I’m on my phone right now but I just want to mention that, in response to some people a few asks ago who cried “no” and “bullshit”, IS possible to get through social anxiety disorder without therapy/a therapist. It is by no means easier or easy period, but it’s entirely possible and there are many people on this site alone who can vouch for that. If you guys want, I can write more on this tomorrow? I’m going to sleep now, so yeah. Goodnight!
PREACH. I have social anxiety disorder, fairly severe. Mine manifested at around the age of 4, so I have been living with it almost my entire life. Until 9th grade I had a 504 plan so that it wouldn’t affect my grades b/c of things like not being able to present projects, answer questions when called on, etc. I never had regular therapy or anything to deal with it (I know that I was taken to see a child psychologist and was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder, but I don’t remember it). I did it myself, gradual exposure therapy. I didn’t realize at the time that that’s what I was doing—what I am still doing for myself—but that’s essentially what it was.
Around the age of 14 I just got so fed up with being different and all I wanted (all I ever wanted really) was to just be normal. I told my Mom I didn’t want the 504 plan anymore and gradually I started making myself do things that terrified me. Now I am almost 21 and I’m proud to say that I’ve gotten to a point where I can function pretty normally. Every time I make a phone call, or eat lunch by myself in a restaurant, or talk to someone I just met, or give a presentation in a class it’s a little personal victory. The anxiety is always there, I don’t think that’s ever going to go away. But being able to actually do the things that have always made me want to just go home and curl up in a ball under the covers and hide from the world feels pretty damn good.
Of course everyone is different, and some people require medication to deal with the anxiety, but it is possible to deal with it on your own. I’m proof of that.