And yes rejection does start this young! I distinctly remember having no one to play with in infants and junior school at break and that girl Mary who later only played with me if I had any sweets and then left me when they were gone!
Two of the biggest problems in a socially phobic person’s life are finding a relationship and a job. The first not being essential does not always happen and I assume many such people end up totally alone for their whole life. Forget the 40 year old virgin, there must be 80 90 and 100+ years old virgins as you get uglier every year past 35ish and more set in your ways. Others have a fear of intimacy and sex even though they still crave friendships.
Getting a job is equally as hard and you may well end up in a low paying dead end job like I did for 20 years, if you manage to get anything at all. I was too SA to form any network within the company and get promoted and then convinced myself that I was disliked so much that there was no point applying for a position within a different department. This again is not all paranoia as lots of normals dislike people with SA, you’re weird, you’re no fun and you’re hard work as someone so eloquently put it. I remember the shock on my supervisors face when he suggested I try to get a place in the darkroom( I worked for a large photography firm in Leicester) and I said I would but I knew several of the girls in there hated me. Well, they did, one of them had previously called me a zombie! Getting a job could be seen as more important than a relationship of course as nobody can survive without money and the way the Conservative government is going on at the moment they intend to treat all people on benefits like they are lazy scum.
Of course the reason these two things are so hard is that they are in many ways similar. In both its very important to sell yourself and be confident and in both the people choosing have a choice and are often very picky. To get a girl I would have to find where they are, approach one without seeming creepy or weird, impress her with my banter, chat, talk etc. (Some Hope!) ask her out and then decide where to go probably with lots of humour when in reality I would have been so nervous I would have been on the verge of passing out and probably mumbling incoherently. She if normal would have to like me and not think I was mentally insane and agree to go out with me. For most people this is normal and yet for someone who has mental problems even the most basic conversation is strained and awkward.
The job situation is similar in that if you have long term unemployment or mental health problems the vast majority of firms will throw your CV straight in the bin or put you at the bottom of their list. Just like pretty girls (normal ones, not ones with mental health problems) they have so many people to choose from that any defects are not worth the effort and they reject you. This is even before you get to the dreaded interview stage where again if you come across as too nervous you are seen as weird and rejected.
The results of this constant rejection from other people and also possible employers is abject misery and depression and total humiliation making you feel even worse and less confident which of course is why so many people have probably given up on relationships. It can lead to a constant spiral downwards. Unfortunately this is not possible with jobs and the government is now quite literally hounding people to death with suicide rates going up as desperate mentally ill people decide that even non existence is better than such treatment.
The conclusion is that if you have serious health problems and severe social anxiety is indeed a major problem then everything including the most basic and important aspects of living becomes much more of a struggle.