Hi. I'm 19 years old and I was diagnosed with social phobia/social anxiety when I was 13. I have also had depression since around that age, but I am doing very well in that regards since I'm on medication that manages it very well. I would say my social anxiety is quite severe. I don't get out much, and most interactions are heart-poundingly terrifying for me. Nonetheless, there are some things I want even more than I'm afraid of them. For example, I love music. I've been to several concerts even though the anxiety made me sick. Once I got there in the midst of it, I did well. But I am only really comfortable with 3 people: my parents and my younger brother. I even get nervous when I have to walk past a stranger on the street. Even if they're on the other side of the street. I had to drop out of school because of my anxiety, but I got my GED last year and I even took my SATs last October. I've been trying to work up to taking a class at a community college, but I've had a lot of bad experiences and stress related to school. A lot of times I'll get enrolled in a class, go a few times, and then the anxiety becomes too much. The worst part is how much I beat myself up over it when I have to drop a class, but I think I've gotten much better at letting myself "fail" at things and not getting angry at myself or blaming myself for having anxiety.
I feel I have a very anxious temperament in general, and I sometimes deal with intrusive thoughts about social interactions or about my health. I will sometimes obsess over forum posts because I worry I offended someone.
I like to say that I'm recovering, since I am really improving recently (over the past year or so). I can deal with small social interactions, like ordering a coffee at a place a haven't been to before, with less preparation and fear. I even made a phone call recently (granted, the person I was calling didn't pick up, but I left a message). I think what's helping is letting go of the "all-or-nothing" mentality: it's not the end of the world if I don't make this phone call, or if I don't take this class. If I feel that everything is riding on one interaction and I mess it up, I feel terrible, and I think that makes the initial anxiety worse. I also tend to have a "black-and-white" mentality: nothing is ever just a little bit bad. It's fine, or it's an absolute catastrophe and I am a failure. I can be very defeatist ("I shouldn't bother trying to do this thing because if I try I'll fail and the building will burst into flame and the world will end and everyone will laugh at me!").
I like to have a "sounding board" of other people to call me out on unrealistic thinking like that, and since my family isn't always available (they are very supportive: I live at home, but if I went to them every time I was struggling with something they would never do anything else) I like to post online. It's helpful to have an outsider's perspective to point out common harmful patterns of thinking. So that's why I'm here. It would be good if I were able to help anyone else with similar problems, too. :)