Medical Specialty >> Psychiatry

Doctors Lounge - Psychiatry Answers

Back to Psychiatry Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge (www.doctorslounge.com) does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on www.doctorslounge.com is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: Self awareness, Social interaction issues.


 elephant23 - Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:00 pm

I'm 25 years old, male with no prior medical issues. For the past few years i have been avoiding social contact with people. I dropped out of school and have been living at home for awhile. Only recently have i been back into a real social environment (school) and am beginning to become self aware. I now have a staring problem. When i sit next to someone in class and their face is in my vision of view, it attracts my attention and can't focus on the lecture. I try to avoid it, but it gets worst as I do. So from then on, whenever I see their faces. I take a quick glance and look away. This keeps perpetuating and i start to sweat and get nervous wondering if the person notices what I am doing( and a lot of times they do). Now I'm freaking out trying to avoid look at them even more. I am now continually self conscious of doing that where i look down when people pass me by while walking. Which causes me to take a quick glance again. This has now transferred to family members where I can't have their face in my vision of view. I have no idea how to stop this and become normal again. I was a normal person until dropping out and began my social exclusion. I know I need to be more socially active. When I do try to be, this focus on something comes back to me and I'm scared that they'll notice I notice them. I now have high anxiety over this issue.
 Faye Lang, RN, MSW - Mon Jul 19, 2010 5:47 pm

Hello, elephant23,

I apologize that this response is so late in coming. I hope that your issue has resolved by now, but just in case, I will provide some information that may be useful to you and to others who might read your post.

I believe you have accurately identified the area that fits your issues - a form of anxiety, although it may be a severe one. Your repeated staring behavior and social discomfort seem to be obsessive behaviors that are becoming more compulsive, and you haven't been able to interrupt the progression. It becomes a rather vicious cycle, as you have been experiencing. The actual diagnosis can be made only after a detailed psychological interview by a psychiatrist or psychologist. Treatment can be very effective, and would probably include antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications. It may include long term use of such medications, but that is worth it to most people since it helps them return to a more stable place in their lives.

I wish you the very best of luck and recovery.

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us