1) Researchers have found that wearing masks may increase social anxiety in people who struggle with this condition. In addition, even people who did not struggle with social anxiety may may experience more anxiety as our society transitions out of the current pandemic.
2) Society anxiety is a condition where a person feels that one’s appearance or behavior does not conform to social expectations. About 13 percent of people experience social anxiety disorder which is an extreme manifestation of social anxiety.
3) Researchers also found that people with social anxiety may use wearing masks as as a way of self-concealment to hide their anxiety for others. Thus, they may wear masks more to protect themselves from anxiety more than from contagion.
The study was done by researchers at the University of Waterloo in Canada and published in the journal Anxiety, Stress, & Coping.
Journal source: Anxiety, Stress & Coping
Effects of Mask Wearing on Social Anxiety: An Exploratory Review
Published online June 2021