Social Anxiety Disorder Exposed in Stigma, by Erving Goffman Essay

Social Anxiety Disorder Exposed in Stigma, by Erving Goffman Essay

Length: 1107 words (3.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

“It was just one more crack in the stone. Eventually the stone broke down and became gravel, leaving me a nervous wreck” (“David”).
An individual with Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) possesses extreme fear in regards to social situations. This fear can be so profound that the individual can no longer function to full capacity in their daily life. A large portion of this fear stems from the stigma created by the disorder. In his book, Stigma, Erving Goffman defines it as “an attribute that his deeply discrediting” (Goffman 3). Those who are stigmatized, who possess a stigma, must avoid ostracization by taking focus off of their stigmatizing attribute, which can blemish their image as a whole. This is difficult for someone with SAD, who is predisposed to become extremely self-conscious about their condition when introduced to a social situation.
Enter David – a middle-aged, lower-class husband and father of one. Raised by authoritarian parents and being no stranger to schoolyard bullying, David had a childhood fraught with feelings of inferiority. Seizures and other similar episodes made their mark on David from his earliest years and seemed to foreshadow of life of mental instability; although nothing but denials of mental illness were made at the time. These episodes became less frequent as David grew into early adulthood, and the episodes of his earlier years seemed like distant history. Then at the age of thirty-nine, while out on a typical neighborhood stroll, he suffered his first panic attack, starting a growing trend of panic attacks that has continued through the present day. That event set into motion the gears of his SAD, culminating in the panic attack he suffered at the manufacturing plant where he had worked for mu...


... middle of paper ...


...den stigma ended up costing him his job. Now that David accepts his mental disorder and takes medication, he reports that normals in mixed contact situations treat him better now. Therefore, the reactions normals have toward David depend on how self-conscious he is; the more he is, the more his behavior will reflect that, and thus the more abnormal he will seem to normals.
Social Anxiety Disorder causes an individual to become extremely self-conscious about how people see them. These individuals are discreditable, and thus their stigmatizing disorder can be hidden from others. However, hiding the stigma internalizes feelings of shame and inferiority and can be detrimental to the well-being of the SAD-inflicted individual. Such is the case of David, who lost his career to the disorder he never wanted to believe that he had, but now he has no choice but to accept it.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Anxiety Of Anxiety And Stress Disorders Essay

- Its the first day of the week, and you have what seems like a normal day ahead of you; considering you 've already planned everything to the exact hour. First things first you have class, then studying, work, volunteering, gym, then studying once again until bed time. However today you feel more tired than usual from waking up several times throughout the night, this stresses you out thinking, “how am I going to get through all the stuff I need to get done today since i’m already exhausted?”. This begins the cycle of worry anxiousness and stress....   [tags: Anxiety, Fear, Panic disorder]

Strong Essays
867 words (2.5 pages)

Effects Of Anxiety On College Students Essay

- From writing research papers till dawn to scouring head to toe for internships, plus the amount of student debt I’ll struggle with after graduation, as a college student, it’s safe to say I have a lot on my plate. With all these thoughts running through my head, I think it’s even safer to say that I’m stressed. In fact, I’m more than stressed. I’m constantly overthinking about lab assignments that may have faulty calculations. I’m holding back tears at the thought of failing my marketing class. I dread waking up in the morning....   [tags: Anxiety, Panic disorder, Fear, Anxiety disorder]

Strong Essays
1071 words (3.1 pages)

General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) Essay

- Mental disorder, two simple words that can stir up a storm of emotions. Habitually mistaken by general society as “deranged” or “unstable”, the words mental disorder, often, tend to have a negative cognition associated with them. This should not be the case. The misunderstanding that mental disorder is automatically equivalent of that to being psychotic and erratic leaves many individuals feeling isolated, and distressed to share their helplessness due to fear of social stigma. Further public education is required to eradicate this unfortunate social stigma....   [tags: Mental Disorder Essays]

Strong Essays
2266 words (6.5 pages)

