Multifarious mental health issues have been an increasingly prevalent topic in recent years. Social phobia also known as a social anxiety disorder (SAD), is a common mental health disorder nowadays. By definition outlined in DSM-IV, social phobia refers to the persistent fear or anxiety experienced in interactions and performance situations (American Psychiatric Association, 2013, p.203). The protagonist Tanmeng in book Solitary Patients (Chendong, 2009) who is an extremely introverted high school student and could not fit in the social circle due to the impact of a tough childhood, will be discussed as a SAD patient in the following essay. Furthermore, after showing what cause and maintain SAD through the cognitive model, the treatment that the character received and the best evidence-based treatment will be evaluated.
Symptoms of social phobia
The concept of SAD has elastic boundaries and there are dozens of symptoms associated with social anxiety. Blanco, Nissenson, and Liebowitz (2001) state that based on occasions that symptoms occur, scientists typically label symptoms into two broad categories. The one is social interactions such as communicating with one or more people, and the other is social performance such as being a focus of the attention. Tanmeng is diagnosed with social phobia because he has phobic symptoms, for example, he operates outside the class and never starts a conversation with others, which indicates he has trouble with social interactions. Although the book does not provide details about how he reacts to a gala event because he chooses not to participate with, it still indicates symptoms of SAD in social performance.