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Old 08-07-2010
 

I'm 23 years old, male with a mild form of OCD.

For the past few years I have been avoiding social contact with people because I 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 by looking in another direction, 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.

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 used to be a normal person just a few years ago. 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.

Please, help me!!
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Old 08-07-2010
DekKO's Avatar
Newbie User
 

I do that but only if I feel like that person is staring at me. If I see their full face out of the corner of my eye I have to look. It's not really a problem for me though but immediately after i'm staring at someone they start staring at me and I glance away like nothing happened. Usually they do realize what i'm doing but I could careless.
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Old 08-07-2010
 

OMG, i have the same thing! I thought i was the only one. In class, i always sit on the right side of the room to avoid having people in my line of sight when i'm writing, bc i tilt my head to the right when i write, so i feel people in the row over think i'm staring at them. I guess i'm a little diff than you though, bc i dont ever look at the person all the way, just out of my peripherals, but i CANT stop it. Im WAYYY to scared to look at their face to actualy see if they notice me. But!...worse than in class, is when im watching tv with people, even friends, i get distracted by being in other people line of sight, and i cant pay attention to the tv, bc all i can think about is if im making this person uncomfortable, and if they notice how uncomfortable i am. ALSO, in the car its bad for me, especially when im drive, and then ESPECIALLY when i need to change lanes, and look in my side view mirror, forget about it, thats terrible anxiety i get right there.

And, also this only started happening to me in college, when my SAD started happening, never even thought about these things when i was younger. I am guessing it just goes hand and hand with the self consciousness of SAD.
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Old 08-07-2010
mrb
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wear glasses , no really it works , just go to the Opticians and get a pair of tinted glasses , that might seem a funny thing to say but it works , dont matter if your eyes are ok , just get a pair anyways ...i did that years ago when my sa was bad and it helped
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Old 08-07-2010
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnOccupied View Post
OMG, i have the same thing! I thought i was the only one. In class, i always sit on the right side of the room to avoid having people in my line of sight when i'm writing, bc i tilt my head to the right when i write, so i feel people in the row over think i'm staring at them. I guess i'm a little diff than you though, bc i dont ever look at the person all the way, just out of my peripherals, but i CANT stop it. Im WAYYY to scared to look at their face to actualy see if they notice me. But!...worse than in class, is when im watching tv with people, even friends, i get distracted by being in other people line of sight, and i cant pay attention to the tv, bc all i can think about is if im making this person uncomfortable, and if they notice how uncomfortable i am. ALSO, in the car its bad for me, especially when im drive, and then ESPECIALLY when i need to change lanes, and look in my side view mirror, forget about it, thats terrible anxiety i get right there.

And, also this only started happening to me in college, when my SAD started happening, never even thought about these things when i was younger. I am guessing it just goes hand and hand with the self consciousness of SAD.
I have the exact problem as you! I do it as well when I'm in the drivers seat and I have someone in the passengers seat next to me. I'll stare at them out of the corner of my eye and it's dangerous because the whole time I'm driving. I'm not only trying to concentrate on the road but if this person notices me doing this and how uncomfortable this situation is. I can't stop staring out of the corner of my eye in class, when watching TV with friends etc.
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Old 08-07-2010
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John S View Post
I have the exact problem as you! I do it as well when I'm in the drivers seat and I have someone in the passengers seat next to me. I'll stare at them out of the corner of my eye and it's dangerous because the whole time I'm driving. I'm not only trying to concentrate on the road but if this person notices me doing this and how uncomfortable this situation is. I can't stop staring out of the corner of my eye in class, when watching TV with friends etc.
...and i thought i was the only one...what a relief.

At movie theatres, i like to wear sweatshirts and put the hood up, that works really well. Isn't it just the worst when your watching tv with your friends, and they say something like, man wasnt that funny, just a funny comment like that, and you have no idea what was going on, bc you were so focused on your anxiety. I HATE that! Or just the fact that i feel like other people enjoy watching tv so much with others, like they laugh and get into it, but im just trying to figure out why im the only one who is paying attention to the people around me instead of the entertainment...WEIRD!
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Old 08-07-2010
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnOccupied View Post
...and i thought i was the only one...what a relief.

At movie theatres, i like to wear sweatshirts and put the hood up, that works really well. Isn't it just the worst when your watching tv with your friends, and they say something like, man wasnt that funny, just a funny comment like that, and you have no idea what was going on, bc you were so focused on your anxiety. I HATE that! Or just the fact that i feel like other people enjoy watching tv so much with others, like they laugh and get into it, but im just trying to figure out why im the only one who is paying attention to the people around me instead of the entertainment...WEIRD!
We are not the only ones with this problem.

I got this answer from an online doctor:

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.

Good luck!
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Old 08-08-2010
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Intermediate User
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrb View Post
wear glasses , no really it works , just go to the Opticians and get a pair of tinted glasses , that might seem a funny thing to say but it works , dont matter if your eyes are ok , just get a pair anyways ...i did that years ago when my sa was bad and it helped
Second this
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Old 08-08-2010
SilverFire's Avatar
Newbie User
 

Yeah, I suffer from this from time to time. It helps me to totally focus upon something else, if it's the TV, the movie, or my work. If my attention is saturated with that, I don't notice the people and if I do, they're just motion and not faces and bodies.
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Old 08-08-2010
 

When I am around people I tend to stare at everyone. Most of the time since I am not talking it seems like I am not there so I just observe everyone like I'm watching a movie. Sometimes someone will catch me and say, "quit staring at me". When they say that I just want to run out. Sometimes I'll just stare at a spot on the floor and zone out so I won't be too weird.
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Old 08-08-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnOccupied View Post
...and i thought i was the only one...what a relief.

