James Hicks, M.D., 50 SIGNS OF MENTAL ILLNESS (Yale University Press)

Dr. James Hicks
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Your roommate begs you to come along to a party. All you do is study, she says. You tell her you'd love to meet some new people, but you feel silly at parties.

In fact, you feel embarrassed just about anywhere. If your teacher asks your opinion in class, you blush and stare at your notes. If you manage to squeeze out an answer, he has to ask you to speak up. It's not that you don't know the answer. You're always well prepared. But what if you misunderstood? Everyone in the class would think you were an idiot. They'd wonder if you belong in that class.

And parties are much worse. You never know what to say. You don't know how to dance. Your clothes are probably completely out of style. You feel out of place. And you would just die if you were left standing alone against the wall.

This chapter covers the following topics:

  • Avoidance
  • How to Cope with Shyness


This excerpt may not be reproduced without written permission from the publishers.
Fifty Signs of Mental Illness: A Guide to Understanding Mental Health
Yale University Press / New Haven and London
Copyright © 2005 by James Whitney Hicks

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