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Why do I fear talking to girls?

Q: I am a 27 years old male unable to talk to girls. I do not even talk to my female colleagues because of which my work suffers. I feel really inhibited when a girl talks to me. I am still unmarried and don't know what to do. Please help.

A:Many people with a condition we call social anxiety are uncomfortable with people, especially in groups, or with strangers. Some people have more social anxiety with people of the opposite sex, and you may be just such a person. This is a common, treatable condition. One treatment is psychotherapy: talking about your feelings with a psychologist, social worker, or psychiatrist. Another treatment is medication to lower anxiety. Both types of treatment can work in harmony. It is important that treatment - one or the other, or both - start promptly. It is unlikely that you will get better without treatment.

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