It began around 6th grade. When I was young apparently I was quite wild and hyper and un-shy. I suddenly became extremely shy, quiet, and withdrawn. I gradually lost all friends and had none by high school and still don't to this day. I've never had any romantic interaction of any kind, not even the hint of it, no hand holding, kissing, dating, sexual stuff, nothing.
I can't talk to strangers easily, and sometimes not at all. When I'm out in public I fell restricted and caged in by myself and my throat feels constricted so that I can't speak very loudly. I have difficulty meeting people's eyes but have been trying to work on that. It takes me a long time to open up to people, and I still never feel completely comfortable or myself.
At home I am pretty much constantly singing and dancing and being crazy, but I can't be myself in public. I'm 22 and still live with my parents and rarely leave the house, partly because of my social anxiety and partly because I have no where to go.
I am not shy on stage however and quite enjoy acting. The people in my college's theater group were the closest thing to friends I've ever had. I sometimes say I have reverse stage fright.
I finally decided to go to therapy and have been going for about half a year though there has been no change. I was on Lexapro for a bit but it didn't do anything, then Paxil CR for a while but it did nothing as well (besides making me extremely ill when I tried to get off it too fast :?).
I am extremely depressed but I fill my life with things like TV, books, video games, etc. that distract me from it. It sometimes gets worse though. A lot of times I don't feel like doing anything, even stuff I like to do. I believe this depression is derived directly from how my social anxiety has affected my life.
A lot of times I feel like I have no life, like I don't really exist in the world.:sigh