Symptoms include high self-attention during any social activity and being self-conscious. Most people who suffer from the disease also set performance standards that are too high for themselves. Behavioral aspects of the social anxiety disorder include fearing to be judged by others the society, feeling humiliated or embarrassed after saying something, being uncomfortable in meeting and interacting with people and being distant when with a large group of people among others. Physiological symptoms include shaking, sweating, difficulty in breathing, palpitations, and nausea especially when in crowds and meeting new people. Shyness is a feeling of awkwardness, lack of comfort and apprehension experienced by a person when in close contact with people especially new people. Shyness is considered a feeling or a personality trait and not a medical condition (Antony, 2010). There are various misconceptions that are associated with shyness. One such common attribution is that shy people normally have high intelligence. This is entirely wrong since research has proven that there is no relation to both negative and positive between shyness and intelligence. Shyness is most common in children and normally progresses into adulthood if it is not dealt with. In different cultures, shyness is perceived differently depending on the values imposed in the cultures. For example, in some cultures, shy people are often assumed to be weak while in other cultures shyness is usually associated with intelligence and thoughtfulness. There are various reasons why people experience shyness. Genetics greatly influence shyness where the traits are found among family members or relatives. Shyness also results from a learned behavior where a person emulates the behavior of their role model which is common in adults (Antony, 2010). Family relationships also result in shyness, especially where children are not emotionally attached to their parents.  ...Show more
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Summary

This paper evaluates the two conditions separately in order to clearly establish the difference between social anxiety disorder and shyness. In order to establish the difference between the two, it is important to investigate and differentiate the symptoms present in the two…
Difference between Social Anxiety Disorder and Shyness
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