June 14, 2008

Take two Prozac and call me in the morning

Here's another interesting article about the medicalization of behavioral problems and social anxiety issues.

Some quotes from the article:

"But therapy has its critics: 'Shyness has become an unhealthy state of mind for individuals living in contemporary Western societies,' according to a University of Sussex report. 'Insofar as its behavioural symptoms imply a failure to achieve certain cultural values, such as assertiveness, self-expression and loquacious vocality, shyness is increasingly defined as a problem for which people can, and should, be treated.'"

"At the University of East Anglia, Dr Ray Crozier, an expert on shyness, makes a similar case about the medicalisation of blushing. He argues that, in many cases, there is nothing inherently wrong, painful or unhealthy about blushing, yet it is treated both with surgery and drugs. More often than not, he says, the problem is in the eye of the perceiver.

'Shame and embarrassment are powerful experiences that lead people to find a way to escape from them. But anxiety about blushing is not caused by inherent properties of the blush, and something important would be lost if blushing were eradicated.'"

Previous related posts:

Public speaking: fear vs. phobia

Shyness, social phobia, or none of the above?

More on shyness and social phobia

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