Blog #5: What’s the relationship between social anxiety and suicide?


Anxiety: Signs, Symptoms, Treatment and More

What is the relationship between social anxiety and suicde?

This is where I gather my notes and extra information to answer my inquiry question, what is the relationship between social anxiety and suicide?

To conclude, Social anxiety is related to high rates of suicidal ideations. (Buckner et al., 2016) Study poses the 2 particular factors of suicidal ideations as perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness, which means that one is a burden to others and has a sense of alienation. Perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness outweigh the other factors that potentially lead to suicidal ideations and suicide. 73% of socially anxious adults live alone with depression and have reoccurring thoughts of suicide. Perceived burdensomeness is usually caused by low self-esteem, which is associated with social anxiety. 

A study by the American Journal of Psychiatry showed that 34% of the patients with social anxiety reported suicidal ideations in the past year. 12% reported making actual attempts at times in their lives. (Pilowsky, 2006) Cognitive behavioural therapy (psychotherapy) is commonly used to treat social anxiety disorder. It changes the way you think to make you less anxious and fearful. It teaches you social skills to treat social anxiety disorder. (NIH, 2022) Those with social anxiety were significantly more likely to report financial difficulties, uncertainty over where to seek help and fear of public view on getting treatment.  (Olfson et al., 2000)  Among anxiety disorders, only social phobia was significantly associated with a history of suicide attempts. (Perround, 2007) Shame can be characterized as a self-conscious emotion just like guilt and humiliation and have been proposed by theorists that shame is a key feature of social anxiety. (Swee et al., 2021)  Social anxiety is strongly associated with suicidal ideas and other functional impairments, as well as social alienation. (Olfson et al., 2002)  SSRI and SNRI antidepressants are used to treat depression, but they can also be useful in treating social anxiety disorder. Beta-blockers and Benzodiazepines (anxiety medications) can help reduce anxious feelings (NIH, 2022) Talking about mental health is significant for a diagnosis. It is the first step to getting better. Acknowledging the issue is the first step to recovery. Sometimes we ourselves don’t realize the problem, it is not until you talk about it that you realize the problem. (Kentucky counselling center, 2021)

It’s important that we talk about mental health, as it helps improve our society by making it a safer, more acceptable place for those struggling to seek help, and learning how to cope and recover. We should try our best to help those who is need of help and not produce any more unnecessary stigma against mental health.

Buckner, J. D., Lemke, A. W., Jeffries, E. R., & Shah, S. M. (2017, January). Social Anxiety and suicidal ideation: Test of the utility of the interpersonal-psychological theory of suicide. Journal of anxiety disorders. Retrieved May 4, 2022, from,risk%20among%20this%20vulnerable%20population.   

Olfson, M., Guardino, M., Struening, E., Schneier, F. R., Hellman, F., Klein, D. F., Mojtabai, R., & Simon, N. M. (2000, April 1). Barriers to the treatment of social anxiety. American Journal of Psychiatry. Retrieved May 4, 2022, from  

Pilowsky, D. J. (2006, April 1). Suicidal ideation and suicide attempts in panic disorder and social phobia. American Journal of Psychiatry. Retrieved May 4, 2022, from  

Swee, M. B., Hudson, C. C., & Heimberg, R. G. (2021, September 22). Examining the relationship between shame and Social Anxiety Disorder: A systematic review. Clinical Psychology Review. Retrieved May 4, 2022, from  

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2022). Social anxiety disorder: More than just shyness. National Institute of Mental Health. Retrieved May 4, 2022, from 

Why we should talk about our mental health. Kentucky Counseling Center. (2022, April 4). Retrieved April 13, 2022, from,are%20ways%20to%20be%20treated.   

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