Causes of Social phobia


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Cause details for Social phobia: Research to define causes of social phobia is ongoing.

  • Some investigations implicate a small structure in the brain called the amygdala in the symptoms of social phobia. The amygdala is believed to be a central site in the brain that controls fear responses.
  • Animal studies are adding to the evidence that suggests social phobia can be inherited. In fact, researchers supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) recently identified the site of a gene in mice that affects learned fearfulness.
  • One line of research is investigating a biochemical basis for the disorder. Scientists are exploring the idea that heightened sensitivity to disapproval may be physiologically or hormonally based.
  • Other researchers are investigating the environment's influence on the development of social phobia. People with social phobia may acquire their fear from observing the behavior and consequences of others, a process called observational learning or social modeling.
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Related information for causes of Social phobia: Further relevant information on causes of Social phobia may be found in the risk factors for Social phobia and underlying causes of Social phobia.

Footnotes:
1. excerpt from Facts about Social Phobia: NIMH

Last revision: July 1, 2003

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