True Life: I have Social Anxiety

In this episode of True Life, it followed two young Adults a woman named Nonie who is 21, and a man named Scott who is 26. Both of their lives are debilitated by this illness. Nonie has it so bad that she rarely leaves her house. When she does she does so in the evening when it is dark. She dropped out of college because she could not handle being around people and for this reason really does not have many friends. Scott has such a terrible fear of talking to girls that he too rarely leaves the house. He has a job where he works out of home and has never had a girlfriend. The type of narrative that was used in  order to illustrate this illness was the chaos narrative. This is because the illness of social anxiety deals with social suffering. The goal of these two people in allowing people to come in and capture their illness was to shed light that it is an actual illness that is disjointing and frustrating. These two people desperately want to be able to function normally in society but struggle so badly to do so. Part of the problem these two face especially Nonie, is that the have a hard time making friends because most people do not understand them and what they are going through. This is because I think as a culture social anxiety is not looked at like a disease by most normal functioning people. It is viewed as an odd cork that someone has which they just need to suck up and get over. This attitude hinders those with social anxiety because they find it hard to find friends and even family that will emphasize with this illness. In order to try and solve this problem both Nonie and Scott seek professional help. Scott goes to two different kinds of therapies, one which is a non conventional form of therapy that endures deep relaxation, and then the more conventional regular therapist to talk about where he thinks this illness steams from. Scott is lucky in that he finds these two form of therapy to really help him, and takes big steps in over coming his social anxiety. Nonie on the other hand is too scared to talk with anyone about her social anxiety but goes to a doctor and get prescribed anti-anxiety medication. She says it helped for a few weeks but then she stopped talking it because it made her feel like a “zombie.” I think that Scott fully took on the sick role. He acknowledged his behavior was abnormal, got professional help, and was excused from many regular responsibilities as a 26 year old man. Nonie however, did not fully take on the sick role, while she did admit her behavior was abnormal and was excused from many normal responsibilities like having a job or going to college, she did not seek much professional help.

I think that illness narratives can be very helpful to patients, doctors, and the patients family. This is because by someone speaking out in detail about an illness they face they themselves often feel better. As if they have lifted a load off their shoulder because they were able to display how their illness truly affects them. It is helpful to doctors or care takers because they can get a much more detailed perspective on all the symptoms that an illness contains. Finally, the family can get a better understanding of what their loved one is going through so they can more actively be there for them. This was exactly the case when a woman wrote the blog “Fibromyalgia + Type “A” Personality” in this blog she went into full detail about all the issues she deals with because she has Fibromyalgia. It was useful in order for people like me who didn’t know much about the disease to gain a full perspective on just how it feels to have this disease. This can be useful for doctors who are treating this illness, because she went into full sometimes graphic details about all her symptoms and families to better sympathize and take care of their loved one suffering front his disease.



“Fibromyalgia+ The Type “A” Personality= Chaos, Frustration and Near Insanity!.” BlogHer Editors. (accessed July 23, 2014).

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