Skip to comments.Shyness or social anxiety?
Posted on 06/11/2008 5:01:42 PM PDT by shrinkermd
THE SOCIETY of Nuclear Medicine has been touting a new study that suggests we're one step closer to solving the riddle of social anxiety disorder. Researchers believe the origins of the disorder are biological.
This sounds like a breakthrough worth celebrating. "Social anxiety disorder affects approximately 15 million American adults," the press release declares, and is "the third most common mental disorder in the United States, after depression and alcohol dependence." But what are its symptoms? A "fear of being evaluated by others, with the expectation that such an assessment will be negative and embarrassing."
Once you start calling fear of criticism a psychiatric disorder, it's easy to ignore the countless social and psychological factors that cause stress and anxiety. Yet the justification for calling the disorder biological turned out to be modest at best. MRI scans of five women and seven men who met the criteria for social anxiety disorder suggested that minor fluctuations of dopamine and serotonin "may play a role in the neurobiology of social anxiety disorder."
That's a bit like saying, "Exercise will increase your heart rate" or "Caffeine is a stimulant." Microscopic fluctuations of dopamine and serotonin impact the brain all the time, helping determine our moods. It's a stretch to predict the health of 15 million Americans from a brief focus on only a dozen of them.
The biggest problem with such claims is that they embrace, rather than narrow, the disorder's amazingly open-ended definition. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the world's psychiatric bible, lists as a symptom "fear that the individual may behave in a manner that will be humiliating or embarrassing." If you need a reminder of what such fears are like, think back to the night of your senior prom.
(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...
Used to be people learned how to cope with criticism as they grew up. Now we have situations like a play where everyone’s the lead. The world gone mad.
How about “Want nothing to do with those people” ? Do I really need to grow the beard?
Psychiatric disorder? Can’t they find anything else to fill the pages freed up by homosexuality?
When’s the first Shy Pride parade? “We’re shy and we’re in your face!”
I love riddles! How does it go?
Growing up and as a young adult/older adult I think I have had more than mere shyness. I’m less that way now that I’m married and have three kids, but I’m still not outgoing. It’s definitely debilitating, but mine has eased with age. Also I think becoming a conservative has helped and interacting with people on this forum has made me less self-focused/conscious.
Ha, ha—nobody would show up to march though.
Self perception is an eternally evolving concept. It changes throughout life.
Oh! Just great! Now being embarassed to be a member of the human race is a disorder?
Insurance benefits soon to follow.
Does anyone know of any Amish communities who are accepting new members, because I'd really like to exit the modern world.
I’m not shy, I just don’t like people.
“Mood follows action”
“Fake it till you make it”
Where does leftism fit in the rankings? A pre-occupation with trying to keep up with the Joneses while knocking the Joneses down to size by getting them fired, taxing away their big cars and houses, and regulating their speech and every move has got to be the biggest ill of our times.
Gee, the rare honestly correct statement found on a thread like this in freerepublic. I like this site and all, lurked here a long time. but some of these people are so simple minded that it makes me anxious
A nice poem. And the best “tagline” of all time! :P
Social shyness is not caused by criticism and feedback but actually from a lack of it. The shy person doesn't know what they are doing wrong and people are too polite to tell them. So they just give up and avoid situations they do not understand. Social shyness is improved by feedback, coaching, and constructive criticism. But that is really hard to come by without a network of many close forgiving friends which shy people do not have. The internet is adding to the problem in many ways but helping in others.
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