So this is hard for me to write and even harder to post, but I need to get some things off my chest and I think I also just want a little outside advice on the matter.
Let me start off to say that this is a very serious issue for me and I'd appreciate people taking it seriously. I'm posting it on here because I want to say some things anonymously that it's hard to talk about with anyone in my life.
So I guess a little background would be a good place to start. I was always painfully shy as a kid. I only had a few friends growing up and throughout most of highschool. During junior/senior year, I did break out of my shell a bit and made a lot of new friends, but since I've been at college for the past few years I've kind of fallen back into the same shyness, having difficulty meeting many people and only really having a few acquaintances over the years who I'd go out with once in a rare while. I still do have some good friends who I've known for years, but they're few and far between now and none of them live close.
However, the problem is more than just my lack of friends. It's also the fact that I've had increasing amounts of social anxiety and paranoia lately, that have been making socializing harder than ever for me. I have experimented with a number of drugs over the years and over time most of these have all lead me to very paranoid thinking because of my antisocial tendencies and this is why I've stopped using them all. However, drinking was never that way for me. I used to be able to drink a lot and get relaxed and actually able to converse with people with ease, but as of the past year, I've gotten an increased sense of paranoia even while drunk that leads to feeling like people around me are trying to fuck with me, make me feel uncomfortable, etc... To some extent I believe it's true, but at the same time I know some of it is a work of me over-analyzing everything. It's probably this over-analyzing that gives away how awkward I feel in situations which probably directly causes the way people respond and act towards me at times, almost like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The whole problem is though, that I'm so socially distant from everything and everyone now, I feel like there's almost no way back. I feel like I've isolated myself in a corner of my mind filled with paranoia, doubts, mistrust, anxiety, etc... and I can't break out of it. It makes just everyday conversation so hard, even when I know what to say, I have trouble getting the words out because I just panic when I involve myself socially. It's almost to the point now where I just try to avoid social situations best I can, so as to not have to be put in any awkward or uncomfortable conversation. I know this isn't helping matters, but it seems whenever I do get into a random convo these days half the time I end up freezing up or stammering and sounding like an idiot which sends me further into this socially anxious depression.
I know a big part of it is overcoming my mindstate, but I'm not sure what to do. I may start seeing a psychiatrist soon in hopes that it helps, but I'm honestly scared I won't be able to go back to the way I used to be. While I've always been shy, I never used to get to the level of anxiety I'm reaching these days, and I used to be able to interact with people without always feeling so nervous and awkward. I just want to get back to the point where SA isn't controlling my life anymore.