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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: General lack of interest and extreme shyness

 Richard2342 - Sat Jun 20, 2009 10:47 pm

Hi, I'm midway through college. I came into college with a declared major, yet quickly lost interest in it and chose another one last semester, yet I'm unhappy with that one now too. It makes me feel like such a bum that pretty much everyone I talk to seems to have some idea of what they're going to do with their life yet I have none. I don't even really have any interests. I used to read a lot, but that stopped. I only just got my first job this summer, an internship. I don't know that I like the job itself, but I like that I have a task to perform and get paid for it. I've lost touch with most of my friends from high school, so I don't do a lot in my free time. Fortunately, I am occupied most of the time on weekdays, as I work 8 hours and commute 3 hours.

I used to be eat unhealthily and virtually never exercised, but about a week ago I started running every day and have been eating slightly healthier, so that's something. As I said, I have few friends left at home, and none at school. I used to have a facebook but I deleted it because I was embarassed that there aren't many pictures of me. And it's so hard to meet new people, because if they ask me, say, what I did over the weekend or something then I have nothing to say. I think I'm doing a fine job of being friendly, smiling and whatnot, and if someone talks to me I can talk with them, but it's so hard for me to be the one to start talking, even if I have something specific I want to say.

I should mention that last time I saw my doctor he recommended seeing a psychiatrist or some sort about my being shy. I didn't, though. I guess it's in part because I'm embarassed.

Oh, I just remembered something specific that doesn't make me feel too good and I don't know why. A new girl intern just joined and she sits right in across from my cubicle. I think I may have been the first intern on the floor she'd met, because when she and her manager asked came by he asked me to introduce her to the other interns on the floor later. The thought just terrified me, and I only did it because I was asked again later. Anyway, I dunno, she talked to me sometimes but did so less and less. There is a male intern in the cubicle on the other side of mine, and she's started talking to him a lot. It just makes me feel awful, even though I can't blame either of them. I just don't don't understand why I have to be so close to both of them, right in between them in fact, and I can hear everything they say and I just have to turn on my ipod and turn the volume up loud enough that I can't hear them.
 Faye Lang, RN, MSW - Thu Jun 25, 2009 3:00 pm

Hello Richard2342,

You might be surprised by how many people are also shy and have difficulty initiating conversations. In the short term, you can try greeting your fellow interns each day, and join a conversation that interests you. You could invite them to go to lunch together with you. You would not surprise them by admitting that you are shy. They have noticed. Since they have tried talking with you, that's a strong indication that they are willing to talk with you. You don't need to be anything but yourself.

Your doctor gave you excellent advice, and you need to follow up on that. Ideally, you would benefit from seeing a psychologist who would coordinate with the psychiatrist if needed. I urge you to do this, before you become entrenched in a social phobia.

Good luck to you!

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