W1 Activity: Anxiety and Shyness: Which one is the illness?

Health to me isn’t just physical, it is mental. It isn’t just about feeling great physically, it is about being mentally secure and positive. Sure, there are going to be some moments in time when you are going to be sad or angry or upset, but when your mental health and issues that arise start to interfere with your everyday life. Health is more than meets the physical eye. It is the absence of disease and illness. It is more than what you look like on the outside. It is internal. It is mental. Health to me is the big picture, the entire system working together in perfect harmony. With that being said, I feel this way because of not only how I was raised but what I have learned as I have continued my education. When I was younger, my uncle was diagnosed with schizophrenia, which is viewed as a mental illness. I never understood why people would say he was “sick” or “sick in the head” but he looked totally normal and fine to me. However, as I got older and his episodes grew worse, I began to understand that while he was physically healthy, he mentally was not. Because of this, I began to focus on my energy, and ultimately career focusing on special needs and disabilities. I wanted to not only understand why and how these disabilities happened but how to treat and cope with them.

With that being said, I do believe that anxiety is an illness, compared to shyness which I do not believe is an illness. I suffer from anxiety and there is nothing that I can do that can stop my episodes. My anxiety is linked to my PTSD. When I am dealing with an anxiety attack, I understand what is going on in the situation but I cannot stop my mind from doing what it is doing, as much as I want to. I am aware that I am not in control even when I am telling myself that I am fine or not in any immediate danger. With that being said, in my opinion, shyness is in no way shape or form an illness. To me, it is a characteristic of someone’s personality, like stated in the Big Five Theory. Everyone falls into bits and parts of every characteristics, and to me, shyness is directly linked to being introverted. While, I do understand that certain illnesses like anxiety or depression can cause shyness, I do not believe that the term shyness can be considered an illness. A child can be shy towards people they do not know but they are not treated as being mentally ill.

One thought on “W1 Activity: Anxiety and Shyness: Which one is the illness?

  1. I also agree that anxiety should be considered an illness. Anxiety can be caused by mental conditions or outside factors like stress. In the U.S, anxiety is very common. I have a couple friends that have anxiety, and it tends to get worse when they are in a very stressful environment. Their anxiety comes to a point where it affects their everyday routine. The main treatments used for anxiety in the US is psychotherapy and medication. The medication prescribed by many doctors are antidepressants. Although antidepressants can suppress anxiety, it has many unwanted side effects. In the Korean and Japanese culture, anxiety is not perceived as an illness but a problem with the individuals self-esteem. The stress of appearance, hygiene, or the fear of having unwanted eye-to-eye contact causes anxiety. In Korea, using medication is not a main source of treatment for anxiety. The use of aromatherapy massage is one of the treatments for the elderly women in Korea. The aromatherapy massage would use lavender, rosemary, and lemon for a 20 minute massage session. The use of the aromatherapy massage had a positive affect to the elderly women. The elderly were more relaxed and had a significant change in their self-esteem.

    Hinton, Devon, Stefan Hofmann. “Cross-Cultural Aspects of Anxiety Disorders.” Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2014 June ; 16(6): 450. Accessed 2016. doi:10.1007/s11920-014-0450-3.

    Han, Sun-Hee, Kim, Keum-Soon, Lee, Myeong-Soo, Rho, Kook-Hee. “EFFECTS OF AROMATHERAPY MASSAGE ON ANXIETY AND SELF-ESTEEM IN KOREAN ELDERLY WOMEN: A PILOT STUDY” International Journal of Neuroscience. 2006 ; 116(12): 1447-1455. Accessed 2016. DOI:10.1080/00207450500514268

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