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Drinking
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I believe it.
I know I didn't have SA as a child. I was very talkative. Something must have happened around 3rd or 4th grade from my recollection, because that's around the time I can remember SA starting. Of course at the time I didn't know what it was, I just thought I was shy, like most people will tell you.
 

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I was definitely shy even as a child. It just seems to have gotten worse and worse. I'm not sure at what age I would draw the line between shyness and SA though.
 

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Anxiety can occur on a spectrum of an Obsessive disorder but they are not the same thing in all cases. I think you are looking at it the wrong way around; obsession can cause anxiety but anxiety isn't always obsession. Your idea that there is a single underlying thought maybe true for you. But for many people it is not consciously available to them why they are anxious.

A dominant factor in anxiety is behavioural conditioning where people come to be conditionally fearful in response to various patterns of stimuli (social related in SAD). This can't be defined as obsession because it can happen before you are even aware of it and because the variables are so complex, there is no specific object to be obsessed with. If you suggest the object is a pattern of thoughts then I still disagree because thoughts occur much later on, after fear is processed. The role cognition plays is to be fed fearful information at a late stage of its processing, manage it, then feed it back. It is likely there where obsession can take place but this wont be true for everyone, making them not the same thing.

Basically, patterns of persistent behavioural and mental responses don't equate to obsession. Obsession is an anxiety disorder.
 

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Simon Says...
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Indeed I'd probably agree with you more now that I've read 2 books on OCD in the effort to try and reduce my own OCD symptoms than before.

It's always been mostly contamination-related for me but certainly I've experienced almost every type of OCD described in those books at some point and to some degree and the obsessions that are very much based around worrying excessively about what may happen are quite interesting.

When you read about people who have to come back to a place they were driving in case they caused an accident etc. it's not hard to imagine OCD manifesting as Social Anxiety. Maybe there's a lot of SA with people that is entirely unrelated to OCD but certainly they're very similar and probably inter-related in many cases.

Again, the best way of getting away from OCD is said to be CBT which may be described as both accepting your worries as irrational and a lot more importantly facing your fears constantly which ends up proving that the consequences aren't necessarily as bad as imagined and you've done the feared action which lets you know what might actually happen instead of avoiding it all the time. SA is more or less the same as that to cure I would think, with the potential help from medications too. Only... perhaps facing your SA fears is even harder than with OCD since you leave yourself open to other people and external factors that stop you from taking things at your own pace as much.
 
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