This episode was about two young adults, Nonie and Scott, and how their social anxiety affects their lives. Nonie can’t stand being in public, she’s fearful and gets nauseated very easily, and Scott can’t seem to talk to young ladies he finds attractive, he’s 26 and has yet to have a girlfriend. He stutters, seems speechless, and is unable to give eye contact.
I believe Nonie uses a Chaos narrative. Her condition seems very degenerative. Throughout the episode she seems unwilling to try to cope with her anxiety. She is always making excuses to go back home and isolate herself. There’s a lot of social suffering as well, which she is aware of. She states in the episode that when she hangs out with her one long time friend, she realizes that she’s missing out on all the benefits of socializing. She vocalizes strong negative feelings when in public. She said it’s like she’s being suffocated when sitting in a, nearly empty, pizza restaurant. Scott seems to use the Restitution narrative. He’s more willing to work on his anxiety, he really wants a girlfriend. Throughout the episode you see his struggle to talk to a girl. He explains his fear of rejection and negative thoughts the girls could be having against him. By the end of the episode, he was able to talk to girls and even get some numbers.
American culture is very social, and we like to point out who’s different too. The culture surrounding them no doubt points them out to be different. Nonie went to get pizza in the episode and sat outside staring in the window biting her nails and freaking out about people watching her and how many were in the pizza place. I don’t think anyone would have noticed her silence, but I’m sure they noticed her anxiety and thought she was odd because of it. When Scott goes out to talk to girls in the beginning of the episode he’s awkward and embarrassing. One girl went as far as to tell him it’s unattractive. Our American culture can be harsh, but I think it may have helped at least Scott. He took note of the fact that his awkwardness was unattractive and made adjustments from there. The next time he talked to a girl, it wasn’t as awkward, he was actually able to make the girl smile.
Experiences with medical professionals included sessions with therapists, Scott went but Nonie didn’t, she said it was too much for her. She did try Paxil, which worked for her. She was able to finally hold a job and place an order in the pizza restaurant where prior she was terrified just to sit in. Sadly, she ended up stopping the medication because she said she felt like a zombie. Dealing with the medical professionals can be stressful but helpful for some yet impossible and terrifying for another. Social anxiety makes it very difficult to seek and keep the help they need.
Playing the sick role helps Scott, he uses the help of his friends to teach him how to talk to girls. But it doesn’t seem to help Nonie. She just uses it as a sort of excuse to continue to isolate herself.
I think Scott’s narrative helped him a lot. He was able to communicate with his therapist and seek help from his friends. I think with these combined, and his strong will, he was able to finally talk to girls at the end of the episode. Unfortunately Nonie’s narrative really didn’t help her. She talked only to her mom and close friend. Both seemed unempathetic and almost tired of her excuses. It was sad to see and I think even more degenerative towards Nonie’s illness. She could really benefit with group therapy, but she said she was too terrified for that too.