I struggle with Identifying a cause for my SA.
The OP talks about finding a cause, but unlike many users here :
-my parents are not divorced
-my parents don't fight
-my parents don't verbally or physically abuse me.
-my parents do not have SAD
-my parents do not "have a favourite child" and ignore me
-i wasn't bullied for all my school life.
My SA just developed from; well the impression that I got that my personality, likes and dislikes contrast with my Caribbean upbringing.
I'll rephrase what the OP is saying in a way that might make more sense to many of you.
Society in general and the culture we were raised in has taught us to be extremely critical of ourselves. We have been told from birth what is expected of us, what we should aspire to be, what we should like and dislike, how we should worship, how we should think, what we should find attractive and unattractive in a mate, what is and is not acceptable, etc.
What separates those with SA and everyone else is that somehwere along the way that "social programming" screwed us up in the head. As a result we have learned to be extremely aware of every flaw, every mistake, every shortcoming, every failure, etc. For some reason we can not explain we seem to care what other people think of us, and no matter how much we tell ourselves that we don't care we know deep down inside that we do. Others seeing us positively makes us happy. We crave acceptance and understanding from a world that has taught us to be individual yet expects us to conform, tells us to be creative but to stay within the norms, and expect us to find ourselves while at the same time bombarding us with messages of what THEY think we should be.
In the end we just end up confused and unsure of who we are, what we are, why we are here, what we want, what we think, how to act, how to speak, how to do anything. We are expected to learn from our mistakes, but at the same time we are also expected not to make ANY mistakes.
In the end it's just easier to close ourselves off, to push away the rest of the world and simply exist within our own little bubbles. Unfortunately the damage has already been done. Though no one else can judge us or criticize us in our own little worlds, we have already been hardwired from birth to judge ourselves, and in doing so we have become our own worst enemies.
Embarrassment, shame, and guilt are used to regulate the social activities of individuals and to guide their behavior towards the ideals and morality of the majority.
Fact is all of us have the issues we do because we fear being ridiculed and judged by others. We fear that because we've been taught to fear that. None of us were born fearing what others thought of us, we didn't care. We were also not born with negative opinions of ourselves OR concerns for social norms. Society taught us to fear judgment by others. It taught us to judge ourselves instead of excepting ourselves for who and what we are, our lives for how they are, and it did so by telling us over and over again that who we are isn't good enough.
Every name we got called, every time we got rejected, ever weird look we got, every time we were laughed at, every time we put our foot in our mouths and were mocked for it... it all added up over time to make us the way we are.
Yes everyone deals with this to some extent, but it really seems to have screwed some of us up far more than others, and I'm betting there isn't a single person on this forum who couldn't provide a list of what they think is wrong with them... and I'm also willing to bet that we feel the way we do because of some comment or some event (or series of comments or events) in our past.
Other people did this to us through their interactions with us (or lack there of). Shame was the weapon they used.
The challenge we each face is finding a way to become unaffected by how others see us, our perception of how others see us, and how we see ourselves. We need to learn to accept ourselves and who we are and tell anyone else who thinks they know better than us to go **** themselves.
It's a hard thing to do. I understand it, I know what the problem is, I know what caused it, I know what damage has been done, and I know what it will take to overcome it... yet I am still unable to do this. You would think that knowing as much as I do about this that it would be easier, and in a way it sort of is, but still it's not enough to make it go away. This isn't something you can just think your way out of, believe me I've tried. It's simply going to take time and a lot of luck... oh yeah and medication helps (if it's the right one, or combination).