SOCIAL ANXIETY, SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENTS
Every teenager will experience some form of social anxiety during his or her adolescence.
Feeling occasional anxiety is a healthy response to certain social situations. It is perfectly acceptable to feel anxious before having to give a presentation in a class at school, for example. Most teenagers are able to overcome anxiety or nervous feelings, and with practice will, in many cases, eventually be able to tackle those situations with little or no anxiety.
Social anxiety disorder (SAD), also known as social phobia, is when social situations are consistently avoided by a young person specifically due to a fear of being negatively evaluated (i.e. embarrassed or judged) by other people. Teens with social anxiety disorder will experience a stronger and more intense sense of anxiety surrounding uncomfortable social situations than that of a teen without SAD. With proper treatment, an adolescent will be able to manage his or her social phobia and go on to lead happy and fulfilling lives.
Signs & Symptoms
Every teenager is unique and will have his or her own set of challenges in regards to social anxiety. It is always important to have a mental health professional diagnose any type of mental health disorder. However, there are several signs and symptoms a concerned person can look out for regarding social anxiety disorder. Teenagers who have social anxiety disorder may display any combination of the following signs or symptoms:
- Muscle tension
- Excessive worry and or fear
- Poor eye contact with others
- Low self-esteem/ low self-worth
- Refusing to attend school and or social engagements
In addition to the above, teens with social anxiety disorder may have frequent self-deprecating thoughts and thoughts of inadequacy. For example, a teenager with SAD may have regular thoughts akin to: I am going to sound dumb if I talk; I have no friends; I am unlikeable…etc. Again, every young person is different, hence, anxiety will manifest itself in a myriad of nuanced and unique ways in each teenager.
There are a number of factors that go into creating one’s treatment plan for teens with social anxiety disorder. At Pacific Teen Treatment, we create individualized treatment plans for each of our residents, to ensure the best possible treatment. There are many different therapeutic treatment modalities available for teens with social anxiety disorder. Some the therapeutic modalities that are regularly utilized at Pacific Teen Treatment, during treatment for social anxiety disorder, include talk therapy, expressive arts therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). There are some teens that, in addition to therapy, may require medication. If medication is deemed necessary, we always make sure to consult with parents both for permission and continued involvement in the treatment process along with the most qualified professionals in adolescent psychiatry. At Pacific Teen Treatment, we also are mindful of various holistic approaches to mental health treatment. We encourage our residents to explore the practices of yoga and or meditation to help supplement the other therapeutic modalities. It is important to us that we help our residents learn to integrate restorative and healthy eating, exercising, and sleeping habits as a part of their recovery process. Laying the foundation for a healthy lifestyle is crucial. Addressing the teen as a whole, by nourishing all parts of his or her being, throughout his or her treatment process is essential.
Every family in need of mental health treatment must select a program that will best suit the needs of their family. When one member of a family struggles, it impacts everyone in the family unit. In order to maximize the benefits of treatment we work closely with the entire family to ensure that everyone is receiving the support they need through these difficult times.
Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know is in need of mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person’s life, long term. Seeking support at the beginning of one’s journey can put the individual in the best position to learn how to manage themselves in a healthy way so they can go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.
We are available to answer any questions you may have regarding mental health treatment and our residential program, anytime. Contact us today using the form to the right.