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I am suffering from phobia. I am afraid of unwanted attention from guys. How to control this?

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I have a phobia-I am afraid of unwanted attention from guys.To avoid that I do all I can-I dress up in baggy clothes,have deliberately put on weight etc. The thing is that I have been diagnosed with PCOS and would have to lose weight now.Whenever I start with exercise,I lose some weight and as soon I see some visible changes like clothes getting looser,I self sabotage my weight loss efforts-the thought that comes into my mind is-oh i would get attractive.'I get very anxious,My fat feels like a safety net to me.
When I was in class second or third in school,there used to be a guy called 'navin' in our class,he was quite tall and healthy,he used to pick me up and used to say 'i will marry you'.I used to feel very afraid.Then he failed in the class and was left behind us,I was very relieved..but he changed his school which was next to ours and their school got over earlier than ours so he used to wait for me near the rickshaw which used to drop us home.I never told about him to anyone.The way i used to feel at that time helpless,afraid-whatever that feeling was,i used to feel it everytime I had male attention on me.See,I like to look good,dressing up,i like the fact that I am good looking but I cant handle the attention that comes with it.The reason is 1st of all-
i can't say no to guys,i feel like i will be hurting them if i say no(so i feel guilty doing that),secondly i am very bad in case of choice of guys,I fall in love with anyone and everyone who is interested in me-i love the idea of falling in love.I am afraid that because of this I might marry a wrong guy and end up repenting it.3rd I am afraid that even if i do the above two well,ie refuse a guy who i think is not right for me-i might get stalked,raped,kidnapped or even murdered (case of XXXXXXX tanwar has had a profound effect on me) ie. basically harmed in any other way (I have read cases of guys throwing acid on girls who reject them)
Posted Sat, 1 Sep 2012 in Mental Health
Answered by Dr. Ashish Mittal 16 hours later
Thanks for your query.

I appreciate your efforts for medical consultation in so much distress.

Important aspects of your query are:
•     24 year old female
•     Known case of PCOS
•     Stressor in childhood
•     Complaints of: Anxiety, fearfulness, excessive worry, low confidence and phobia from getting noticed by male.

From your description I suspect presence of anxiety disorders like: Social phobia, phobia from opposite sex and Due to these problems you are leading to unhealthy lifestyle like gaining weight.

Other symptoms of anxiety which may or may not be present in your case: nervousness, restlessness, mild irritability, excessive worry regarding own health, tremor, muscle spasm, heaviness in body, easy fatigability, headache, sleep disturbance, palpitation and dry mouth.

Anxiety occur due to neurotransmitters imbalance in brain most commonly involving serotonin neurotransmitter. You may need treatment with psychiatrist to treat your anxiety. It is not clear if you received any treatment in past, but believe me people life changes after treatment.

In drug treatment two types of medicine used. For immediate relief of anxiety benzodiazepines group of medicines are used and for long term relief most commonly SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are used. SSRI takes around 3-4 weeks to show its effect. Non drug treatment like cognitive behaviour therapy (form of psychotherapy) also takes weeks to show its effect.

All these process is complex. I have just simplified it to make you understand it. Although I understand that you are suffering, but you have to keep patience.

Apart from above advice following steps will help you:
-Decrease worrying about symptoms as they will cure after treatment.
-Healthy diet: Milk and fruits in diet. Decrease fat intake
-Daily morning walk and breathing exercise.
-Get Serum TSH (Blood investigation) done as sometime thyroid dysfunction increases weight, anxiety and phobia.
-Combined therapy with medicines and CBT from psychiatrist (+/- trained psychologist)

If you are in Delhi NCR then you can also visit me personally in Gurgaon.

I hope this information has been both informative and helpful for you. In case of any doubt, I will be available for follow ups.

Wish you good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: I am suffering from phobia. I am afraid of unwanted attention from guys. How to control this? 2 hours later
First of all thanx for your reply.Secondly I am not very comfortable with face to face consultation.Thirdly my diet is balanced,no problem on that part.Fourthly,I am living in a paying guest accomodation so that adds to my fear.I am fearful of having a routine exercise schedule because-
1. I tend to avoid getting attention,going out means others get to see me everyday,it's very frightening for me
2. The consequence of it-ie getting thin stops me,sir when i was thin i used to get hell lot of attention,now that i am fat since 1-2 years I am getting less of it,it is less frightening this way.If I dont get rid of this,even if i decrease weight i will again put it back deliberately.

Fifth,I have my hormones checked every 6 months and my TSH is normal

Sir can't you help me by online route?

Answered by Dr. Ashish Mittal 9 minutes later
Hello again,

Thanks for follow up,

I can understand your concern. It is good that your TSH is normal.

Your problem is severe, complicated and chronic. It is impossible to treat it by online counseling only.

Your hesitation/anxiety for face to face treatment can be reduced by:
-Bringing some family member during visit
-Visit some lady psychiatrist: You can visit lady psychiatrist Dr XXXXXXX XXXXXXX in Gurgaon or some other person in Delhi.

Please accept my answer in case there are no further queries and recommend our services to your friends too if you have found it helpful.

Wish you good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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