Can shyness increase the risk of developing an anxiety disorder?
Anxiety disorders can be caused by a variety of factors, and certain personality traits certainly can have a role. In this Ask the Experts video, psychologist Dr. Tamar Chansky, who specializes in anxiety, discusses how shyness can contribute.
Researchers have found that shyness in children tends to be a risk factor for
developing anxiety disorders later in life. What seems to be at play is when people
are very sensitive to change and react to that change in a negative way they may have an orientation towards
feeling like something bad is going to happen or people are judging them or are really paying attention to them.
And all of that self focused attention sets up path ways for worry and
fear. The important thing to know though is just as a path ways can gets set up, that we have very powerful tools
for setting up different path ways to correct those distortions and negative perceptions.
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