Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Neurosceptic on labels

From Shyness By Any Other Name : "People think of "social anxiety disorder" as more serious than "social phobia" - even when they refer to exactly the same thing. Laura C . Bruce et al did a telephone survey of 806 residents of New York State. They gave people a brief description of someone who's uncomfortable in social situations and often avoids them. The question was: should they seek mental health treatment for this problem? When the symptoms were labelled as "social anxiety disorder", 83% of people recommended treatment. But when the same description was deemed "social phobia", it dropped to 75%, a statistically significant difference. OK, that's only an 8% gap. It's a small effect, but then the terminological difference was a small one. "Anxiety disorder" vs "Phobia" is about a subtle a distinction as I can think of actually. Imagine if one of the options had been a label that didn't imply anything pathological - "social anxiety" or "shyness". That would probably have had a much bigger impact." Neurosceptic goes on to discuss the terminological chsnges planned for DSM-5

No comments: