Have you noticed that your teen avoids social situations? Maybe they skip school dances or avoid any group activities after school? We tend to label those teens as “just shy”, but the reality is, there might be a bigger issue happening. If your teen feels an overwhelming amount of stress around social interactions, they may be struggling with social anxiety.
Signs of social anxiety in teens
Social anxiety is an intense, persistent fear of being watched and judged by others. It can affect teens at home, school, and their other day-to-day activities. It can even make it hard to make and keep friends. Teens with social anxiety may worry about something like a class presentation for weeks in advance. They may even avoid places or events where they believe they might do something that will embarrass them.
Signs and symptoms of social anxiety in teens to be aware of:
- Difficulty speaking, shaky voice
- Rapid heart beat
- Feeling dizzy or faint
- Fear and avoidance of social situations
- Extreme fear of being thought foolish by others, even with an understanding that the fear is unreasonable
- Dread of social events that begins days or weeks in advance
- Severe test anxiety
- Irritability or anger before a social event
- Hyper-sensitivity to criticism
- Poor school performance
How To Help Your Teen With Social Anxiety
Not only do teens dealing with social anxiety suffer from the symptoms associated with the disorder, they also must overcome the consequences of their anxiety. Teens with social anxiety don’t participate in class, they are afraid to ask their teacher questions, and have trouble working on group assignments. Because of this, they struggle in school. If social anxiety is left untreated, it leaves teens at risk to develop other mental health issues such as depression, eating disorders, and suicidal ideation. It’s important to get your teen with social anxiety help as soon as you recognize what they are dealing with.
If your teen is struggling with social anxiety, you need to get them help as soon as possible. There are several ways you can help your teen work through their social anxiety. These include:
- Teaching them breathing control: Breathing exercises are a proven way to reduce stress and help an individual calm down in situations that cause anxiety.
- Change lifestyle habits: Cutting out caffeine and sugar can help your teen reduce anxiety. Also, make sure they are getting enough sleep at night. This may not be enough to help overcome social anxiety, but it helps with the overall healing process.
- Help them face their fears: By introducing them gradually to social situations, your teen will begin feeling more comfortable around people. Start by having them accompany a friend to a small gathering and work up from there.
Further treatment at Solstice RTC
If your teen is struggling with social anxiety, consider getting help from Solstice. Solstice is a residential treatment center for teens ages 14-18 struggling with emotional and behavioral issues such as anxiety, depression, and eating disorders.
For more information about how Solstice can help your daughter, call (866) 278-3345.