October 28, 2012
Mental Illness Paper
Worry and fear that interfere with everyday situations can be defined as anxiety disorder. Depression, anxiety, panic and trauma are all part of an anxiety disorder (Social Phobia). There are multiple types of anxiety disorders but for this paper the focus will be on social anxiety disorder also known as social phobia. Social anxiety disorder can disrupt your everyday life and impede your relationships both socially and professionally. The individuals that suffer from social anxiety disorder typically do not have any self-confidence, and they believe that others are much more competent in social situations. This disorder can be defined as severe fear of humiliation in a large group or in front of peers. These people feel that they are always being watched or judged which creates anxiety for them and they tend to over exaggerate the smallest mistakes (Social Phobia). Social anxiety disorder can easily be confused with shy people because they are also very uncomfortable in social situation as well. However, shy people do not experience the same anxiety prior to events. Shy people also do not typically try to avoid social functions. Adults and teenagers who suffer from social anxiety disorder know that their fears are unreasonable which creates additional anxiety for them. However, children who suffer from social anxiety disorder often do not understand their irrational feelings and are unable to manage the fearful situation. Children are not able to identify the root of their anxiety. Situations are avoided by many of the individuals that suffer from social anxiety disorders because their fear of facing the situation is so severe. The individuals affected by social anxiety disorder tend to isolate themselves avoiding any situation that creates a fearful response. These individuals will avoid situations where they will be forced to speak in public or even meet new people because of the anxiety that is brought about from these situations.
Individuals who suffer from social anxiety disorder realize that things are not normal but do not recognize these feelings as an illness. Social anxiety disorder can include severe anxiety in social situations, evading of social situations, pounding heart, blushing, sweating, muscle tension, upset stomach and diarrhea are all part of the signs and symptoms of this disorder. Crying, clinging to parents, or throwing a tantrum is all ways that children with social anxiety disorder express their anxiety (Anxiety & Panic Disorders Guide). Children have no other way to express themselves when they are experiencing this anxiety and they do not know how to handle the fearful situation.
Social anxiety disorder occurs in most individuals at a very early age while many others it becomes evident during adolescents when social anxieties are more prominent. However, many others live with this disorder being undetected until they are faced with a new job, college or other public arena that overwhelms them.
It is important to seek help from your primary care physician when you suspect that you may have social anxiety disorder. It is important to rule out any other potential medical conditions that could come from these signs and symptoms. After a thorough medical exam has determined that there is no other underlying medical condition then a referral to a psychologist or psychiatrist will be made for further diagnosis.
Individual interviews are used by mental health professionals along with observation to define the severity of the social anxiety disorder. There will be many questions ask to aid in diagnosis. Some examples of these questions are:
Do you have any physical symptoms present?
What is the intensity feeling of this anxiety?
When does this anxiety occur?
Can you describe your social anxiety experience (Little)?
These questions will be used by the mental health professional to help...