Thanks for these suggestions.
Sorry if the following message sounds unreasonable or even rude - it's really not meant to! (I'm pretty sure I come across to others as rude sometimes without my having *any* awareness of it so thought I'd apologise in advance just in case.) (I am pretty desperate so I think I owe it to myself to "push" at least a little.)
I guess the nature of this service means that replies will tend to be rather general. You could not know that I have already tried the solutions you describe (athough of course I do see that this is no reason not to keep on trying them in case I ?somehow get better at them and can then "make them work" at last). However, I have found that they make me feel even more lonely (plus like a failure / loser etc.) - pretty much everyone I encounter seems to be so very different from me that it ends up being terrifying to be around others. I manage it these days by pretending to be "normal" - but of course this means there is no real contact. If I start being more authentic I seem to alienate / shock / annoy almost immediately - even if I'm only letting them see a v. little of what I'm *really" like. So I feel v trapped.
Also I find it very difficult to maintain an outwardly "normal" demeanour. I get extremely irritated in what others always see as completely unreasonable (e.g "stupid" remarks; sudden noises; loud / crying infants etc.). If I show my irritation - even a little - others seem to feel they *must* punish me for it and it becomes horribly painful.
It is also sadly more or less certain that any arrangement I set up to volunteer would be broken almost at once. I just can't keep up with even fairly short term commitments. My mood gets so low so often that I feel paralysed and cannot get out of the house. I don't really know what this is about / why it happens - trying to explain this to others seems to make them v. angry (which really hurts me a lot) so I've given up on that!
I am highly educated (MA in Literature from University College London plus PGCE). I have read a great deal about depression / BPD / psychoanalytical texts / philosophy but I am still v stuck.
Anyway - just thought I'd see if you have anything more to offer in the light of this addtional info.