Thursday, April 22, 2010

Social Anxiety Disorder (S)

Reading blogs can be great entertainment.

It's always refreshing to hear about
someone's vacation adventures,
favorite recipes,
or views on life in general.

I usually strive to make people laugh-
or reflect.

But today I'm writing this blog
to inform.
To convey something that I feel
is very important.
Perhaps bringing it into the light
and sharing these facts,
can help someone in some small way.

Did you ever get upset and scared
whenever you had to make a speech
in high school?
Have you ever refused to leave the house
because you thought your hair,
or clothes, or your mood wasn't quite right?
Do you ever get depressed- blue-
or feel like no one cares?

Imagine feeling like that everyday-
for the rest of your life.

Social Anxiety Disorders affect
5.3 million Americans a year.
An anxiety disorder is characterized by
intense fear in social situations-
causing considerable distress and
impaired ability to function
in at least some parts of daily life.

Sometimes the fear can escalate
to the point of panic attacks.
Some people cannot hold a job,
go out in crowds,
or even feel comfortable in their own skin.

Those with Social Anxiety Disorder
often rely on drug abuse to cope
with this debilitating phobia.

Social Anxiety Disorder is often
difficult to diagnose because
there is no specific test to determine
this type of metal illness.

However, the American Psychiatric Association
uses the following criteria for determining
social disorders :

Criteria for social anxiety disorder to be diagnosed include:

  • A persistent fear of social situations in which you believe you may be scrutinized or act in a way that's embarrassing or humiliating
  • These social situations cause you a great deal of anxiety
  • You recognize that your anxiety level is excessive or out of proportion for the situation
  • You avoid anxiety-producing social situations
  • Your anxiety or distress interferes with your daily living
(Log on to :
for further information.)

For those of us who lead a normal,
everyday life-
it can be challenging for us to imagine
how this can overtake someone's well being.
We tend to either ignore these people
or avoid them-
or convince them that they are crazy.

And what they need most of all is help.

In today's medical world,
there are a myriad of treatments
and medications for Social Anxiety Disorders.
Antidepressants, like Paxil;
tranquilizers (benzodiazepines),
such as Xanax, Librium, Valium, and Ativan
have all been used to reduce the symptoms
of this disease.

But there is no cure.

The best thing that we can do for
those that suffer from Social Anxiety Disorders
is to get them help.
Be persistent.
Encourage them to seek out
a qualified physician.

And don't allow medical professionals
to sweep the urgency of this under the rug-
to scoff it off with a shrug and a pill.

It is someone's life.

Bob's life touched ours
because he dated my daughter
for a year and a half.

Bob always knew there was something wrong.
He avoided crowds, social situations,
and suffered from depression.
He ended up doing his own research
after doctors neglected his pleas for help.

Bob, like many others with Social Anxiety Disorder,
managed to hide it fairly well.
Strangers would have thought he was shy
or simply quiet.

But we never know what aches
in the hearts and minds of others.
Therefore, every friend and stranger that you meet
should always be treated with utmost
care and concern.

I have composed a slide show about Bob
to impress on others that people suffering
from this type of illness try to lead ordinary lives.

But it is a fight.

One that Bob lost
by taking his own life last June.

I have his mother's permission to post this video,
in hopes that if it helps even one person,
then we will have succeeded in our struggle
to expose social disorders.

There are thousands of Bobs out there.
Maybe you know him.
Maybe you are him.

Please take the time to watch.
And if you are suffering today.
please get help now.