I chose to explore the True Life episode “I Have Social Anxiety.” In this episode, we followed Nonie and Scott on their journey coping with their social anxiety. Nonie had a fear of all people she was unfamiliar with. She avoided social interaction as much as she could, never pursuing a career or higher education because of her anxiety. She would wait for people to leave a space before she would enter because she was scared they would judge her. Scott had trouble talking to women. As a 26 year old single male, he felt like his social anxiety was holding him back a lot. By the end of the episode, Nonie was able to get a job and Scott was able to talk to girls. Nonie had started taking an antianxiety medication and Scott had been seeing a therapist to overcome his fears. I believe both these individuals subscribed to a chaos narrative. They felt like their anxiety was holding them back form achieving anything they wanted in life. They felt like there was no way for them to grow out of their mental issues. Nonie would actively avoid others while Scott, even though he was trying, felt hopeless. He said he wanted to take baby steps, but his mother said it was time for him to take normal steps. Culturally, being able to spend time with others is very important. Communication and social interaction are important because as humans, we are social beings. These interactions help us evolve and individuals and be more comfortable with ourselves. Both the individuals in this episode were not confident in themselves and that played a huge role in their anxiety. This lack of confidence enabled them to play their sick roles by not leaving the house or the comfort of their loved ones. Illness narratives are important because they help individuals express their issues to others in the effort to make themselves feel better. Hopefully Nonie and Scott were able to completely overcome their societal fears and progress as active individuals in society.
Karim, Taz. “Lecture 4.1 Experiencing Illness”. Video, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI. July 25, 2014.
Karim, Taz. “Lecture 4.2 Illness Narratives”. Video, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI. July 25, 2014.