Recognizing that a teenager in your life is dealing with social anxiety requires that you pay attention and know what to look for. In this section, we’ll examine some of the signs that might indicate a teen is experiencing social anxiety disorder across three distinct categories.
Since it makes them feel hopeless, teens experiencing social anxiety tend to be withdrawn. They’re quiet, they keep to themselves, and they’re generally isolated from everyone else. At the same time, they lack confidence, which comes across as a lack of eye contact, the inability to speak loudly, and the displaying of nervous habits.
School and work
If your teen’s school grades have taken a turn for the worse, they don’t actively participate in class, and they don’t get involved with any extra-curricular activities, they might be experiencing social anxiety. Similarly, if a teen has held a steady job where they have to deal with people often (e.g., a barista at a coffee shop) and all of a sudden quits for no discernible reason, they might be experiencing SAD.
Does the teenager have few friends? Is he or she eager to go to parties and social events or do they try to avoid such festivities at all costs? Does the teen-speak confidently, make eye contact, and share information about themselves (e.g., their hobbies and what makes them tick?). The less social a teen is, the more likely it is that they’re experiencing a social anxiety disorder.
The good news is that — while social anxiety can seem crippling at the moment — all hope is not lost. By engaging the services of a professional therapist in an online setting, teens can begin the healing process, improve their social skills, and ultimately lead more fulfilling lives.