Thursday December 13, 2018

Understanding Social Anxiety Disorder And The Myths Associated

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Social anxiety disorder is characterized by a significant amount of fear in one or more social situations. Flickr
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Every human being once in his/her lifetime experience social awkwardness and it is not odd to experience it. Social anxiety is a general psychological problem, and yet we feel odd to share it because we are conditioned to believe that the problem is associated with being “abnormal”. This social anxiety may happen while you are presenting in a board meeting; reciting a poem in school, talking to strangers at parties.

People who experience it feel as though they are being constantly judged by the people around them. An article by writer and author Arlin Cuncic states that between 2% and 13% of the population is thought to have the problem to a level that it would be considered social anxiety disorder.

What is Social Anxiety Disorder?

Social Anxiety Disorder is a disorder in which people face social anxieties to an extent that it starts affecting their daily life activities. It is one of the most common mental disorders. People who face this problem feel as though they are the only ones to be suffering from the problem.

Causes:

Social Anxiety Disorder is believed to have generated from both environmental and genetic factors. Sometimes it may be just one of them or a combination of the both.

  • Genetic factors: It is believed that an imbalance in the neurotransmitter serotonin, a brain chemical which regulates emotions and moods play a role in the development of social anxiety disorder.
  • Environmental factors: Experienced bullying as a child, sexual abuse, and overprotective family environment can be some of the environmental factors.

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Myths associated with social anxiety disorder:

Myth 1- Social Anxiety is only fear of speaking in public

The fact is that social anxiety is anxiety and fear experienced in any/every social situation like- public speaking events; meeting strangers and interacting with them; going to spaces which mark the presence of a lot of public; disagreeing with someone.

Myth 2- Social Anxiety means that you’re only nervous

The fact is that social anxiety is not just nervousness but a collection of several symptoms like trembling hands, irrational thinking, and sweat.

Myth 3- Social Anxiety is a problem that you just have to live with

Living with social anxiety is not an advice to be given. What if a person’s social anxiety reaches a level where he/she cannot move from his/her home? There are medically proven solutions to this problem. Effective medication and behavioral therapy are highly recommended in cases of social anxiety disorder.

Despite living in the 21st century and being cognizant of human psychology and its growing problems, we associate mental health problems with being “crazy” and a “shame” to the society. If we need to combat psychological problems, we must start educating people and especially children about it. There must be textbook lessons and interactive sessions on mental health for children. If children are cognizant of the problems from a very young age, most of the psychological illness, the world is facing would be easily controlled.

by Megha Acharya of NewsGram. 

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Women Hit Especially Hard In Congo’s Worst Ebola Outbreak

For the afflicted, the road to recovery is long and lonely.

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Ebola, WHO, UNICEF, congo, Uganda, women
Congolese health workers register people and take their temperatures before they are vaccinated against Ebola in the village of Mangina in North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo. VOA

The Democratic Republic of Congo is in the throes of its worst-ever Ebola outbreak, with more than 420 cases in the country’s volatile east, and a mortality rate of just under 60 percent. But this outbreak — the nation’s tenth known Ebola epidemic — is unusual because more than 60 percent of patients are women.

Among them is Baby Benedicte. Her short life has already been unimaginably difficult.

At one month old, she is underweight, at 2.9 kilograms. And she is alone. Her mother had Ebola, and died giving birth to her. She’s spent the last three weeks of her life in a plastic isolation cube, cut off from most human contact. She developed a fever at eight days old and was transferred to this hospital in Beni, a town of some half-million people in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

More than 400 people have been diagnosed with Ebola here since the beginning of August, and more than half of them have died in a nation the size of Western Europe that struggles with insecurity and a lack of the most basic infrastructure and services. That makes this the second-worst Ebola outbreak in history, after the hemorrhagic fever killed more than 11,000 people in West Africa between 2013 and 2016.

This is 10th outbreak to strike the vast country since 1976, when Ebola was first identified in Congo. And this particular outbreak is further complicated by a simmering civil conflict that has plagued this region for more than two decades.

Guido Cornale, UNICEF’s coordinator in the region, says the scope of this outbreak is clear.

“It has become the worst outbreak in Congo, this is not a mystery,” he said.

What is mysterious, however, is the demographics of this outbreak. This time, more than 60 percent of cases are women, says the government’s regional health coordinator, Ndjoloko Tambwe Bathe.

“All the analyses show that this epidemic is feminized. Figures like this are alarming. It’s true that the female cases are more numerous than the male cases,” he said.

Congo, Uganda, ebola, Women
Health workers walk with a boy suspected of having been infected with the Ebola virus, at an Ebola treatment center in Beni, near Congo’s border with Uganda. VOA

Bathe declined to predict when the outbreak might end, though international officials have said it may last another six months. Epidemiologists are still studying why this epidemic is so skewed toward women and children, Cornale said.

“So now we can only guess. And one of the guesses is that woman are the caretakers of sick people at home. So if a family member got sick, who is taking care of him or her? Normally, a woman,” he said.

Or a nurse. Many of those affected are health workers, who are on the front line of battling this epidemic. Nurse Guilaine Mulindwa Masika, spent 16 days in care after a patient transmitted the virus to her. She says it was the fight of her life.

“The pain was enormous, the pain was constant,” she said. “The headache, the diarrhea, the vomiting, and the weakness — it was very, very bad.”

Congo, Ebola, Women
Marie-Roseline Darnycka Belizaire, World Health Organization (WHO) Epidemiology Team Lead, talks to women as part of Ebola contact tracing, in Mangina, Democratic Republic of Congo. VOA

For the afflicted, the road to recovery is long and lonely. Masika and her cured colleagues face weeks of leave from work to ensure the risk of infection is gone. In the main hospital in the city of Beni, families who have recovered live together in a large white tent, kept four meters from human contact by a bright orange plastic cordon. They yell hello at their caretakers, who must don protective gear if they want to get any closer.

And for Baby Benedicte, who is tended to constantly by a nurse covered head to toe in protective gear, the future is uncertain. Medical workers aren’t entirely sure where her father is, or if he is going to come for her.

Also Read: Congo Start Trials For Drugs Against Ebola

She sleeps most of the day, the nurse says, untroubled by the goings-on around her. Meanwhile, the death toll rises. (VOA)