We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Social Impairment?

By Elizabeth West
Updated Mar 04, 2024
Our promise to you
TheHealthBoard is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At TheHealthBoard, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Social impairment is a distinct dissociation from and lack of involvement in relations with other people. It occurs with various mental and developmental problems such as autism, schizophrenia and severe anxiety disorders. It can also be a result of medical issues that cause disfigurement, such as acne or the loss of a limb or problems with teeth. There are a number of effective treatments for social impairment, including medication and various forms of therapy.

Autism spectrum disorders can mean that the person’s focus is more on things than people, resulting in some social impairment. Children with autism exhibit a marked withdrawal from interactions with family members or caretakers. Asperger’s syndrome is a mild form of autism characterized by a lack of normal social functioning, although intelligence is usually average or above. It is often seen as social awkwardness, little or no eye contact, obsessive interests and a tendency to miss social cues.

Social anxiety and phobias can cause very severe avoidance behaviors. Generally people with social phobias recognize that their fear is unreasonable, but they are hard-pressed to change it, so they avoid situations that may trigger a panic attack. In the case of disorders like agoraphobia, they may never go out at all. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD) can cause social impairment in adults who cannot maintain normal interactions due to persistent anxiety, flashbacks, and a sense of detachment from others who did not experience the same trauma.

People with a disfiguring medical condition may become victims of social impairment due to their intense desire to avoid situations such as teasing, bullying and staring related to their conditions. Adolescents with severe acne are often very prone to this. A lack of confidence stemming from the condition can negatively affect all aspects of life, from interpersonal relationships to employment. Depression and suicidal thoughts are not uncommon.

Tranquilizers, antidepressants and a number of other drugs may be used to treat social anxiety disorder and phobias. Patients often benefit from role playing and experiencing gradually progressive exposure to frightening social situations. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for those with anxiety disorders, PSTD and phobias works to change thinking patterns and desensitize sufferers to anxiety triggers. A group-centered CBT approach has been shown to improve social impairment in those with schizophrenia and schizo-affective disorders.

For individuals with Asperger’s syndrome and other cognitive behavioral disorders, specialized interactive training on responses to social situations can help. They can essentially learn to refocus their attention on others and gain interpersonal skills they may not have picked up the way others do. Those with disfiguring conditions can investigate alternative therapies that ease symptoms or correct problems, such as obtaining dentures and prosthetics or medical interventions for acne. This can often bring about a significant increase in confidence, possibly improving the desire for social interaction. For those struggling with loneliness, adopting a pet can be greatly beneficial for mental health and can be certified as an emotional support animal.

TheHealthBoard is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By Rundocuri — On Mar 22, 2014

@ocelot60- Those are good tips for helping people who are socially impaired. Another way that you can assist in these situations is to ask other family members what you can do to help.

By Ocelot60 — On Mar 21, 2014

While medical intervention such as therapy is important to help people with social impairments cope, there are things that you can do to help a friend or loved one who is suffering from such potentially debilitating issues.

Encourage the special person in your life who is going through social impairment problems to take small steps to get out and meet new people. Take a walk with your loved one, or invite him or her along with you to an event. Even just taking the time to talk and listen is a big help to someone who feels awkward in social settings. You may be surprised how much of a difference just being there makes for a person who feels socially inadequate and isolated.

TheHealthBoard, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

TheHealthBoard, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.