Lane op-ed in the Washington Post
Christopher Lane, author of Shyness: How Normal Behavior Became a Sickness, wrote an op-ed for the November 6 edition of the Washington Post. The piece, titled “Shy? Or Something More Serious?,” has generated strong responses online. Here is an excerpt from “Shy? Or Something More Serious?”:
If anyone in my parents’ generation had argued that shyness and other run-of-the-mill behaviors might one day be called mental disorders, most people would probably have laughed or stared in disbelief. At the time, wallflowers were often admired as modest and geeks considered bookish. Those who were shy might sometimes have been thought awkward — my musically gifted mother certainly was — but their reticence fell within the range of normal behavior. When their discomfort was pronounced, the American Psychiatric Association called it “anxiety neurosis,” a psychoanalytic term that encouraged talk-related treatment.
Click here to keep reading “Shy? Or Something More Serious?”
Christopher Lane is Herman and Beulah Pearce Miller Research Professor, Northwestern University, and the recent recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship to study psychopharmacology and ethics. He is the author of many essays and several books on psychoanalysis, psychiatry, and culture, including Hatred and Civility: The Antisocial Life in Victorian England.