start off slow, do volunteer work, maybe 1 hr. then build up from there.but yourself in the situation to BREAK THE CYCLE!
Volunteer Work involves .... PEOPLE. That's the problem. I can't just jump into something like that. It maybe slow to you or to others that may not have the same problems as myself. What others don't seem to get is my fear of People is like someone else's fear of spiders. I freak out, and just can't be around them.
I have the same problem as you. I'm 23 and my doctor just diagnosed me with Social Anxiety Disorder, tho I'm pretty sure I have had this problem for most of my life. I dropped out of school, and I haven't had a real job and I don't drive much all because of my anxiety. I don't really know what the solution is but what I am trying to do is conquer my fear and anxiety by going out and facing it. I am about to start a job where I will be working at a summer program for kids which I will have to interact with a team of people, and I will have to drive to work and back 5 days a week, which driving is another thing I have major anxiety about. I'm also going to go back to school in the fall to finish up a degree in education. I know you can try also try to deal with anxiety by a combination of meds and therapy... but from what I have read about other people that have this, the best way to get over it is to just put yourself out there... get a job, go back to school... maybe start slow, but ultimately I think the only way for us to get over this and lead normal lives is to face our fears and conquer them.
I appreciate all you have said. Believe me I have tried to put myself "out there". I tried going back to school several years ago to live my dream of being a Make-up Artist. The first thing my doctor said to me was "Wow, that's not exactly a career for someone with Social Anxiety". That has been stuck in my head to this day. Especially comming from the one person I was hoping would help me out, made me feel like there was no hope. Then I had 4 people (yes FOUR) pass away AND my one and only vehicle took a dump. I slipped at the top step of the marble stairs and landed on the last step on the bottom, messing up my back, hip, knee and ankle. I missed so much school that I was told I wouldn't graduate. I just dropped out since there was no sense in staying at school, and was now in debt $30,000+. Life was grand.
I can't tolerate going out. People stare at me and it drives me nuts. I hate how rude people are and they don't care how obvious they are about it.
I hope you can overcome this, it really ***** wasting your 20's sitting inside a dark house all day.
I have the same exact issue, I feel like a failure. I feel like no one understands, they think I'm just lazy, and that I have a lot of self-pity. I have to work up the courage just to make phone calls, especially to family members when I feel like they all judge me because I'm not like them.. I cant just go out there and be happy and positive, I just want to run back to my room and forget everything. I rack my brain trying to figure out why I'm over thinking everything and why I cant just WANT to do things and just do them like everyone else. Some days are better than others when I feel like I can actually wrap my head around how stupid I think I'm being and do things out of my comfort zone. I never finish what I start..I went to college for a semester and completely went crazy, having panic attacks at school, getting physically sick, throwing up all the time, lost about 20 pounds, wouldn't eat, when i did nothing would stay down, and I would break out into hives, so not only does this effect me mentally but I also get physically unable to actually deal with it. What ***** even more about that is people thought I was on drugs, thought I was making myself throw up, calling me anorexic, etc. Which definitely did NOT help the situation. I'm so broke and my boyfriend is struggling to keep us afloat.. I should be able to help him with finances and I hate depending on people.. I want to earn my own money and make my own creative career (I'm an artist) and finally feel proud of myself. I want to volunteer, keep a steady job, and have rational emotional reactions to certain situations but thats just not the case for me. Hopefully I'll be able to find help. I hope you find your happy-medium and are able to get the help you need, and youre not alone.