Is Shyness An Illness?

03/28/2008 02:46 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011
  • Anna Buckley BBC

Most of us are shy to some degree, but acute shyness is one of the most under-recognised mental health problems of the modern age, say some. So when is being shy an illness?

Walking down a busy high street with your cheeks painted like a clown isn't normal behaviour for most people. But it's precisely what is being prescribed for one group of people who desperately want to feel more normal.

People suffering from acute social embarrassment are encouraged to wear ridiculous amounts of blusher in public as part of their treatment at one hospital. It's an unlikely cure for a condition called social phobia.

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