OCD, Social Anxiety Disorder, and Treatment

By Janet Singer

Recently, I’ve been reading some articles on social anxiety, and it struck me how many of the situations and symptoms reminded me of my son Dan when he was in the throes of severe obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Those with social anxiety disorder typically are terrified of how others will perceive them, and this often leads to avoidance of various situations. While public speaking or being the center of attention in any circumstance might be obvious triggers, even something as mundane as having a cup of coffee with an acquaintance might be anxiety-provoking enough for a sufferer to just not show up. Panic attacks are common.

In this article, I talk about Dan’s sense of hyper-responsibility, which is an inflated feeling of responsibility. Because he felt his thoughts and actions might cause harm to his friends and loved ones, he dealt with this by avoiding them.

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