Students With Social Anxiety Should Be Excused From Presentations

Public Speaking Might Needlessly Aggravate Symptoms of Social Anxiety

Graphic Joey Bruce

Imagine standing in front of a large group of people, presenting like one of those confident TED talk speakers.

In reality, it’s nothing but an unachievable fantasy for many.

For some people, speaking in front of a huge crowd can trigger anxiety and panic attacks. Most of us dislike public speaking, but for those with social anxiety, it can mean the end of the world.

Individuals with social anxiety might live in constant fear of being judged, rejected, and invalidated in a
social environment, and it can leave them feeling extremely fearful and awkward.

Social anxiety disorder, or social phobia, is a common mental health issue.

Notable challenges people with social anxiety disorder face can include difficulties with such everyday tasks as asking for help, initiating friendships, maintaining eye contact, and interacting with people in social situations. These challenges can also cause physical symptoms, according to WebMD, which include heart palpitations, sweating, breathlessness, nausea, and dizziness.

Social anxiety surely has a monumental impact on people’s daily lives. This can impact their academic
performance, particularly when it comes to presentations.

Students who experience this might tend to skip presentations and avoid class discussions, as the only alternative is to proceed with intense discomfort, if it is possible at all.

Forcible socializing, contrary to popular belief, cannot cure social anxiety on its own and may require professional treatment.

Professional treatment may be costly and out of reach for many students.

Undeniably, there are students out there who would love to speak about their captivating ideas, until their anxiety gets in their way.

It’s important to note that social anxiety and introversion do not fall into the same category.

In general, the stigma of anxiety disorders continues to be a genuine issue in our contemporary
World. We must overcome this, considering the harmful impact it can have on people’s lives.

Stigma can discourage students with social anxiety from seeking the professional help they require. It can lower their self-esteem and can potentially even jeopardize their academic career.
All things considered, students with social anxiety disorders should be excused from presenting in front of an entire class.

Perhaps an alternative would be to allow students the option to present in front of the professor alone.

Accommodations should be made, given the monumental hurdles these tasks are for students with mental health issues, compared to neurotypical students.

If we truly want to see mental health and mental illness without stigma, we should reconsider forcing people with mental health issues to perform in the same measure as people without these issues.