The term “Social Anxiety” is a relatively new one, and even though I’ve suffered through it for many many years, I’ve only recently come to terms with it.
Mine went beyond just being afraid to walk up to a person and say “Hello.” It changed and morphed over the years from being afraid to speak up in class (and developing what I now know is selective mutism), to being afraid to tell anything to my parents, to being afraid of friends, to being afraid of exchanging anything at the store for fear of judgement.
The causes for me are obvious (I was a teen mom and a target for bullying and scrutiny) and underlying extreme shyness.
But now, there are groups. There is medication. There is the ability to come out in the open.