Social Anxiety Disorder Patients May Be Avoiding Docs


I know it's a serious matter, but I can't help but chortle at the above headline on the press release about a new study on social anxiety disorder in the journal General Hospital Psychiatry. People who are afraid to interact with other people avoid doctors? Astonishing! Who would have thought it?

NEXT: I'm STILL Not Drinking Any Merlot!

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  1. We’re getting psychiatry knowledge from soap stars?

  2. Great! I can see this leading to mandatory doctor visits right after we all get our National ID cards.

  3. Patients with social anxiety disorder are less likely to visit their primary care doctors than people with other psychiatric disorders like depression, or patients without mental health disorders, according to new research in the journal General Hospital Psychiatry.
    New research? They are only just now getting around to realizing that people without mental disorders tend to go to their doctors less than people who are nuts? I think any doctor could have told them that.
    Someone tell House!

  4. What ever happened to just getting loaded on quaaludes and booze before visiting the doctor…?

  5. Anyone else find the acronym for this disorder funny? Some guy at the AMA was going over a bunch of social-interaction averse cases, looking to name the disorder something, thinking “aaw… these people are so… sad… S.A.D.! Jackpot!” har har

  6. I thought SAD was the cutesy term for Seasonal Affective Disorder, the “winter blahs” that can be remedied with UV lamps.

    Is any condition that can be treated by psychology a “SAD” candidate?

  7. “Patients with the disorder were also significantly more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs than other psychiatric patients, Dr. Raz Gross and colleagues at Columbia University found.

    ?Patients might be self-medicating?using alcohol as a social lubricant,? Gross says.”

    I guess social lubricants are the next step after succumbing to beer-goggles.

  8. Of course, as libertarians the only thing we really need to know is that the whole concept of mental illness is a sham.


  9. This is always the difficulty with research that attempts to _quantify_ things we _qualitatively_ believe to be true. I would assume the H&R crowd would be most appreciative of this research, as it can result in: a) the qualitative belief being shown to be false, or b) the quantitative effect being small enough that no public policy measures are needed. Case a) is always most fun, as it allows you to say “Hey, TV actually makes you _smarter_, you jerk.” Case b) is more along the lines of “Hey, potheads never hurt nobody, you jackass.” Sometimes, of course, case b) yields results like this, suggesting that a certain group of people is receiving inadequate medical attention, for whatever reason. (See also the HIV/AIDS studies of your choice, and the stats via class, race, gender, and sexuality.)


  10. MNG,

    It’s a slippery slope. You use social lubricants in the hopes of using personal lubricants.

  11. Man, I’ll bet it really must suck for those who suffer from Hypochondria and Social Anxiety Disorder.

  12. Seems like a good reason to make the meds OTC, then.

  13. Next headline: “Hydrophobes Avoid Dog Pounds”.

  14. I can relate to this problem. Someone once tried to get me to join the Optimists’ Club, but I said, “Nah, I doubt I’ll get anything out of it.”

  15. Of course, as libertarians the only thing we really need to know is that the whole concept of mental illness is a sham.

    This may sound like a dumb question, how many libertarians really completely agree with Szasz? I’ve never met one, myself, or read anything I can recall by someone who agreed with him on that point. I certainly think psychiatrists have a dangerous amount of power, but I definitely think insanity exists.

  16. I’ve always wondered:

    Why would anyone start, let alone join, something called The Optimists’ Club.

    What do they do? Sit around and talk about how life is a basket of candy and blowjobs?

  17. Geek:

    Nono, we talk about how life is a bucket of beer and blowjobs.

  18. Of course, as libertarians the only thing we really need to know is that the whole concept of mental illness is a sham.

    Kidding aside, Thoreau, we can all agree that while someone’s mental illness may not be their fault, it certainly isn’t mine.

    Nor WalMart’s, nor BigOil, no Dubya’s.

  19. If Mr. Show taught me anything, it is that all major transactions in life are decided by a series of blowjobs. That’s not optimism, that’s realism, people.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go apply some ChapStick; I’m getting my car inspected today.

  20. “This may sound like a dumb question, how many libertarians really completely agree with Szasz?”

    As a layman, I’ve always scratched my head in regards to Szasz. Why does he not believe mental disease exist, and why do libertarians alledged like him so much? Does the idea that functionalist causes for behavior somehow undermines free-will?

  21. err allegedly

  22. “In the study of 207 patients at a New York City teaching hospital, patients with social anxiety disorder made only four visits per year to their primary care physician, compared with nearly seven visits a year for other psychiatric patients and six visits for well patients.”

    Who are these people? I have not been to a doctor of any kind in over 10 years! What is wrong with me?!

  23. Nothing, you’re perfectly healthy.

  24. As the article says “six visits [per year] for well patients.” I must be about 60 visits shy of the ‘norm’ if I am well!

  25. As I understand it, Szasz’s position is that “mental illness” is a false category. There are brain disorders (which are physical illnesses), and there are behavior problems (which may or may not be caused by such illnesses). The term “mental illness” blurs the distinction between the two.

  26. DB: Thanks for the clarification.

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