The video I chose to watch was “I have Social Anxiety”. This video was about two people, Nonie (21) and Scott (26), who had severe experience severe anxiety in different social settings. Nonie feared interactions with all people who were not her few close friends and family while Scott experienced anxiety when attempting to talk to women. I think Nonie’s narrative was told in the chaos style because she was mainly looking for a quick way to get healthy or overcome her fears, and every time something went wrong as in she didn’t like the side effects of her medication or she had to become more social she would quit. Scott, on the other hand, told his story in quest narrative because he looked at his situation as a journey to overcoming it and tried many different forms of treatment until he reached his overall goal of becoming more comfortable around women.
Both Nonie and Scott suffered from a cultural stigma from this disorder because social anxiety isn’t something thats easily measured or tested for so in this way they did suffer a stigma from society. However, anxiety is becoming more and more well known and is slowly being seen as a socially recognized illness and not just something that’s “all in someones head”. This recognition is important because it helps people to be more willing to seek treatment and live healthier lives because social interactions are a huge part of life and necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle. They also both sought help from medical professionals Nonie didn’t like the idea of therapy so she opted for treatment involving medication while Scott regularly saw a therapist and tried many different methods to overcome his fears.
Both Nonie and Scott had sick roles because they accepted that there anxiety was an unhealthy aspect in their life and sought treatment from doctors and then agreed to their health plans. Also they did use their illness as an excuse from participating in regular activities such as stepping out of their comfort zones and involving themselves in the social interactions they were uncomfortable with. This sick role was both beneficial and detrimental because by accepting their sick role they experienced a peace of mind that they was indeed something medically wrong with them and it wasn’t just “all in their head” and that since it was a recognized condition it was also treatable. It was detrimental too because it gave them an excuse to avoid social settings that gave them anxiety such as looking for a job or talking to women.
I think illness narratives are useful to patients, family members, and health care providers because it helps everyone have a better understanding of the medical condition in question. The patient gets relief in being able to share their concerns and explain their symptoms to family members and health care providers. The family members can grasp a better understanding of what exactly their loved one is experiencing and the health care providers can use the narrative to diagnose and come up with a treatment plan to help the patient. Illness narratives are also helpful to other people suffering from similar illnesses because it gives them peace of mind that they are not the only ones suffering from this and that others have sought help and even overcome their illness.
Karim, Taz. “Lecture 4.2 Narrative Illnesses”. Video, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI. July 25, 2014.
Karim, Taz. “Lecture 4.1 Experiencing Illness”. Video, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI. July 25, 2014.
MTV. “True Life: I Have Social Anxiety”. MTV video, 38:52. May 1, 2013. Accessed July 25, 2014. http://www.mtv.com/shows/truelife/true-life-i-have-social-anxiety/1706675/playlist/#id=1706675