Common forms of social phobia have to do with anxiety around dating, or anxiety around public speaking, but there are many people who qualify for the diagnosis with a more general report of anxiety in diverse social interactions.I can’t know that this is your specific problem, but I can say that it’s something you might want to ask a psychologist or psychiatrist to consider when evaluating you for this difficulty.

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To really home down on this view of the problem we came up with two theories of what my issue is.

Theory 1: I look at people's privates and people think I am some sick pervert, sexual predator or gay.

I would like to know what the problem is and how it can be treated. In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), in the chapter on Anxiety Disorders, there is a subcategory for “Social Phobia”.

Social phobia essentially involves painful symptoms of anxiety that occur in relation to particular social events.

This thought started when I was caught looking down a co workers top.

As a result I felt very upset, worried more about where I looked, over monitored my eye gaze and started avoiding certain people and avoiding looking at people by looking at the ground when I spoke to people (the latter behaviours are called "safety seeking behaviours").

Most of the time I would expect the person to look disgusted, grip their shirt even tell me to stop looking or get angry with me. It's easy to do these experiments with people whose reactions you are less concerned about - eg a shop assistant, then move up to someone you do care about like a family member.

I learnt that a lot of this issue was in my head and I had lost perspective before therapy.

The first stage of therapy began by looking at the theories of ocd with my therapist, which was also aided by reading self help books by dr david veale and dr Fred penzel.

I also recorded my therapy, to listen to the sessions in the week, note the sessions up and reinforce what I learnt.

If you spent ten minutes each day with a spider on your hand the fear would eventually reduce.