Can't stop staring at people

I'm 23 years old, male with a mild form of OCD.

For the past few years I have been avoiding social contact with people because I have a staring problem. When i sit next to someone in class and their face is in my vision of view, it attracts my attention and can't focus on the lecture. I try to avoid it by looking in another direction, but it gets worst as I do. So from then on, whenever I see their faces I take a quick glance and look away. This keeps perpetuating and i start to sweat and get nervous wondering if the person notices what I am doing (and a lot of times they do!). Now I'm freaking out trying to avoid look at them even more.

This has now transferred to family members where I can't have their face in my vision of view. I have no idea how to stop this and become normal again. I used to be a normal person just a few years ago. I know I need to be more socially active. When I do try to be, this focus on something comes back to me and I'm scared that they'll notice I notice them. I now have high anxiety over this issue.

Please, help me!!
Hello John. I am a 57 yr old women and I have had this problem since my early forties. Like you, I'm looking for help also. Everything you described I am having the exact same problem. Its like something takes over and I have no control. It's seems like I pick certain people to stare at and whenever they come around it makes me and that person very uncomfortable until I can hear them tell others they think I'm crazy. I always tell myself...I just want to be normal. I do see a Dr and I take meds but they don't work. I love my family and now it has started with them and I'm so ashamed and embarrassed. I sometimes just want to scream. Like you I thought I was the only person in the world with this problem. My social life is very limited because of this. If you or anyone out there can point me in the right direction for help... I would greatly appreciate it. S. Curry
 
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