The progressed angles are picking up Jupiter in Virgo, which I think might be part of the problem. Also, progressed Mercury (weak malefic in the radix) separates from conjunction with the Sun and applies to progressed MC.
To clarify--he's always had anxiety issues, only recently (the past two years or so) they're exacerbated?
Progressed Ascendant is now getting into the mix--squaring progressed Jupiter, and, over the next five years, will applying to natal Jupiter.
Jupiter wants to do big things, but in Virgo, it can't. Jupiter is Lord 11 in bf's chart. So there is potential in the radix for this kind of self-imposed isolation to manifest. When Jupiter is highlighted in the progressions, we might expect this potential to manifest.