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Avatar universal

ADHD + social phobia or what ?

  I am a 21 year old student and I have been troubled all my life with the following problems:
  When I am on my own, I find it very difficult(impossible) to stay seated to do homework or study. Instead I find an irresistible need to stay running around (eg: in my room) for hours and daydreaming while running around. In front of people I don't behave like this and behave normally, since people seem to attract my attention. My psychiatrist said that people with ADHD behave like this all the time not only when they are alone.
  When I smoke a cigarette and do an big effort I succeed to study for some time and then I start again.
  In front of people I have a different problem. With most people,(besides family members and a few close friends)I tend to feel very anxious when talking to them and blush, sweat from my hands and panic. I also tend to avoid situations where I know I will meet people and feel anxoius.
  My parents (and I think the psychiatrist as well) find it difficult to believe me. However I am feeling that I cannot continue this way all my life and I want to do something about it.
1 Responses
Avatar universal

Dear Rich
You describe two potential problems, one being not able to complete tasks when alone and the other, social anxiety or social phobia. Phobias are the single most common mental disorder in U.S. Approximately 5 to 10 percent of the population is estimated to be afflicted with these disabling disorders. A phobia is defined as an irrational fear that produces a conscious avoidance of the feared subject, activity or situation. People with social phobia has excessive fears of humiliation or embarrassment in various social settings such as speaking in public, interacting socially or speaking to a date. Blushing is more common in social anxiety. Females are more often affected than males. The peak age of onset for social phobia is in the teens, although onset is common as young as five years of age and as old as thirty five. Combination of psychotherapy (behavioral therapy and cognitive methods) and medications produce better results than either of them alone.
Concerning you being unable to stay focused, with the limited information that is provided, it is hard to say whether you have ADHD. ADHD appears more often in boys than in girls and causes disruption in school, occupation and at home. Symptoms may be related to predominantly to inattention (ex: making careless mistakes, difficulty sustaining attention, difficulty organizing tasks, easily distractable, forgetful) or to hyperactivity - impulsivity (ex: fidgeting, unable to seated, talk excessively, difficulty waiting for turns, interrupt others). These behaviors usually appear in more than one context including home, school or social situations. To meet diagnostic criteria, these symptoms must occur in at least two settings, although the intensity may differ depending on the setting. Psychostimulants such as Ritalin remains the gold standard for the treatment of ADHD although other treatments are available.
I hope this information has been helpful to you. This information is used for general medical educational  purposes only and should not be replaced by evaluation with a physician. If you wish to see a mental health professional at Henry Ford Hospital Behavioral Services Clinic, you can call (313)-874-6680.
Key words: ADHD, Social phobia

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