I have been ill since age 15, with this only getting serious at age 19 due to worsening caused by doing Dr Myhill's treatment in 1995. I am now 35. During my 20's I was too busy getting used to the physical limitations of this illness to think about men. I also had old friends drift off and had to adjust to changing countries as I was/am living with my parents and needed them for physical help. Once I got used to being housebound frequently, severe pain, needing to watch what I eat, exhaustion blah bla etc.... you know it all. Once I got used to those limitations I realised I had social anxiety to top off the physical problems. I have self diagnosed myself with SA because I saw the official definition of "social anxiety" on the net and realised that it fits me exactly. In short, I am frightened of being friends with people face to face. I was surprised to discover that I am a bit nervous around female company as well as men because I was very outgoing as a child and pre M.E teenager. A lot of my fear stems from people asking me "What do you do?" Then when hearing about my illness. "What do you do all day?" I worry that they think I am mentally ill or being simply borring. I mean what is there for me to talk about when I am stuck at home and can't do much. I have an interest in politics and M.E research but it's not much. I also dread telling people about my illness. You know what some reactions are like. I also detest lying about it. I also have no idea of how to behave when going out with a man. This makes me sound like a freak. Perhaps I am. I also am scared of cancelling at the last moment and of the anxiety of it. I have been to a number of different psycologists over the years just for help with dealing with the physical limitations with this illness. I got no help. One psycologist even read Fred Freidburg's book and gave it to me then after a number of meetings made me a full head case. If you make the mistake of telling them you have SA on top of ME or CFS it makes them even more unsympathetic than they were before. Getting to a psycologist is physically hard in itself . They don't understand when I need to cancel in the last minute due to brain fog and exhaustion. Now at 35 I want very much to date, just at a very low level with the illness but I can't. I had an acquantance want to introduce me to a nice boy a few years ago and I couldn't do it. I should still phone and ask if he is still free but I'm scared. I also want to feel less nervous meeting and making female friends but I can't. I have managed to make one female friend who once suffered from depression and has severe ADHD. Therefore she sort of understands chronic illness a little - I think (?). I feel kind of dissatisfied with my friendship with her because her English isn't good so we can't have conversations at a deep level. I also feel that she does not fully understand this illness in the same way I don't understand what ADHD and primary depression is like. I feel nothing in common with people generally. Has anyone here had similar problems ? Even just the something small in what I said that they can relate to? Most important of all - How do you deal with social anxiety on top of physical symptoms of this? To be honest seeing some of the healthier PWC here who are able to date, get married does get me down. Maybe I should have sorted this out earlier than age 35.