Essay The Stigma Of Stigma And Discrimination

- Those who suffer from mental health conditions are often plagued by stigma and discrimination in society. Stigma can be defined as a negative stereotype that causes behaviours which lead to alienation and the creation of barriers that affect a completely satisfying life. The stigma can cause many negative consequences that can influence a person’s treatment, recovery and ability to obtain proper housing and jobs. Society should spend more time educating people on the importance of ending the stigma surrounding mental health, so this disadvantaged group can have a chance of leading a successful and happy life....   [tags: Psychiatry, Mental health, Mental disorder]

Strong Essays
1348 words (3.9 pages)

Essay about The Social Stigma Of College Students

- When people think of college typically the first things that come to mind are parties and promiscuous behavior. Oftentimes people don’t think of things like depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness more than 25% of college students have been diagnosed or treated by a professional for a mental health condition within the last year. That means one in every four young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 have a mental illness. One of the most devastating problems is the social stigma attached to mental disorders....   [tags: Mental disorder, Psychology, Suicide, Psychiatry]

Strong Essays
1425 words (4.1 pages)

Essay about Depression And Anxiety And Depression

- Guy de Maupassant said, “A sick thought can devour the body’s flesh more than fever or consumption.” Mental illnesses, especially depression and anxiety, can tear a person’s life into pieces. There is a stigma that having depression or anxiety means that a person cannot control their emotions or lives. It is usually not taken seriously, when in fact, these illnesses can be deadly. Many people properly diagnosed with these illness are unaware of the effects it has on their bodies and brains. More often than not, people are diagnosed with these sicknesses because of their genetic make up....   [tags: Anxiety, Psychology, Neurotransmitter]

Strong Essays
871 words (2.5 pages)

Social Anxiety: Torture on the Inside Essay

- Social anxiety exists as a mental disorder that affects fifteen million adults and about eighteen percent of the American population. Social anxiety is a scary disorder that makes simple tasks seem like life threatening feats. This disease has many symptoms that disrupt ones daily life, making life hard, and even harder for them to live a normally. Medications and therapy go hand in hand with social anxiety and sometimes help tremendously with symptoms. The way society views social anxiety and mental disorders is a shameful stigma and we, as a country should not feel like that towards any human being....   [tags: american population, scary disorder]

Strong Essays
1821 words (5.2 pages)

The Stigma Of Mental Disorders Essay

- Purpose: The stigma of mental disorders continues to dissolve, however it remains clear that we need take control of the issue, spread awareness, and educate the public on detecting mental illness and equipping the public with tools on how to be resilient. This purpose paper taps into brain disorders, mental health stigmas and how early detection along with mindfulness contributes to the enhancement of overall well-being. Problem: The prevalence for mental disorder is one in five (Insel, 2013)....   [tags: Mental disorder, Mental health, Psychiatry]

Strong Essays
1262 words (3.6 pages)

The Stigma Of Hiv Stigma Essay

- Women in general are more affected by the stigma of having contracted any sexually transmitted disease due to the fact that women are looked down upon more often than men are if they are viewed as promiscuous by their society. The overall theme concerning HIV stigma related to gender, is that women face more mental health disparities compared to males. Women even find it harder to leave an abusive relationship if their partner knows of their HIV status. Women with HIV are more likely to end up in a physically or mentally abusive, intimate relationship (Logie et.al 2011)....   [tags: Human sexual behavior, Sexual intercourse]

Strong Essays
1062 words (3 pages)

The Rise of Anxiety Disorder Essay

- ... Furthermore, the media create's unrealistic idealization for the average person, especially for women. The media is a major contributor to anxiety among the general population. When one is constantly bombarded with a collection of unrealistic ideals such as the latest smart phone, the latest clothes and the perfect body, it prepares one for an inescapable and great amount of pressure (Psychology Today: How Big A Problem is Anxiety?). These ideals are unachievable according to Dr. Jean M. Twenge of San Diego State University, she has explained that “[t]hat disconnect creates a lot of anxiety about how hard you need to work [...] and a deep fear of failure” (Food & Health: Anxiety Disorder...   [tags: education system, technology, media]

Strong Essays
1036 words (3 pages)