Stress Management

Social Anxiety, Its Medications And Us

Following the events in that now infamous September, most of us experienced some episode of social anxiety. I know plenty of people that were hesitant to leave their homes immediately after that horrific day. A huge cross section of people found themselves hesitant toward getting on an airplane again. When you add the tension of our current political climate to the stresses of everyday life, it is not surprising that the number of people who claim to suffer from social anxiety is going up.

There are and have been numerous medications that attempt to subdue the symptoms of social anxiety. Many medications that were originally intended to combat depression are now used for patients with social anxiety and more Americans than ever are taking such medications. It appears that as a culture we are more focused on treating the symptoms of social anxiety than we are with preventing and curing it.

Although thousands upon thousands of people derive some sort of relief from social anxiety with the use of medication, I am troubled by the dramatic increase I have seen when it comes to the number of people on such drugs. I am afraid that there is something happening culturally that makes it easy for people to avert their attention from a disorder and only focus on subduing its symptoms. I am concerned that if we cannot learn to diffuse such disorders we will be doomed to live with them forever.

I believe that many cases of social anxiety are brought on by a specific event that deeply affects the patient. I would like to see more of the afflicted taking steps toward understanding the roots of social anxiety so that they can control it without medication. Every drug interacts with multiple aspects of the human system and medications that interact with brain chemistry have the capacity to alter this chemistry permanently.

Perhaps as a culture we will become more open with our feelings and learn to share our experiences and fears with others. I believe that in this sharing people with certain psychological disorders will be able to understand what they are experiencing and why. With this understanding, the patient will be more likely to become capable of managing their anxieties and eventually overcome them.