School is out for the year and children everywhere have taken a collective sigh of relief. Admittedly, even teachers and principals. But like winter in Canada, school is just around the corner; possibly the most wonderful time of year for parents and the most dreaded for students. However, for some students, getting up and going to school may be harder than most.
Social anxiety (also known as Social Phobia) is a misunderstood condition. People often confuse it with being introverted or shy. But introverts are not by definition socially anxious. A person can be perfectly comfortable around people but may not enjoy loud gatherings. While extroverts feel energized after crowded get-togethers, introverts feel depleted and need to recuperate. Introverts, therefore, prefer solitary activities, but do not suffer from social anxiety. They may stay home on a Friday night feeling perfectly content.
If you are a parent of a child who has OCD, you know only too well how easy it is to get entangled in an endless argument where you try to use logic to no avail. You tell your child how unlikely it is that something bad will happen, you teach her to think positively, you reassure her, and you try to help her out.
Do you wonder whether you may suffer from undiagnosed OCD?
You may have intrusive thoughts and maybe even some rituals, but your room is unbelievably messy, and you don’t feel you have to wash your hands all the time. And even though your thoughts are driving you nuts, they are actually about realistically dangerous things, things that most people would be scared of happening. And nobody even notices your rituals.
As I’m stepping out of my office into the reception area to get my next patient, Michael, I can see that he is distressed.
“What’s going on?” I ask as we take our seats.