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12 Jan 2005

very worried sister
I have got a sister(27) who has very little self confidence if at all. She thinks everyone is against her or is out to get her. She is shy and very very quiet as a result she thinks that people are taking advantage of her because of that. If she is walking past people laughing she thinks they are laughing at her or talking about her. She has been statying with me and my husband for a while and I am younger than her so that also stresses her sometimes I feel like she is looking for a husband. She stays in her room the whole day and only come out if we are not there (during the day in the week). I sometimes don't see her for days but I know she is in her room.The way she thinks about things is all twisted , it's almost like she is losing or has lost contact with reality.She has been looking for a job for the past 4 years with no success.
How do I help her see that she needs help. She is also not on medical aid so it will be expensive to take her to a shrink but still how do you tell someone that she needs to see someone for not thinking straight. i have tried convincing her against her thoughts with no success.Doc, please help me help my sister.
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Very shy people can sometimes feel a bit paranoid, as you describe. This could be what's called Social Anxiety Disorder, and responds well to treatment, both with medicines, like modern antidpressants, and with CBT counselling. And apart from inceasing her enjoyment of life, proper treatment of this temporary handicap will greatly improve her chances of getting and keeping a good job. You need to persist in trying to persuade her to give treatment a try --- and explore whether she could be seen by the psych clinic at your nearest Medical School, for expert advice and treatment at a low cost, related to her income.
And the other advice, from other readers, is good too, and well worth trying. I especially like the idea of encouraing her to get involved in helping people much less fortunate than she is, which I often recomment, and which could boost her sense of being capable and socially confident. Browse through your phone book, and call appropriate local charities, and see if they need some volunteers ( I doubt that there's any who dont !)
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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