Elements of Research [Social Anxiety Disorder & Academic Disciplines]

by michelle.bsparkx on March 26, 2017 - 9:43pm

Social Anxiety Disorder is a mental illness that affects millions of people around the world and despite how common it is, it is rarely spoken of. However, there is research although it isn’t often mentioned in media and out in the open. Further information on this mental illness can be found here or here.  Some academic disciplines that relate to this issue, broadly or more specifically, are Public Health, Psychology and Psychiatry.

Public health researches and works towards solving issues relating to, as the name suggests, people’s health. A specific example would be McGill's program for Public Health which researches issues such as or relating to “health care, controlling infectious diseases, reducing poor health behaviors, environmental hazards, substance abuse, and injuries”. Social Anxiety Disorder, and mental illnesses in general, relate to public health because it is their mental health that is compromised and with this disorder comes poor health behaviours and possibly substance abuse as well, especially if the one who suffers also suffers from Depression. Research of these things would help find solutions to the issues that come with Social Anxiety Disorder, whether it be how people suffer from the disorder or how it is perceived by the public.

Psychology is the study of the human brain, people’s actions as well as their interactions with others. McGill also has a program for this where they research the “human mind,  behaviour, how people interact and compare humans to other species”. Concordia also has a program in this field of study. There are physical changes in the brain with those who suffer from Social Anxiety Disorder, as well as other disorders or mental illnesses, which is what makes psychology directly related to this issue. These mental illnesses also affect the way people act and interact with the people or things around them which is something else that is researched in psychology programs.

Psychiatry analyzes people’s mental health, addictions, changes to the brain as one grows older and neuroscience which is also used to help those suffering from various mental illnesses or traumatic events. This definition is a combination of descriptions from psychiatry programs at  NYU Langone Medical Center, McGill and the University of Ottawa. This directly relates to the study of mental illnesses, such as Social Anxiety Disorder, and helping those with mental disorders which would contribute to helping the issue at hand.

Each of these academic disciplines research and help those with mental illnesses with broadly or specifically relates to the issues surrounding Social Anxiety Disorder. These types of research help with those who suffer from Social Anxiety Disorder as well as the way it is perceived by the public.


First I would like to say that this is a great and important topic that you chose! I agree that it does not receive enough attention considering the number of people that suffer everyday from it.
I would like to suggest that by looking through a gendered lens as well it might help to explain and give a different perspective on why some people suffer from different mental illnesses and what could have caused it in the first place. If looking specifically at men, we see that society requires them to engage in stoicism, being reasoned, calm, and not showing any emotion or passion what so ever since it is classified as feminine and weak and they are taught to be tough, self-reliant, and to manage and hide their pain. The problem with this is that 1) men too are affected from the expectations set by society which requires them to conform to hegemonic masculinity and 2) expecting them to be stoic during this whole process can be demanding to their emotional health as well as their physical health. Stoicism might be the driving force behind a variety of destructive male behavior as well.
Therefore we can see that some cases of men suffering from anxiety, depression and many other mental disorders can be derived back to stoicism. Men are less likely to seek help causing the problem to go unresolved and can even worsen.
Once again I like that you brought up this topic and I hope this gendered perspective helped explain why some men suffer from mental disorders!

Here is a link that might interest you concerning masculinity and male anxiety:

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