I have social anxiety

The episode I watched, “I have social anxiety” presented two different people that had problems interacting with society. To me, the narratives, being driven by the people being portrayed, were very different.

The first story was about a woman named Nonie who had severe issues going out into public. Her story sounded like the Chaos narrative to me. Nonie dropped out of school because she was too nervous to go to class, she believes that she disgusts everyone, and she is severely depressed. The episode used the Chaos narrative to illustrate that her condition was chronic, social, and frustrating to Nonie by showing that she was unable to break the through the symptoms of her disease even after taking an antidepressant. Nonie did not want to seek a seek help from a medical professional. She wished to take an antidepressant prescription, but failed to continue to taking it even though it started working. She had a support system in place, but her mother seemed to push her in ways that made me think that she did not believe that Nonie had a real problem. This may have inadvertently led to Nonie being stigmatized due to the subjective nature of her illness. Her culture was not really described in the piece, but people were staring at her when she was hesitant to enter a pizza restaurant, which may show that she is considered an outcast. Nonie partially assumed the sick role in that she acknowledged that she had a problem, but would not submit to the care of a professional. Her inability to maintain her prescription and seek further help led to Nonie having trouble maintaining her job down the road.

The second story was about a man named Scott who had trouble talking to girls. His story was different because it seemed that he was trying to improve himself by talking to his friends and assuming the sick role. He asked for help from his mother, his friends, and a therapist. Ultimately, Scott was able to start talking to girls when he realized that there was no simple solution for him and that he just needed to practice. His narrative sounds more like a Quest to me due to his self-improvement ideology. Although he was slightly stigmatized by some of the girls he tried to follow up with, he became less of an outcast in public circles and in the workplace than he had been before.

Illness narratives are useful to patients, family members, and healthcare providers in that they help all parties make sense of the illness, make people feel less isolated, and help the patients feel empowered to resolve their issues. I believe these statements are best illustrated in the web article, “Fibromyalgia+ The Type “A” Personality” (“Fibromyalgia+ The Type “A” Personality.”). The author uses personal anecdotes to describe her problems with fibromyalgia, an illness that is difficult to pinpoint in patients and very subjective in nature. Without the descriptions of each of her situational symptoms, a healthcare provider might not know to that she was suffering from fibromyalgia. By writing them out online she has likely helped her family, and more importantly herself, learn how to recognize and cope with her symptoms.


Caito, Edwina. “Fibromyalgia+ The Type “A” Personality.” Accessed July 24, 2014. http://www.blogher.com/fibromyalgia-type-personality-chaos-frustration-and-near-insanity?page=full.

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