It is always difficult to offer a reliable diagnosis over the Internet. Please keep this in mind. Based on the information you have provided you may have agoraphobia or social phobia. Both are anxiety disorders. Agoraphobia is a fear of being in places where you may not be able to escape. It usually involves a fear of crowds or being with other people in general. Some individuals with severe agoraphobia can no longer leave their homes due to extreme fear. The fear can be crippling. They essentially become prisoners in their own home. You can read more about the characteristics of agoraphobia here.
Characteristics of social phobia include having an irrational fear of interacting with people. It also involves a fear of putting yourself in situations which may involve scrutiny or judgments by others. Individuals with social phobia tend to avoid social events because of their intense fear of being judged. You can read more about social phobia by clicking here.
Your situation is very concerning. Your anxiety is preventing you from attending school. If you cannot attend school then you risk failing. Social anxiety disorders tend to become progressively worse over time. It is important that you seek help for this issue. Anxiety disorders are very treatable. Many individuals with anxiety disorders are able to overcome them.
According to HelpGuide’s website, “When it comes to treating anxiety disorders, research shows that therapy is usually the most effective option. That’s because anxiety therapy—unlike anxiety medication—treats more than just the symptoms of the problem. Therapy can help you uncover the underlying causes of your worries and fears; learn how to relax; look at situations in new, less frightening ways; and develop better coping and problem-solving skills. Therapy gives you the tools to overcome anxiety and teaches you how to use them.”
The first step in getting help for social anxiety disorders is often the most difficult because it usually requires physically leaving your home to attend psychotherapy appointments. The prospect of that may be very frightening but it is a necessary step to cure this problem.
My advice is this: speak to your parents. Inform them that you possibly have an anxiety disorder. Tell them that you need help and you need it now. As indicated above, anxiety disorders are very treatable but it requires you asking for help. I hope that you are able to get the help you need. Please consider writing back to let me know how you’re doing. I wish you well.
This article has been updated from the original version, which was originally published here on April 1, 2010.