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Question
Posted by: BEW | 2011/08/31

Eye Contact

Please could you assist me by explaining the possible reasons i struggle to make eye contact. Its not limited to strangers or by how long i have known someone. I have been seeing a psychologist for a while now and even though i trust her i cannot make or maintain eye contact and this makes me worry that she might think i am not taking the process seriusly. This i think about everyone. For most of my life i have suffered from depression with very very self destructive tendencies over the last year or so i have been experiencing erratic and hyper moods, which have left me destroyed in many ways. I am also extremely anxious, sweating shaking etc.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

While this has been desscribed as a feature of some psych disorders, its also often a cultural pattern - for instance, when I worked in Canada, I'd be asked by worried teachers about a young American Indian child who did not make eye contact - within their culture, it's a matter of ordinary and routine respect, not to make eye contact with elders and more senior people, and was entirely normal and good behaviour.
It can also reflect low self-esteem, feeling unworthy or fearing you'll annoy others by lookig directly at them. I'm surprised that it sounds as though you haven't discussed this with your therapist, which is where you would be likely to be able to solve this problem.
From your self-description, it sounds as though there could also be elements of bipolar disorder among your problems, which could benefit greatly from the right combination of medications, so also discuss this with your psychologist, with a view to seeing a psychiatrist for review and a discussion of medication options

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 exmanication, 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.

2
Our users say:
Posted by: Linus | 2011/08/31

Not making eye contact in the circumstances you describe is very typical behaviour of people with high functioning autism also known as Aspergers Syndrome. ADHD as well as anxiety and depression also go hand in hand with this condition. This condition was only first introduced in 1994 and most doctors do not even understand it or fully comprehend how patients are affected by this. For an excellent explanation of this condition do a google search on " hubert cross aspergers" 

Reply to Linus
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/08/31

While this has been desscribed as a feature of some psych disorders, its also often a cultural pattern - for instance, when I worked in Canada, I'd be asked by worried teachers about a young American Indian child who did not make eye contact - within their culture, it's a matter of ordinary and routine respect, not to make eye contact with elders and more senior people, and was entirely normal and good behaviour.
It can also reflect low self-esteem, feeling unworthy or fearing you'll annoy others by lookig directly at them. I'm surprised that it sounds as though you haven't discussed this with your therapist, which is where you would be likely to be able to solve this problem.
From your self-description, it sounds as though there could also be elements of bipolar disorder among your problems, which could benefit greatly from the right combination of medications, so also discuss this with your psychologist, with a view to seeing a psychiatrist for review and a discussion of medication options

Reply to cybershrink

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