People who are suffering from social anxiety disorder often do not recognize that they are a victim of one of the most common metal disorders.
It is very hard to try to pinpoint or put a label on what social fear looks like so determining if you teen is suffering from the symptoms of social anxiety, can be very difficult.
Social fear manifests itself differently in every different person whom is affected.
From a parents perspective, it is easy to mistake these signs as teenage shyness that your teen will eventually grow out of, but as a parent you must communicate with your teen and together decide with path to take.
Social Phobia is a disorder that if left un-treated can quickly escalate into much more severe symptoms.
It is your responsibility as a parent to help your child get the help that they need to treat and overcome social anxiety.
There are several ways in which you can recognize social fear in your teen, including:
1. Observe you child at times when they are the center of the attention
It is very common for most people to have fear and anxiety towards their first time performing or being the center of attention. This happens to most people which is fine, but if your child does not understand why this happened, they will continue to feel this fear every time they have a similar situation in their life if not dealt with. This is where you as a parent comes in and can talk your child through why they felt what they felt.
2. Grades at school start to slip
It is often the case that when symptoms of social anxiety begin to develop, there is an adverse reaction with your child’s school grades. Often their grades will begin to fall because they may be having trouble dealing with their fear especially if their classes involve in class presentations and oral reports.
3. Keep track of your teen’s friends, if there are any
Remember when you were a teen, trips to movies, skating, dances, talking on phone and many other things that kids enjoyed when you were younger? Many teens have a huge group of friends and like to surround them with people in their social circle. However if your teen would rather stay home on the weekends and keep to themselves or are issolated when they could be hanging out with friends, your teen may be suffering from social phobia and will need your help to get through this.
4. Test your child’s confidence level.
Social Anxiety often comes with a social doubt, a fear that they are not good enough for other people and that they are constantly being viewed and judged by others. If your teen is in fact suffering from social phobia they will have a pre-determined fear that when interacting with others, they make an embarasing mistake or be boring/shy.
5. Observe your child’s reaction to social situations.
While social phobia is a mental disorder, victims often times exhibit physical symptoms as well. Signs to look out for include diarrhea, nausea, excessive sweating, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath. If your teen has shown any of these signs prior to or during a social event, they may be reacting to social fear.
If your teen has suffered from any or all of these symptom, do not hesitate to take them for a consultation and thorough examination with a psychologist as soon as you can.
Many times your teen with recognize that they are suffering from social fear but do not always know what they need to do to get help.
Again, open communication with your teen is critical, your teen must feel that they can come to you with anything and know that you will take their concerns seriously.