A new commenter confuses OCD with social anxiety disorder. Though I don’t know SA very well, they are clearly different illnesses. The problem is that there is overlap in all of the anxiety disorders, and in some cases, SA and OCD are both present.
You’re right about OCD including unwanted thoughts, but the shyness, nervousness, and anxiety sound more like social anxiety disorder or avoidant personality disorder.
No, nervousness and anxiety are prominent in all anxiety disorders. As far as shyness, this is just the kind of person that gets OCD. Social anxiety is a tough one, but OCDers don’t usually have this too bad. Most of the ones I deal with are more or less social on a regular basis. They’re hanging around people, but they are nervous.
It depends why they are avoiding people.
According to the DSM, if you are avoiding people due to one of the other Axis I disorders, then rule out SA. Keep in mind that people with schizophrenia and folks with some personality disorders like schizoid, schizotypal and paranoid personality disorders may also avoid people.
SA people avoid people due to massive anxiety relating to being around others. The anxiety is related to embarassment over doing something stupid or humiliating.
OCDers might avoid people due to the obsessions and the way that people react to them – heavy duty rejection. SA people are afraid they are going to be rejected in social situations, and social anxiety is pretty prominent.
Social anxiety is not necessarily so prominent in OCDers, but some have obsessions that tend to come out when they are around others. I dealt with this woman once who was afraid that when she talked to other women, she secretly made lesbian remarks to them. So she was nervous when speaking to women.
OCDers tend to be pretty nervous all the time. It’s not something that peaks when they get around others.
Harm OCD is a bad one, because they are afraid that they will hurt someone. It leads to a lot of avoidance.
If OCDers are treated well and treated as if they are normal people and not rejected or treated like shit, they will often hang around people a lot. And if you get rid of the obsessions, some will actually become social butterflies, since the obsessions might be the only reason for the introversion.
It’s true that extroverted obsessionals are quite rare, but that’s due to the nature of the illness. It only hits people with a certain personality, and that person is an introvert.