Wednesday, 17 June 2009

I disagee with the theory that social anxiety disorder does not create panic attacks.

I read the following on a great website on panic attacks
"Also, contrary to current psychiatric/psychological nomenclature, people with social anxiety do not have "panic attacks". They experience extreme anxiety in social settings where they fear they will have to perform or be on display. It is not uncommon for socially-anxious people to use the terminology "I panicked". Again, however, the distinction here is that the person is not talking about the sensations leading to a physical pain or condition. They are referring to a very high level of anxiety and the adrenaline rush that accompanies it."

I fail to see how this explanation of experiencing extreme anxiety is not equivalent to a panic attack. Do you?

Secondly the website in the context of social phobia coins the term that the individual is suffering from "avoidant personality disorder". I think such terminology is extremely dangerous as personality disorders generally are known not to respond to treatment. Avoidance is a natural and one could say in some way healthy reaction to what is seen as an extreme danger. I mean if a raging bull comes down the street towards you what would you do. Wait and stand to stroke its head? Yes, avoid. An extremely healthy reaction. For such reasons I cannot accept the terminology of avoidant social personality. it is in my view extremely misguided and dangerous assumption. Avoidance in these situations for the phobic suffererer is the most natural thing in the world. Indeed he/she would be foolish not to. But to create a personality disorder type out of this condition is acceptable. Even avoidance can be cured - personality disorders cannot. Basta.

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