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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Suggest treatment for social anxiety and negative behaviour

Answered by
Dr. Swarnava Dattagupta

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2013

Answered : 906 Questions

Posted on Wed, 4 Nov 2015 in General Health
Question: I have an extreme obsession with what people think of me. I can't seem to control it or get past the negative comments. Sometimes they're not even comments - they're just things that I think may have been said about me. I assume people are talking about me or saying negative things and it drives me crazy when, in reality, they may not even be saying those things at all. It's causing me to be negative and lash out at people, which is causing problems in the workplace. Is it an actual problem with my brain? Like a disorder? Or am I just being too concerned with people's thoughts?
Answered by Dr. Swarnava Dattagupta 52 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Delusion of reference; consult psychologist

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for posting your query in
This is Dr. Swarnava dattagupta answering your query.

I have gone through your query and understand your concern.
You have given a detailed history about your problems. The symptoms you have mentioned are commonly seen with psychological disorder called delusion. In your case, it more or less matches delusion of reference where a person thinks that people around him/her are discussing about him/her only and conspiring too. Whereas, people are not doing the same. It is not very uncommon, happens with many disorders. But unless counselled or treated properly, it might lead to chronic illness and other severe diseases might precipitate.
The approach to treatment of the above is a combination of psychotherapy and drug therapy. Antipsychotics like olanzapine, clozapine etc and antidepressants like clomipramine are quite useful in such cases. Also, psychotherapy and counselling by psychologists seem to do wonders in many patients. Cognitive behavioral therapy is the specific term for this kind of treatment.
Finally, this is not a very dangerous disorder if taken care of early and properly with the help of a psychiatrist or psychologist.
Hence, my suggestion would be to consult a psychiatrist and psychologist and follow accordingly.
Relax, none is conspiring against you. It is a misconception and nothing else.

Hope i have answered your question.
If you have any further questions i will be happy to help.
Wish you good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
Follow up: Dr. Swarnava Dattagupta 15 minutes later
Thank you so much for your answer! I also have struggled severely with bulimia for the last six years of my life and I was wondering if maybe that has something to do with it, too. And I wanted to know other coping mechanisms I could possibly use instead of binging and purging. As of now, it seems as if there isn't a life outside of bulimia.
Answered by Dr. Swarnava Dattagupta 20 hours later
Brief Answer:
Follow as advised

Detailed Answer:
Sorry for the late reply.

Bulimia nervosa is a disorder which has an important psychological component. You had been suffering from 6 years, but have you gone to any doctor or tried any medicine?
If yes, then kindly share your history.
Otherwise, I suggest you to visit a doctor at your earliest. Regularity of meals is very important in such cases with a restriction over binge eating. Similarly, drugs like fluoxetine are very effective, more so when combined with cognitive behavioral therapy. A psychiatrist may be consulted in such case.
It is not a short term therapy, and will need earnest cooperation from you.

Hope this helps.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
Follow up: Dr. Swarnava Dattagupta 3 hours later
I actually have been prescribed fluoxetine my junior year of high school (I'm a freshman in college now) and it wasn't very effective at all for me. The psychiatrist I was seeing wasn't specialized in eating disorders. Also, I've seen three other counselors but they were also not specialized in eating disorders, either. I didn't start seeing any counselors until after it had been four or so years into the disorder, so it was really hard for me change my habits.
I've never tried cognitive behavioral therapy, either.
Answered by Dr. Swarnava Dattagupta 10 hours later
Brief Answer:
follow as advised

Detailed Answer:
Well in that case you should visit a psychologist or psychiatrist who is specialised in eating disorders. Otherwise, a combination of drug therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy can be tried. And a regular followup should be done with the psychiatrist you consult.
If you discontinue therapy all of a sudden, then it comes down to starting afresh again and that makes the case more difficult.

Hope this helps.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj

The User accepted the expert's answer

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