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Bretzlaff, Kenneth V.

Bundalian, Patrick John Edbert G.


Gonzales, Jolina Rose F.

Teenagers and the Stigma of Social Phobia


Anxiety is common among adolescents, and every teenager goes through various phases.
A phase is temporary and usually harmless. But adolescents who suffer from social anxiety
disorder (SAD) experience fear, nervousness, and shyness and they start to avoid places, people,
and activities. Teenagers who suffer from social anxiety disorder (SAD) also suffer from
depression and in the long run, resort to substance abuse and even suicide. We aim to prove that
mentally sound adolescents do not suffer from social phobia. The title of our paper, Teenagers
and the Stigma of Social Phobia, is inspired by the research we made on social anxiety disorder.
We aim to make this paper as a background for our advocacy which will be a partial fulfilment in
BESC101 General Psychology instructed by Prof. Maria Conception J. Bayot.
An adolescent who is about to receive his or her
grades online for the first time, may have trouble falling
asleep and or skip meals a day prior thereof or teenagers
who experience the same temporary kind of fear can be
reassured and comforted. But that is not enough to help
a teenager with an anxiety disorder get past his or her
fear and anxiety.

Waiting for the grades online is one of the best


sources of anxiety among teens worldwide.

Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is so detrimental it


impedes adolescents social and emotional growth and
adversely affect adolescents mental health. Murray B.
Stein et al. (2001), write in Social Anxiety Disorder and
Risk of Depression that another characteristic feature of
the longitudinal course of SAD, in addition to its early
onset, is its frequent co-occurrence with depressive

Social anxiety disorder (SAD) comorbid with major


depression, dysthymia, which makes things worse.

illness.

Teenagers and the Stigma of Social Phobia

Hence - with much isolation and later, depression adolescents who suffer from this condition resort to
substance abuse. It is backed by John Walker, PhD and
Murray Stein, MD, MPH, (2003), as they write in Triumph
Over Shyness: Conquering Social Anxiety Disorder that
social anxiety disorder (SAD) frequently travels in the
company of other emotional difficulties such as alcohol or

According to L. Sher (2004), people who drink are


the same people who are depressed.

drug abuse, depression, and other anxiety disorders. That is seconded by L. Sher (2004), who
mentioned in Depression and Alcoholism that The effects of depression are felt on a physical
level in the form of sleeplessness, weight changes, inactivity and substance abuse. Problem
drinking and drug abuse are more common in depressed individuals than in the general
population.
Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is also attributed to
the use of tobacco. Maritza Muzzi Cardozo Pawlina et al.
(2014) made clear in Nicotine Dependence and Levels of
Depression and Anxiety in Smokers in the Process of
Smoking Cessation that "anxious people are more likely to
start smoking and become tobacco dependent in the
process". That is so because to some extent, "anxiety is

According to Pawlina et al. (2014), smoking per se


is a disease and it is attributed to anxiety.

reduced when nicotine is introduced in the brain circuits and thus, euphoria is produced and other
sensations perceived as pleasant by the smoker". In regards to depression which co-occurs with
social anxiety disorder, Maritza Muzzi Cardozo Pawlina et al. (2014) also mentioned that
Smoking could act as self-medication of feelings of sadness or negative mood. There is
evidence that the use of nicotine interferes with the neurochemical systems and fosters the neural
circuits of the central nervous system, such as reinforcement mechanisms associated with mood
regulator.
Furthermore, the comorbidity or co-occurrence of
social anxiety disorder (SAD) with depressive disorder may
lead to suicidal thoughts among teenagers. Murray B. Stein
et al. (2001), mentioned in Social Anxiety Disorder and
Risk of Depression that individuals with this early form of
comorbidity (ie. SAD plus depressive disorder) are not only

According to M.B. Stein et al. (2001), SAD must be


scrutinized closely upon detection.

at highest risk for subsequent depression, they also experience a more malignant course of

Teenagers and the Stigma of Social Phobia

depressive illness. This is manifested in more suicidal ideation and suicide attempts, and more
depressive symptoms during episodes as well as more frequent and or more protracted
depressive episodes.
Healthy adolescents do not resort to substance abuse; they do not use illegal drugs, drink
alcohol, smoke tobacco (cigar), endure sleepless, restless nights, and suffer from abrupt weight
changes let alone consider the idea of committing suicide. We proved that a comorbidity between
social anxiety disorder (SAD) and depression exists and that both are attributed to adolescents
resorting to substance abuse and even suicidal thoughts - where depression, alone, is attributed
to sleeplessness, restlessness, and abrupt weight changes basing from L. Shers Depression and
Alcoholism - as scrutinized in greater depth by journals like Social Anxiety Disorder and Risk of
Depression and by published books like Triumph Over Shyness: Conquering Social Anxiety
Disorder. Hence, we conclude that indubitably mentally sound adolescents do not suffer from
social anxiety disorder (SAD) or social phobia which is a disease that produces other sorts of
diseases per se.

References
1. Murray B. Stein, MD; Martina Futsch, MagRerNat; Nina Mller, DiplPsych; Michael Hfler,
DiplStat; Roselind Lieb, PhD; Hans-Ulrich Wittchen, PhD. Social Anxiety Disorder and the
Risk of Depression. 2001.
2. John R. Walker; Murray B. Stein. Triumph Over Shyness: Conquering Social Anxiety
Disorder. 2003.
3. Maritza Muzzi Cardozo Pawlina, Regina De Cssia Rondina, Mariano Martinez Espinosa,
Clvis Botelho Dependncia nicotnica e nveis de depresso e ansiedade em fumantes
em processo de cessao / Nicotine dependence and levels of depression and anxiety in
smokers in the process of smoking cessation. 2014.
4. L. Sher. Depression and Alcoholism. 2004.
5. Palm Beach. 2014. Source: https://www.futuresofpalmbeach.com/addictiontreatment/co-occurring-disorders-overview/depression-drug-abuse

Teenagers and the Stigma of Social Phobia