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Re: Anxiety around people

Well, it could be SAnD.
It's characterised by high levels of anxiety and fear in social situations.

To quote the DMS-IV:
Generalised Social Anxiety Disorder is a social anxiety disorder that typically involves a persistent, intense and chronic fear of being judged by others and/or of being embarrassed or humiliated by one's actions.

The individual fears that he or she will act in a way (or show anxiety symptoms) that will be embarrassing and humiliating.

The person recognizes that this fear is unreasonable or excessive.

The feared situations are avoided or else are endured with intense anxiety and distress.

The avoidance, anxious anticipation, or distress in the feared social or performance situation(s) interferes significantly with the person's normal routine, occupational (academic) functioning, or social activities or relationships, or there is marked distress about having the phobia.

Exposure to the feared situation almost invariably provokes anxiety, which may take the form of a situationally bound or situationally pre-disposed Panic Attack.

My nephew has SAnD, he can only be sociable around family and very close friends otherwise he's always scared to go out, and he's always clearly distressed when he's forced to enter conversation with someone he doesn't know eg. at the till in the supermarket.
He's very nervous and when he hears people laughing he always jumps to the conslusion they're laughing at him and he gets upset.

If you think that any of points of the DSM-IV criteria resonate with you, then I'd see a proffesional. Sorry if I haven't been any help, I just thought i'd tell you what I thought. :-)