Like almost every parent, you want your kid to be comfortable in their own skin have the confidence that will make them stand in the society. But, unfortunately, that is not the case with most of the kids. They don’t grow up as their parents want them to be. In fact, in this age, most of them are more self-conscious, afraid of rejection, have embarrassments, and are not comfortable with social gatherings. These things can lead to social anxiety disorder which then interferes with all the aspects of their lives.
Since teens are mostly likely to have social anxiety disorders, it is often difficult for the parents to know which of the teens’ behaviors are normal and which are not. Parents have also considered using parental control strategies to keep a check on the teens’ activities as they interact with others. Because believe it or not, smartphones and social media are actually playing a big role in shaping the mental perceptions of our kids.
Facts about Social Anxiety Disorder
To get a clear idea about the prevalence of social anxiety in teens, here are some facts and figures to ponder upon:
- It is one of the most common psychiatric disorder which can affect both adolescents and adults.
- Almost 5% of children and teens are affected by this disorder
- At any time, 7% of the whole population is suffering from a social anxiety disorder.
- All around the world, social anxiety disorder is the third most prominent mental health issue.
- Although it can happen at any age, it is seen that social anxiety disorder usually starts at mid-adolescence. (at the age of 13)
- Environment learned behaviors, and genetics can play a strong role in the prevalence of social anxiety disorder.
If your kid is suffering from a social anxiety disorder, they are more likely to develop other disorders as well such as depression, ADHD, substance abuse disorder, and other anxiety disorders.
Risk Factors of Social Anxiety Disorder in Teens
Following factors make the kids more prone to social anxiety disorder:
- Females are more likely to suffer from it as they face more pressure
- When they have a close family member who is suffering from the same condition
- When the kid is already very shy, hesitant, and less-confident
- Kids who have physical health issues such as deformity, a large scare, or another sort of developmental issues, it can easily lead to social anxiety disorder.
- When they have gone through any painful and traumatic experience.
If your kid falls into the above category, you must be on the watch for their mental health. These sorts of kids are more prone to issues like social anxiety. If ignored, it can take serious forms.
Know more about it here: http://teenmentalhealth.org/learn/mental-disorders/social-anxiety-disorder/
Signs of Social Anxiety Disorder
If you know how and when to see for the signs of social anxiety disorder in teens, you will be able to intervene at the right time very soon. You just need to pay close attention to the changes happening with them, and look for the following signs:
- They are suddenly avoiding any social interactions and are being shy about them.
- They are dropping out of the extra-curricular activities that they used to participate in.
- They are mostly in a depressed mood and want to be alone.
- They get shy when they are asked to share their opinion. They are easily embarrassed.
- They are scared of doing any new thing because they feel others will declare them ‘stupid’.
- They always fear that they will say the wrong things at the right time.
- They seldom go out with friends and usually ignore their company.
- They are expressing suicidal behaviors and their communication is depressing.
- They are scared all the time that others are watching and judging them.
- They often have panic attacks.
- They often sit with their arms or legs crossed
- They are often unusually quiet
- They get uncomfortable in group settings.
These are a few of the signs that are common in kids with a social anxiety disorder. If you see these signs, don’t ignore them. You must take care of your kids and seek the right treatment for them. You will regret it if you leave the matter like this.
Preventions and Strategies
When you have suspected that your teen is struggling with a social anxiety disorder, here are a few things that you can do about it:
· Don’t Pressurize them
Most of the parents are themselves the reason behind this issue. They want their kids to be so perfect that they always put pressure on them to do and say the right things. Don’t do that, you are ruining the mental health of your kid. Know their real strengths and appreciate them. Don’t try to make them something they aren’t. It will lead to the worst consequences.
· Talk to Them
If you think that your kid is unusually behaving this way and there must be something done about it, you must talk to them first. Ask them the reasons for their changed behavior. Make sure they know that you will accept them as they are. Get them to open up about their feelings and issues that they are facing.
· Use a Parental Control app
Most of the kids don’t tell their parents about what is going on in their lives, but they have all of it written on their social media walls, or they are sharing it with their friends over text messages. Moreover, most of the issues do arise from social media and smartphone usage. Parents need to beware of those sides as well. The use of parental control app is the wisest choice for the parents to keep an eye on their kids and know where what went wrong.
It is your responsibility to take care of your kids when they are in trouble. They might not tell you this, but when they are suffering from a social anxiety disorder, they are prone to many other things as well that are dangerous for them. So take care of them when it is the time before it is too late.