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Anxiety and Stress Disorders

Identifying Social Anxiety

04/17/2007

Question:

I am a 21 year old college student and I don`t have any friends. I have traveled around the world on my own and I am confident in my talents and intelligence. I am an award-winning writer with an IQ over 140, but I have a very hard time relating to people. I am attracted to men, but I have never been in a relationship. I love watching and studying people, but I avoid social situations and refuse to talk on the phone. I feel "moved" by things (heart beats faster when I see a beatiful painting etc) but I am never visably emotional and haven`t cried for years. The thing is...I don`t feel lonely. Something is wrong with me, but I don`t know what it is! Thanks!

Answer:

I certainly cannot diagnose over the internet, but from your description, it certainly sounds like you have some difficulties with interpersonal skills.  Whether you truly suffer from a psychological problem or just are shy or have just never learned appropriate interpersonal behaviors can only be determined by spending some time in counseling or therapy sessions with a mental health professional.  Any way, some time with a good therapist can help you understand what your needs are and how best to meet them.

Good Luck.

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Response by:

Nancy   Elder, MD Nancy Elder, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati