SOCIAL ANXIETY DISORDER
Live Out Loud
At a certain point all children start to become more aware of how those around them perceive them. They begin to identify social norms and become aware of the possibility of embarrassment. These are typical changes that can lead to some anxieties. However, social anxiety disorder is more than shyness. It is when a child feels embarrassment, shame, or humiliation because they believe people are noticing them or judging them. Social anxiety is present when the anxiety leads to avoidance and suffering that gets in the way of school, friendships, and life. Children, adolescents, and young adults with this disorder may blush easily, tremble, experience panic, or even cry when the social situations make them uncomfortable. Sometimes social anxiety disorder just happens in a few social situations (e.g., public speaking) or it can affect almost all social situations. The anxiety can translate to painful social interactions or to extreme avoidance of attending classes, greeting people, and developing friendships.
At the Child Anxiety Center we help children, teens, and young adults develop social confidence and real life skills that lead to social success. Cognitive behavioral therapy is often the best treatment to alleviate social anxiety disorder. Cognitive therapy helps challenge the misperceived expectations from others. Exposure therapy helps children master and enjoy the social world. Assertion training helps youth learn how to handle life’s inevitable awkward moments without having to dread them. We also incorporate social skills training in conversation, public speaking, dating, and conflict management so that they feel well prepared to manage life.