At movie theatres, i like to wear sweatshirts and put the hood up, that works really well. Isn't it just the worst when your watching tv with your friends, and they say something like, man wasnt that funny, just a funny comment like that, and you have no idea what was going on, bc you were so focused on your anxiety. I HATE that! Or just the fact that i feel like other people enjoy watching tv so much with others, like they laugh and get into it, but im just trying to figure out why im the only one who is paying attention to the people around me instead of the entertainment...WEIRD!
This is why I have sooo much trouble reading in public. I can hardly read a sentence sometimes due to my anxiety. I'm right there with you.
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Old 08-08-2010
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Elite User
 

i remember in high school this incident occured, i was looking across the table and the red headed kid was looking at me too, the second time i looked up he shouted "what are you looking at" to me and from then on i found it hard not to look over to see if he was looking at me, then he was making faces if i looked at him, but following that he was actually causing a scene by staring at me and saying in front of the class "are you looking at me now" .."go on, look at me" ...
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Old 08-08-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jco3 View Post
This is why I have sooo much trouble reading in public. I can hardly read a sentence sometimes due to my anxiety. I'm right there with you.
yeh especially on the train if i'm reading and there are people around me it can be difficult to just focus on the book and only the book without feeling self conscious. i remember giving myself a headache trying to read a book for a one hour trip because i didnt remember much of the content afterwards or the words it was like i was just scanning paper and ink on a page rather then the information, so it was a waste of time ..i think this all comes down to practice in the end.

that used to happen to me in high school as well. i had a very disruptive class, but it wasn't a cool "wanting to learn" and being loud class, it was just an irritating class to be in and i always found it hard to focus on learning because of all of the distractions and the other people in the class were a barrier for me. i did want to have fun but i found alot of the boys in my class just wanted to not learn alot or they wanted to bully other students.
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Old 08-08-2010
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Just another manic monday
Advanced User
 

I have this problem too, when I was working in an office with another person, she sat next to me I couldn't stop focusing in out of the corner of my eye, I would get very agitated. Luckily now I sit by myself at work.
At resturants I don't like having a lot of people in my line of site, I like to sit facing either a wall or where theres the least amount of people, because I can get very focused on one person sometimes and can't stop staring (mostly its because I feel their staring at me and Im looking to see if they are) (once we've made eye contact forget it) or I just get to distracted by peoples coming in goings, it kind of reminds me of ADD sometimes.
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Old 08-08-2010
 

Anyone else with this problem?
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Old 08-08-2010
 

........................
John S is offline  
Old 08-09-2010
 

Thank you..
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Old 10-02-2010
 

Hi,

I am 35 years old. I have been facing similar kind of problems for the last 13-14 years which has affected me a lot. The problem is that when I am in a group(Class, work, home) I feel that others are looking at me and my eyes focus towards them. Even though I know that that is a weird feeling but I just cannot control it. If I am working on my computer in my office my eyes keep rolling at my colleagues even though they are not looking at me and I know that.

Same thing holds true when I am speaking to my boss and some of my colleagues join the conversation. I cannot help but my eye balls keep looking at them and I cannot focus on the conversation. Also the same thing happens while I am praying and some other people join me. I just cannot focus on the prayers but my eyes focus shifts to them. I often have to close my eyes while I am doing these.


The problem was very severe earlier. When I used to write the examinations my eyes would constantly focus to either the examiner or the other students sitting besides me. I wouldn't be able to concentrate on a lecture in the classroom. I used to sit at the corner of the last bench to avoid this.

When I was no longer able to cope with it I consulted a Psychiatrist. I was diagnosed with OCD. I have been on the medications for the last 12- 13 years. The treatment reduced my symptoms to a major extent but still bothers me a lot. The problem with this is that I can spent only 40% of my energy on my regular work.

Since after 13 years the symptoms still continued ( It was reduced but still bothers me a lot) I thought of seeking an alternate opinion. I consulted another psychiatrist few months back and I told him about my problems. He was of the opinion that I was diagnosed wrong and it looks like case of psychosis though not a strong one.

Personally speaking I don't agree on the second doctors diagnoses but then the problems still lasting after taking medications regularly for the last 13 years has put me in dilemma.....I have read several symptoms of OCD but I have never seen my symptom listed anywhere. These problems don't allow me to put my 100% effort in there. I probably use around 50% of my skills. I really need to get out of this mess.


If anyone had/has similar symptoms please let me know.

Thanks,
agile is offline  
Old 10-06-2010
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John S View Post
We are not the only ones with this problem.

I got this answer from an online doctor:

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.

Good luck!
Hmm....That's what I was diagnosed with......May I know who the DOC is?
agile is offline  
Old 10-07-2010
 

I read the threads on this and realised I suffer this but didnt know it had a name. I thought it was just me and like a form of a tic, except I stare. I stare at people in eating places, trains, waiting rooms and I hate myself for doing it yet I cant stop. It causes potential embarassment , eg, staring at someone's girlfriend, wife, some guy in a bar etc and ruins a night out. Can anyone tell me where to find information on it, why its a form of social anxiety, what causes it, how to stop it, should I see a doctor etc ?
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