Being a teenager can be tough. There is plenty of social pressure, as well as academic pressure. Every teenager is likely to feel some anxiety over a big project, performance, or entrance exam. Some teenagers, however, experience anxiety to a greater degree. Some teenagers feel anxiety over going to school, interacting with peers, and participating in everyday activities. When anxiety becomes an insurmountable obstacle that interferes with daily activities, your teenager might be struggling with social anxiety. The National Institute for Mental Health found that 31.9% of adolescents have experienced some level of anxiety disorder.
Normal Anxiety Vs. Anxiety Disorder
VeryWell states that it is important to understand that the level of anxiety should not be disproportional to the task at hand. For example, it might be normal for a 13 year old to feel nervous about a conversation with an adult. However, a 13 year old should be able to talk with peers without feeling anxious or afraid. Going to a school on the day of a big test might induce some stress and fear, but for someone struggling with anxiety, going to school every day causes stress and fear.
Other symptoms to watch for include:
Ultimately, when it seems like your teen is not being there usual selves, due to regular, everyday events, they may be suffering from social anxiety disorder. It is best to pursue counseling and diagnosis right away. Social anxiety can interfere with school performance, physical health, and social relationships. Talk to your child’s school counselor because many schools work to accommodate teenagers with severe social anxiety. Whether it is smaller classes or one on one time with teachers, your student can learn in a setting that is best for them. In addition, a counselor can give them the tools they need to overcome anxiety and function normally in situations that can trigger that anxiety. The sooner you can get help for your teenager, the easier it will be to help them be healthy.