Honestly, do you feel comfortable to talk to complete strangers? How about talking in front of an audience, do you feel just a little nervous or are you running for shelter? Well, a little shyness seems perfectly normal and not spontaneously talking to strangers may just be considerate. Then what does my innate preference to socialize have to do with my Health, if anything?
“Social Health” is one of the 6 constituents that amount to the “whole health”, or Holistic Health of a human being; and it has to be correlated in an assessment with the Physical-, Mental-, Emotional-, Spiritual- and Intellectual elements – when we want to forestall future loss of Health and Vitality, such as in Predictive and Preventive Health-care.
While the state of Physical Health is assessed and expressed by consensus by medical sciences, of what and how to include Biomarkers into a numerically normative standard – “Social Health” is ambiguous in terms and flatly ignored in contemporary Health assessments. It is noteworthy, however that the pharmaceutical industry is all but overlooking Social Health as revenue generator of significance. In order to prescribe medicine a disease condition must first be identified, thus we are now referring to “Social Anxiety Disorder”, and of course the “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder” (ADHD).
What is Social Anxiety Disorder?
Social anxiety disorder is an anxiety disorder in which people fear social situations where they might be embarrassed or judged. When put in a social situation where they might become anxious sufferers have symptoms such as a racing heart, trembling, blushing or even sweating. This anxiety disorder is not uncommon by any stretch of the imagination – some sources say it affects more than five million Americans any given year. (Source: SocialAnxietyDisorder.net).
But that’s not the only “Social Pathology” that we know, there is Panic Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Trichotilomania, various Phobias and others. Some common drugs that are typically prescribed in the Social Health arena are: Zoloft (Sertraline), Paxil (Paroxetine), Lexapro (Excitalopram Oxalate), BuSpar (Buspirone), Xanax (Aprazolam), Effexor FR (Venlafaxine), Adapin (Doxepin) and Prozac (Fluoxetine).
What about Depression?
Depression may come either as a cause or the result of a Social Health condition. A depressed person is typically not interested in socializing, but that doesn’t mean a non-gregarious person is also depressed. Depression is also a common Drug side effect; for example the stimulant drugs prescribed for abating ADHD, such as Ritalin, Adderall, and Dexedrine can cause depression, in addition stimulant medication are well known to lead to nervous tics, hallucinations, and bizarre behavior – which seems to run counter to remediation of Social.Health.
Social Competence and Skills
We consider Social Competence to be the antonym of Social Anxiety: a person that is not afraid of meeting with strangers and impromptu interactions with others. An individual having the ability to adapt to a specific audience and influence it to act according to his or her will, can certainly be described as socially competent. Social skills can be learned from early childhood throughout adult life (for example: Toastmasters.org). Social competence is an elusive concept however, when we try to define it within the individuals whole Health or Vitality. How is it measured and weighed against the highly intertwined Spiritual-, Emotional-, and Mental Health elements? Even if we could assess Social Health on its own, we would have to agree on some numerical normative standard, such as we use for cholesterol and blood pressure.
However vague the concept and the absence of a scientific paradigm and benchmark, it seems obvious that a “totally healthy individual” is also a socially competent person; while a socially phobic person is not completely healthy, even though the condition may be fixed with simple lifestyle adjustments such as balanced nutrition. Social competence and skills are not delivered or restored by any drugs, this is evidenced by the fact that none of the prescription drugs is known to cure the condition, they just depress the symptoms. The best therapy and enrichment in life may come from training and practicing social skills, interacting with Others positively impacts the Spiritual-, Emotional- and Mental Health elements and ultimately prevents the Body from developing disease symptoms.