Most teens dread the moment they have to go in front of people and give a presentation. Social anxiety in teens makes this activity even harder. If your teen is struggling with social anxiety, you probably don’t even know it. Teens with social anxiety may feel comfortable around people they’ve known for a long time. However, when they’re at school and in public, this anxiety may be crippling.
Signs of social anxiety in teens
If you think your teen is extremely shy, they might actually be dealing with social anxiety. It’s not something they’ll just “get over”, so knowing how to recognize social anxiety is important to getting your teen the help they need. Signs of social anxiety in teens include:
- Physical reactions to social interactions such as stomach ache, fast heart rate, and dizziness
- Avoiding eye contact
- Declining invitations to social events such as parties
- An intense fear of being watched by others. This fear makes it hard for teens to participate in public speaking, performing in public, and making friends.
- Blushing and constant sweating
Consequences of social anxiety in teens
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.
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.