Message and Strange Religion, it's good that you're being honest with yourselves. If you want to overcome SAD, you need to take huge strides in the opposite direction. Think about the big picture. You want to go through the process of defeating your illness, but since your illness is all you have to rely on, you will have to subject yourself to intense fear and confusion for at least a couple of months. Right now, you're already at the first step: acknowledging that you're responsible for eliminating the mental illness, and that it is something that you feel needs to be done. Your next step is up to you. As terrifying as it may seem, you may want to look for a job that suits your abilities. Of course, your abilities are hindered due to SAD, and you might not even know in what ways, but that's the point. To be yourself, you need to relearn your normal instincts (not your personality, but your instincts.) Message- I can explain that uneasy feeling that you get about not seeing people in school anymore. Deep down, you know that there's a possibility that you could have met someone who would turn your head around, because you won't be able to do it yourself- you need outside forces. Therefore, getting a job at which you need to do a lot of communication or joining any club with a diverse group of reality-driven people will ensure that you'll be headed in the right direction, provided that you go there consistently and be open minded no matter how depressed you get. You don't even have to talk much if you don't want to, just allow yourself to be uncomfortable, because it is the only way to "click out of" SAD. Don't just TELL yourself you'll do this or that... the next time you think you're in an "okay" mood, sign up for something that will make you extremely nervous and drag yourself there. Write down your feelings in a notebook several times beforehand, if you haven't already. After you take the next step in the right direction (first meeting of whatever you've signed up for- job interview, group meeting, first date, meeting with someone who you met a long time ago and weren't ever really friends with, anything) write your feelings down again. Use this method repeatedly. You'll realize that you have vastly different feelings about yourself and your self worth depending on your anxiety levels, and you'll eventually think "how could I have felt this way yesterday?" But you won't be going through normal mood swings. Instead you'll either be scared and confused, or angry and depressed, and there won't be anything in between. This is what you will need to break you out of your disorder, and when it happens (and you will feel it all happening at once,) it is well worth it. You'll realize how closed minded and strange you were, and you'll actually be able to spot anxiety disorders in some people, which is pretty interesting. But best of all, you'll be able to look someone in the eyes and feel a connection to that person where the SAD used to be!!!!!!!!
Remember and accept that you're an outcast because you're unfortunate enough to have SAD. SAD is a state of mind that prevents you from understanding the feelings that exist between people, because you're too worried about yourself. Even if you're almost positive that a specific person thinks of you in a certain way, you could very well be completely wrong! You may be even crazier than you think, especially if you don't see the connection between trying to get rid of your SA and experiencing depression. If you feel that you're getting more depressed even though you think you're moving in the right direction, it's not just you! But don't worry too much, because social anxiety in itself is probably much worse than the depression you're feeling. Keep up the good work. The more you realize how badly you have it, the more depressed you will get, but at the same time, the more you will fight to change the state of mind you're in to become normal.
When you read posts about people who have succeeded in obliterating SAD by supposedly hitting rock bottom first, they weren't joking. There has not been much research done on SAD, so it pays to read what people on this forum say. Anyway, right before I recovered from my illness, I hit rock bottom. That's where reality is. That's why struggling is so essential to the recovery process. I'm an 18 year old guy, so you may think of me as being too young to give you quality advice, but after what I went through last week to recover from 8 years of SAD I can assure you that I know exactly what I'm talking about. I was living life with a completely different frame of mind 2 months ago, and within the past week I went from being nearly suicidal to happier than I've been in many, many years. If you were happy with where you are in life, I would say there's little to no hope for you, but from what you've said, I am sure you can get 100% better and I want to see you succeed. Maybe later in life I'll be able to open a social anxiety center or be a psychiatrist specializing in anxiety disorders, but for now I'd be more than happy if I could see you break the barrier.
Let me know what you've decided to do about your SAD, whether you're going to follow what I'm saying or not (I won't be offended, I'm just trying to help!!!!)
If I didn't have confidence that this could help you, or that I could help you in the future, I would not be giving both of you advice at 4 A.M.