Social Phobia Abstract
This article is about the case study of four individuals who used self-medication to help them manage their social phobias; how vulnerable they are as they put their lives in danger by the consumption of drugs (both illegal and prescription) and alcohol. Even though the use and quantity of alcohol and drugs differ on each individual, they all use the same mean to feel under control. According to Shepherd & Edelmann, even though three of the four cases can not be classified as addicts, “they did demonstrate dysfunctions with self regulation.” The study shows how each case on its own way relates to social phobia, their symptoms and their use of self-medication.
Social phobia is a psychological disorder that shows an exaggerated and usually illogical fear of being observed or examined by others and it appears prior to a situation where the individual will be interacting with other people, affecting their normal routine . The physical symptoms of social phobia are described by the American Psychiatric Association as “palpitations, tense muscles, sinking feeling, dry throat, sensation of hot and cold, trembling, twitching, blushing, and sweating.[...] Social phobia can also include fear of being observed while writing, eating, or using a restroom, test anxiety, speaking in public, or attending social situations.”
Individuals suffering from social phobia usually also suffer from other anxiety disorders, such as major depression, and alcohol and drug dependance among others. Most cases of social phobia are not diagnosed or treated properly as these individuals seek help to other disorders, such as panic disorders and depression but do not tell their doctors about their social fears. A study conducted by Davidson, Hughes, George & Blazer (1993) reported that in “social phobics seeking therapy, practicioners overlooked 29 out of 32 cases of social phobia.” Also, that “the key reason why some social phobics...