Everybody’s normal till you get to know them

Don’t miss this New York Times Op-Ed by Christopher Lane, on the medicalization of shyness as social anxiety disorder.  I don’t know how to evaluate the actual likelihood that a shy child will be dragged into a psychiatrist’s office and prescribed Paxil, but I was fascinated by the British study Lane cites that reported that shy kids have lower levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) than more outgoing children.  (Maybe we should start looking at extroversion as an adaptive behavior some kids use to manage their anxiety.)

And in case you haven’t noticed, Times Select is no more; opinion columns and archives back to 1987, as well as other content that used to be restricted to subscribers or people with .edu emails, are now free.


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