Breaking the Barrier

by michelle.bsparkx on February 12, 2017 - 9:18pm

     “The Star” article titled “She was afraid to leave the house -- how one woman overcame social phobia” was written on the 6th of February 2017 by Jonathan Forani, a staff reporter. The article is found in the “Life - Health and Wellness” section of the news website. The writer describes Earla Dunbar and her struggle with social phobia and depression as well as the documentary created about her life titled “In the Spotlight” by Katie Cooper. Social phobia is also known as social anxiety disorder and is characterized by a fear of social situations. This fear ultimately leads the person suffering to either avoid social situations or endure them with intense anxiety. The reporter includes many quotes from Dunbar herself and her fears and experiences, as well as the hope she has to be able to help people. She hopes to achieve this through the documentary and a group that she hopes to create for those who suffer from social anxiety, which she had done once before in the past.

     Like many other mental illnesses, a way to help improve the issues surrounding social anxiety disorder and to help those who suffer from it would be to speak about it more. What may be best would be to become informed on social anxiety disorder, as well as depression, to be more open minded and understanding. While this may not seem to be of much help, to make the subject more approachable would help those who need it to get the help they need.

     I have always been shy and only started questioning whether it could be something more in secondary four, then only spoke to a professional about it two and a half years later. This isn’t a subject that is often spoken of and it has only recently come to my attention just how many people suffer from social anxiety disorder. While getting help when having a mental illness may be difficult, having social anxiety disorder adds an extra barrier to cross due to the fear of social situations. I believe the more people are informed and aware of this mental illness the more comfortable those suffering from it will be to get help from those around them; help that they need.


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