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My mom said I was always more independant and such as a little kid. But, it was more like just shy until a few years ago. Then it just got worse and turned into SA. I'd have to say it's experiences that do it.
 

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I don't think you can be genetically predisposed to have social anxiety. Complex social dynamics don't exist in nature like they do in society.

By the way, being born with SA is the same thing as it being genetic. Just because something isn't hereditary doesn't make it automatically not genetic.

Hm.. for me, I'm pretty sure my SA has been conditioned over time. From what I hear, my dad supposedly has SA, though I've never noticed. My mom says he was shy until she met him, when he started coming out of his shell. My dad has no friends, and neither does his dad (as far as I know). My dad has 5 siblings, though, and I'd say at least one of them is a very social person.. but she's also a social drinker and her husband may have a lot to do with both. Maybe it is genetic? Even if it was, I wouldn't say there's a SA gene, but specific character traits that give someone unfavorable social tendencies that cause rejections.. But that's assuming everyone was bullied (or at least felt bullied). I'm just thinking with my fingers, and this is getting way too long and invalid :).
 

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I think some people are born predisposed to having SA, but environmental factors determine whether those people end up having it.
 

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I was always shy around my dad and adult males as far back as I can remember, but I was pretty outgoing with my friends up until around 7th grade, and then it went downhill. So maybe I always had some sort of small anxiety, but my environment really amped it up in the later years.
 

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Complex social dynamics don't exist in nature like they do in society.
Humans evolved under very complex social environments. This has happened over millions of years in groups and for the most part, humans have only been able to survive in groups (being that we are relatively weak animals alone). Social dynamics certainly shaped our genes.
 

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Humans evolved under very complex social environments. This has happened over millions of years in groups and for the most part, humans have only been able to survive in groups (being that we are relatively weak animals alone). Social dynamics certainly shaped our genes.
What happened over millions of years was completely different from what happened in the last few thousand.. We were only capable of basic social dynamics comparable to what wild animals now have today until very recently. Not that it is even truly significant, but even socially abnormal people can reproduce.
 

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I think some people are born predisposed to having SA, but environmental factors determine whether those people end up having it.
I would agree with that. I've always been shy as long as I can remember and my parents are reserved and tend to keep to themselves but whenever they are out and see someone they know they usually talk to them so I wouldn't say they were completely shy or have SA, however they were overprotective so this could have affected me. Between the ages of 7 and 8 I remember a couple of lads I hung around with at different times but I don't recall ever feeling like there was anything wrong with me (probably because as a child you are more carefree).
But i'm pretty certain my SA is the result of past experiences - remembering the lonely breaktimes at primary school where all the girls would play games and the lads would be playing football while I stood on my own in my regular spot in the playground and never got asked to join in - what made it worse was the fact that the classrooms faced onto the playground which made me self-conscious about whether the teachers could see me being pathetic and standing on my own. The frequent times I would be picked on by so called 'friends'. And the one time in my life I thought I had made a best friend who decided she'd rather hang around with someone else. Plus all the other socially awkward moments I seem to get myself into.
 

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I think SA can ABSOLUTELY be genetic. My mother and grandfather on my moms side both have anxiety.

I've always had SA as far back as I can remember. I remember sitting in Preschool feeling VERY uncomfortable and scared, and terrified to go each day. I remember Kindergarten like it was yesterday, it was very scary, I talked to no one. Our Kindergarten teacher put out a little newsletter each month, and in the last letter before school ended that year, she congratulated me on being a little more talkative. The first day of first grade, I said something to someone, and a girl came up to me (whom I had gone to Kindergarten with) and said "I didn't know you could talk". I've always been that way, people just thought I was shy. If they only knew.....
 

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For me, part of it is inherited. I am sure my mum has anxiety becuase she is on the edge most of the time. Sometimes she gets so panicked that she has a hard time breathing. My father was treated for depression sometimes back and he still takes medicine to keep it under control. And my grandmum keeps awake at night thinking that the house is going to be robbed. I am glad I was born in one piece with this much of disorders in the family lol
 

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No, I think you're born shy and then later in life, for various reasons, this initial shyness can develop into chronic shyness aka. social anxiety...that's my theory at least.
 

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I think experiences and psychology explain how your problems came about, but biology/genetics explain why you were susceptible to these negative events.
 

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I think SA can ABSOLUTELY be genetic. My mother and grandfather on my moms side both have anxiety.

