Social Anxiety Among Teens – The Bougainvilla House Cares

Teenage years come with a number of stressors. Social and cultural pressure can take a toll on a teen’s mental health. Social Anxiety among teens is on the rise due to Social Media use, and other modern social pressures. Although most teenagers go through periods of normal anxiety related to the changes that go along with adolescence, those with Social Anxiety Disorder experience fear that is out of proportion to the situations that they face. For some teenagers, social anxiety becomes chronic, affecting school performance, extracurricular activities and the ability to make friends.
Teenage years come with a number of stressors. Social and cultural pressure can take a toll on a teen’s mental health. Social Anxiety among teens is on the rise due to Social Media use, and other modern social pressures. Although most teenagers go through periods of normal anxiety related to the changes that go along with adolescence, those with Social Anxiety Disorder experience fear that is out of proportion to the situations that they face. For some teenagers, social anxiety becomes chronic, affecting school performance, extracurricular activities and the ability to make friends.

Interacting with Peers

Teenagers with social anxiety often have trouble interacting with their peers both in school and in social situations. This can lead to poor performance in school. Students with Social Anxiety can often show the following behaviors:

  • is uncomfortable in group settings
  • has few friends
  • is afraid to start or participate in conversations
  • is afraid to ask others to get together
  • is afraid to call others
  • avoids eye contact
  • speaks softly or mumbles
  • appears to always be “on the fringes”
  • reveals little about him/herself when talking to others

Social Media

Modern technology has made it easier to connect with others throughout the world. With this new accessibility, comes a new set of challenges. Often times young people can hide behind the screen, causing avoidant behaviors in real life.

While social networking sites may help those with social anxiety to more easily initiate and establish social connections, there can be drawbacks as well. These online connections may not be as strong as those created in real life.

On the other hand, social media can give teens a twisted view of reality. On social media, many people present the best version of their lives. This can cause feelings of envy or inadequacy in teens that may already have feelings of social anxiety.

Building Self Esteem

When it comes to reducing feelings of social anxiety, building self-esteem is the best way to reduce feelings of self-doubt. Being generous with praise is a good first step. Teens need to be acknowledged for what they do well.  Commend your child not only for accomplishments but for effort—including those times when it fails to bring the desired results. Teens with social anxiety may feel awkward accepting praise, so make sure the compliments are natural and not forced. It is still ok to criticize the teen when necessary, just try to be constructive, and never speak in a hurtful or demeaning manner.

Encourage your teen to cultivate their talents and interests. Everyone excels at something and helping your teen focus on what they are good at can help develop confidence. Getting involved in activities can also be a great outlet for a socially anxious teen. They can make connections with others that have similar interests. This can give an easy outlet for conversation and social connections.

If you are a parent of a teen that has been struggling with Social Anxiety, professional help is always a great option. The Bougainvilla House offers adolescent behavioral health programs for individuals and families. Contact The Bougainvilla House today to see how we can help. 954-764-7337 Or use our convenient Contact form.

Exploring the Link Between Depression and Drug Use in Teens

Teens who use drugs frequently have a co-occurring mental health problem, like depression, alongside their addictions. There is a particularly tight relationship between depression and teen drug use, and frequently, drug addiction recovery programs for teens incorporate psychotherapy or other mental health counseling services into their treatment plans. The link between depression and drug use in teens is complex, but understanding it can help parents and teens find the right programs for treating addiction in Fort Lauderdale for their needs.

Depression and Addiction Cycle

Researchers are unsure what comes first in teens who suffer from addiction and depression. Does depression increase the risk for drug abuse, or does drug abuse make teens more likely to experience depression? Addiction experts believe that both answers are likely to be true, and that teens who suffer from both addiction and depression come to their diseases in different ways. During psychotherapy in rehab, teens may uncover which disease existed first and contributed to the other, which can help shape their rehab and aftercare plans.

Negative Urgency

For teens whose depression is likely a trigger for their drug abuse, researchers have found that negative urgency is a common thread. Negative urgency is a way of coping with depression symptoms that includes acting rashly without thought of the consequences when faced with severe stress. Teens with depression who use negative urgency behaviors seem to have a higher rate of drug abuse connected to their depression, as they use drugs as coping mechanisms. During rehab, teens with negative urgency traits often work on building coping skills to help prevent relapses.

Drug Use Triggers

For teens who are motivated by peer pressure or other factors when they begin to use drugs, depression can be a result of the addiction. The impact of drug use on their lives in school and their personal relationships can cause stress that leads depressive symptoms. Psychological changes caused by drug abuse and the pressure of cravings can also trigger symptoms of depression.