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Man, 20, Brazil: Engineering student struggles with extreme shyness

I study engineering and spend most of my time at college. Since high school, I have got this problem: I am very shy. OK, many people are shy, but I think my behavior crosses the line of normal.

When I was in high school, I think things started to contribute to my extreme shyness. I was one of the best students in my school. I got good grades in all the subjects and when there was some kind of seminar, for instance, where we had to explain something for the other students, I also succeeded. But because of my shyness I never started one conversation with someone, unless they had begun it. I had very few friends, and many of these friends said later that they thought I was snobbish, and other bad things about me.

Now that I am in a university, everything has became worse. I have even fewers friends. I am more isolated, and when someone like another student or a professor asks me something, I get nervous. I stumble. I am always afraid of seeming strange, and so I avoid people.

Last semester I had great depression and this was affecting all of my life. I mean, I don't have a life... And now I am sure that if I don't change, things will get even worse. Well, I think I should not call the guys I talk to at college "friends" because we only talk about college stuff, so I don't have any friends. And now I really don't know how to overcome it.

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