But if you have no trouble empathizing with others, and you can identify their emotions by looking at their faces, then shouldn't treatment for SA work for you?
Assuming your social cognition is in the normal range (for instance, there are no developmental disorders present such Asperger's) it's still not necessarily the case that SAD treatments will work. Although SAD is quite treatable there are many factors present and possible causes of the condition, influencing treatment outcome.
But if there are social cognition deficits that have always been present they can range from subtle to severe and may not be detectable via simple tests such as Reading the Mind in the Eyes. Dziobek et al. 2006 (Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
36, 623-636) designed a movie to test social cognition (asking subjects about characters' thoughts, feelings, and intentions) in Asperger's subjects with high IQs because previous studies had shown some simpler tests failed to detect deficits in those of higher intellect.
Social anxiety and avoidance are not unreasonable in those who have underlying social cognition deficits. But since these deficits range from mild to severe, those with relatively mild deficits who have anxiety that is out of proportion to the skills they do have could benefit from a social anxiety diagnosis and treatment.
Some information on empathy and AS
Empathy is difficult to define but is described as consisting of a cognitive component and an emotional component.
For instance, the cognitive component involves the ability to detect when someone is sad, angry, or distressed. The emotional component involves experiencing an appropriate emotional response to others' emotions such as feeling sad when imagining what a friend is going through.
In Asperger's certain information processing deficits impede the cognitive component of empathy. The EQ researchers point out that the EQ does not measure the cognitive and emotional components of empathy separately, and when subjects in the original study were interviewed they reported a desire to avoid upsetting others and feeling remorse when their lack of understanding causes upset.
Deficits in the cognitive component of empathy (such as not noticing someone is distressed) understandably impede the emotional component of empathy. But when given the appropriate information, people with Asperger's can then have an appropriate emotional response and show desire to correct any errors.
There is preliminary evidence found by Rogers et al. 2007 (Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
, 37(4), 709-715) that although adults with AS score lower than controls on cognitive empathy there are no group differences on scores of empathic concern (implying those with AS are in general just as caring).