I'm doing a research project on social phobia or social anxiety disorder, specifically on the language and rhetoric surrounding the disorder, and central to my project is information I gather from primary sources such as interviews and surveys. If you're not sure you have it but consider yourself to be pretty shy, please respond anyway; I can use all the information I can get. Which also means, feel free to pick and choose among the questions you answer if you don't like them all or don't have time for them all. I may come back later to change the focus of the questions or to add more questions.
First of all, how acute do you consider your shyness or social anxiety to be?
Do you find it easier to talk to people online than in real life? If so, what do you think makes it easier?
How much does your disorder inhibit your dating life? In what ways does it inhibit it? What do you think your prospects in dating are?
Why is it, do you think, that people are often more comfortable when someone says, "I'm not feeling well" than when they say, "I'm feeling shy and socially anxious"? If you get a hit of anxiety in a social situation, have you ever used the "I'm feeling sick" excuse or an excuse that wasn't the truth to explain why you were acting the way you were or to get out of the situation altogether? Why? (Be careful to distinguish shyness and social anxiety from mere introversion.)
When you realized you had the disorder, how did you familiarize yourself with it? Where did you seek information? What kinds of information about your disorder are most important to you (treatment options, coping skills, causes of the disorder, experiences shared by those afflicted with it)?
What roles do this forum, support groups, and nonprofit organizations play in your life? How important are they to your knowledge, socialization, health and treatment?
What do you think the public perception of SAD is? Does it match the reality of SAD? What misconceptions do society and even your own family and friends have about the disorder?
Do you think people see social anxiety or shyness as a weakness? Do you think they see it as your fault or as something you can fix?
Do you consider it your fault? Do you feel shame because of your disorder?
How much does your shyness define you?
What hope do you have for improvement?
How acute has it been in the past? If your condition has improved, how did that happen?