Social Anxiety can be an extremely debilitating mental illness. Imagine becoming overcome with anxiety every time that you encounter social situations that most other people find completely normal. Imagine the effect that this would have on how you live your life everyday. In order to avoid anxiety provoking situations, you might find that you avoid any possibility of encountering one at all which would result in you becoming shut off from things that you should be able to experience. This is what happens for people who have social anxiety. Avoidance and performing maladaptive behaviours can be helpful initially but will end up maintaining your social anxiety.
Thankfully social anxiety is a very treatable condition. Options for treatment include medication and engaging in psychotherapy. While medication can help at first to ease your symptoms of social anxiety, psychotherapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) help to treat the route of your difficulties and therefore generally lead to better outcomes. CBT and similar forms of psychotherapy do this by promoting behaviour and thought change. For further information regarding social anxiety and how it is treated and well as some self-help resources please see this coping with Social Anxiety handout.