Thursday, January 3, 2008

Social anxiety disorder - Wise Counsel

Dr. David van Nuys takes the Wisecounsel podcast to a couple of subjects that have appeared before: anxiety and CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and medication. He speaks with Dr. Richard Heimberg, Ph.D., and cannot wait to ask him whether anxiety should be treated with CBT or medication, or both and what would be the merit of each approach.

First thought, anxiety needs to be defined. Anxiety is distress that every body feels normally, but that turns excessive and interferes with the person leading a regular life. There is a Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) which is haunting people who worry excessively, uncontrollably and takes over the sufferer's life. Heimberg doesn't want to engage in the question about treatment for GAD.

His research has been directed more specifically to Social Anxiety Disorder or Social Phobia (old terminology). This disorder is seen with people who excessively worry about how they are perceived, evaluated and judged by others. The effect is, varying to the intensity, that the patient avoids social contact. In this category, he reveals that both CBT and medication have their benefit. Roughly, medication has more of a short term success, but entails a bigger chance of relapse. CBT takes longer to kick in, but ultimately has more persistent success. The situation can require either or both.

Other guests on Wise Counsel were a.o.:
Tony Madrid,
Francine Shapiro,
Amy Baker,
Marsha Linehan,
Deirdre Barrett.

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To know and be known

Philosophy Bites about friendship, consists of a discussion with Mark Vernon who has written about the subject. In ten short minutes lots is said, I'll throw in just a crumb and hope to entice you with that into listening to a very worthwhile issue.

Mark gives us Aristotle and the other Greek philosophers who thought high of friendship and made it figure quite centrally in their philosophies. Friendship represents an exquisite quality of life, a love that is maybe more pure than others. If family love is the need to care and be cared for and sexual love is the need to have and be had, friendship is to know and be known. I must say, that resonates with me more than anything else.

Later philosophy started paying less attention to friendship. Also, it was less valued. Nietzsche went as far as to call friendship feign. Since you can't tell the truth to a friend as you can to strangers. With a friend you are sparing sensitivities, which with a stranger you would not. I wonder however, if with a close friend, where the sensitivities are so well known as well as the mutual respect, one really can't tell the truth. Besides, with a friend, with all the mutual knowledge, how can the inconvenient truths can truly horrible and unspeakable?

More on Friendship.
More Philosophy Bites:
Skepticism ,
Thought experiments (and Avicenna).

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