I've always had SA as far back as I can remember. I remember sitting in Preschool feeling VERY uncomfortable and scared, and terrified to go each day. I remember Kindergarten like it was yesterday, it was very scary, I talked to no one. Our Kindergarten teacher put out a little newsletter each month, and in the last letter before school ended that year, she congratulated me on being a little more talkative. The first day of first grade, I said something to someone, and a girl came up to me (whom I had gone to Kindergarten with) and said "I didn't know you could talk". I've always been that way, people just thought I was shy. If they only knew.....
For me, part of it is inherited. I am sure my mum has anxiety becuase she is on the edge most of the time. Sometimes she gets so panicked that she has a hard time breathing. My father was treated for depression sometimes back and he still takes medicine to keep it under control. And my grandmum keeps awake at night thinking that the house is going to be robbed. I am glad I was born in one piece with this much of disorders in the family lol
When it runs in the family, as it does in mine, I attribute it most to the parenting styles, and not some genetic predisposition. I never had the emotional support or encouragement to boost my self-confidence/esteem and motivate me to achieve. The same was true for my parents when they were kids. I feel like, from the way people talk on here, they believe they have some disease.. A "disorder" is just a name for an abnormal behavior/thought pattern, not a disease. It's a way of labeling "being afraid of social situations," not an abnormality that someone has with said symptoms.
 

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When it runs in the family, as it does in mine, I attribute it most to the parenting styles, and not some genetic predisposition. I never had the emotional support or encouragement to boost my self-confidence/esteem and motivate me to achieve. The same was true for my parents when they were kids. I feel like, from the way people talk on here, they believe they have some disease.. A "disorder" is just a name for an abnormal behavior/thought pattern, not a disease. It's a way of labeling "being afraid of social situations," not an abnormality that someone has with said symptoms.
SA has a suspected genetic basis:

http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/abstract/157/3/457

I personally think the dopamine deficit makes you shy and schizoid, not necessarily socially phobic. It's just the two often go together. From my experiences with drugs I am actually 100% sure I have some sort of dopamine irregularity.
 

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SA has a suspected genetic basis:

http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/abstract/157/3/457

I personally think the dopamine deficit makes you shy and schizoid, not necessarily socially phobic. It's just the two often go together. From my experiences with drugs I am actually 100% sure I have some sort of dopamine irregularity.
That study only proves ("suggests") correlation, not causality. If I was going to make a prediction based on those results, it would be that the lack of successes (and subsequent lack of dopamine release) someone with SA experiences attributes to the diminished binding potential. I've also experienced social success on dopamine-releasing drugs (amphetamines), but I find striking similarities with all of my drug-induced successes to just the way I am when I'm unusually happy.
 

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That's true, but I still think it shows dopamine should be the target of anti-SA drugs, not necessarily serotonin.

A drug for restless legs syndrome called pramipexole specifically targets dopamine receptors without the side-effects of amphetamine (and actually stimulates growth of D2 receptors). If I do one thing with my life, it will be to bring these kind of drugs to clinical trials for SA.
 

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Ever since I was even 3 years old I was always shy. Always had "withdrawn" or "quiet" and other similar words on report cards. I remember in 1st grade feeling scared of having to do group work a little. Then I had bad experiences, was disliked and rejected...I've never had many friends.

It's a mix for me.
 

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I don't think you can be genetically predisposed to have social anxiety. Complex social dynamics don't exist in nature like they do in society.
Then why are there socially anxious animals? I had a cat once that was absolutely terrified of socializing.

And myself, I had extreme social anxiety from birth (or at least my earliest memories and the earliest my parents tell me about) and it lightened up slightly since.
 

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Then why are there socially anxious animals? I had a cat once that was absolutely terrified of socializing.

And myself, I had extreme social anxiety from birth (or at least my earliest memories and the earliest my parents tell me about) and it lightened up slightly since.
I can't pretend to know the answer to your question, but I would bet that your cat probably had some bad experiences and was conditioned to avoid "socializing." Society is so complex that even if you were born with a disposition that may have contributed to your own, unique, conditioned social aversion, another person with the same disposition born into a different environment may have had no trouble at all and grew up socially comfortable and normal.
 

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I've had it for as long as I can remember. I wasn't just shy as a little kid, I was downright scared. I felt what I feel now, I just didn't know what it was. I think there's definitely a genetic component for some people -- like me for instance. However, I do think it's possible for someone to not be genetically prone to it, but still develop social anxiety as a result of their environment or life experiences.
 
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