Social anxiety information latest round-up



“Antidepressants “have been steadily increasing in usage since 2015”, the report said, with 20.5 million antidepressant drug items prescribed between October and December 2020, compared with 19.3 million items during the same three months in the previous year.

But an NHSBSA report on the statistics noted that, across 2020 as a whole, the rate of increase in antidepressant prescribing slowed, with fewer items prescribed than would have been expected based on 2019 trends.”

Account of working from home by a copy editor who experiences social anxiety. The article considers the positives and negatives he has experienced.

“I have always been more comfortable with the written word than the spoken one. Certainly I could have sent a chat across the room before the pandemic – in fact, if the office had been on fire, I’d probably have preferred to alert people by email – but that always felt silly. Now typing is the standard way to communicate.”

BBC article on the challenges for socially anxious individuals on the lifting of movement and socialising restrictions in England in the coming months.

“I’ve become so accustomed to being in my comfort zone and being more alone and independent, which means my anxiety has remained unchallenged most of the time,” said Oli, a 24-year-old student from Surrey. “It brings up issues of ‘do I look good enough?’ or ‘will my friends want to see me?’ and whether I’ve achieved enough during lockdown.”

“A UK charity and one of its former managers have been fined tens of thousands of pounds after pleading guilty to charges relating to their roles in the self-inflicted death of a teenager at one of its care homes. Sophie Bennett, then 19, died in May 2016 while staying at Lancaster Lodge after diagnoses of bipolar affective disorder, social anxiety disorder and atypical autism.”

Blog posts

“It always comes back down to trust. Can I trust myself? That I’m doing everything I need to do? Can I trust the universe when some things are out of my hands? I’m wary of that trust. I’m always afraid that if I allow myself to just trust, I will have been foolish to do so.”

  • Bike Ride – MyDysfunctionalLifeBlog – 7 March 2021

A personal account of social fear and anxiety whilst out on a bike in a populated area.

“On top of that, I was biking wearing a dress (dumb I know) and although I did have biker type shorts underneath, I still felt sooooo uncomfortable passing all the families on my bike, with my bare legs just OUT for all to see, my dress flapping up my legs. Ugh it was just bad. I was ill prepared for a trek out in public. Especially after so long being isolated and not being around other people. It felt really terrifying.”

Creative non-fiction writing advice from an author who has experienced social anxiety symptoms, including blushing.

“Your readers need you to be vulnerable because this is how they will learn to trust you as a narrator. The gift of vulnerability is that it can create a bridge between two people, and if you’re a storyteller, the thing that will make your work compelling (and unlike every other story) is your willingness to go there.”

Scientific Research

Processing of increased frequency of social interaction in social anxiety disorder and borderline personality disorder – Anna Weinbrecht, Michael Niedeggen, Stefan Roepke & Babette Renneberg – Scientific Reports volume 11, Article number: 5489 (2021)

“This study examined how individuals with Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and healthy individuals process an increase in the frequency of social interaction in a virtual ball tossing game (Cyberball) based on electroencephalogram (EEG) data. As expected, healthy individuals and individuals with BPD, but not individuals with SAD, showed an increased P2 amplitude in transition from social inclusion to overinclusion. This provides preliminary evidence that individuals with SAD evaluate an increase in the frequency of social interaction as less rewarding than the other two groups. However, groups reported no changes in positive emotions due to the increased frequency of social interaction.”

Upcoming online talks

Matt Judah, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychological Science, to speak on “Attention in Social Anxiety Disorder and Depression: Insights from Evoked Brain Responses.” The speaker will present research using evoked brain responses as a window to understanding biased attention. Implications for social anxiety disorder and depression, as well as treatment, will be discussed.

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