I had a friend who suffered from panic attacks every time she had to do something alone.
Doing the shopping or making a doctor appointment were the worst things for her if she had no company. And it was not because of some advanced stage of mental illness or something like that. It was because my friend was terribly afraid of people.
Many times I kept telling her there was no reason to be afraid, but my words were pointless. Kate preferred watching horror movies all night than facing a situation that required meeting strangers. I, as a model best friend, followed her every step. I was always by her side doing the shopping, seeing a dentist and visiting offices with her. I've even joined yoga lessons to accompany Kate.
I'm not quite sure but I think it would last till now if she didn't go study abroad. My friend was a good student and she was qualified to some exchange project and went to the university in Madrid. All leaving legalities were settled by her parents (Kate was too panicked to manage it alone). Kate's parents were with her uptil she boarded a plane. But when my friend landed 2000 kilometres from her home town the only person she could count on was she herself.
Kate came back after 6 months and when I met her I could clearly see that time was long enough to change her personality. The change was unbelievable! My shy and cowed friend turned into independent, confident girl. The first words she said were: 'Hey, you know what? You were right! I have no reason to be afraid of people.' Of course I knew I was right but Kate had to go through some hard times to understand that.
Looking at Kate's story here's my advice for all those who are anxious about going out: don't be afraid, find some courage and go to a place as far from your home town as it's possible. If you know you have no one to count on, you'll start believing in yourself and become more confident and brave. And remember there is not reason to be afraid of people. :)