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Increased social anxiety in early teens?
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142857 Offline
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Post: #1
Increased social anxiety in early teens?
When my son was first officially diagnosed the specialist asked me if he had anxiety issues. At that time he didn't. That was about 5 years ago.

So fast forward to now and... he's got anxiety issues, and they seem to be getting worse.

He tries to avoid any sort of noisy place where there are people. He just wants to sit in the car by himself when he goes shopping. He can't talk to strangers any more. He is nervous and twitchy in public. He wants to hide in his room when we have visitors.

At the same time he loves the youth group that he goes to at church. He has a good group of friends at school. He is very likeable.

Has anyone else experienced this?

I try to encourage him to interact with people, without forcing him. We were at a weekend market the other day and he bought some collectable toy cars and some novels and I gave him the money and told him to pay for them, and he did. But it looked painful for him. I know that pushing him too hard or making fun of him about it is just about the worst thing I could do.
09-11-2018 09:49 PM
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d_olson27 Offline
ןןɐqppo uɐ ɟo ʇɐɥʍǝɯos
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Post: #2
RE: Increased social anxiety in early teens?
I went through that phase in my teens. Replace youth group at church with karate dojo, and that would basically have been me.

How old is he now?

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09-12-2018 12:06 PM
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142857 Offline
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RE: Increased social anxiety in early teens?
Thanks D. He is 13 and a half.

We tried karate, he just couldn't develop an interest.

He spends most of his time in his room watching DVDs over and over, and reading books over and over. He went through another Harry Potter phase just recently and he would often be reading a Harry Potter book and watching a movie at the same time.

Another thing he likes to do is to watch videos about computer games on his iPad. While he is playing computer games on his laptop.
09-12-2018 11:25 PM
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Genesis Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Increased social anxiety in early teens?
I didn't notice my anxiety until High School. It's different in an American setting though, because everyone tried fitting into a mold that wasn't really them. Even some of the Speds, and Autistics...

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09-13-2018 01:54 AM
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MM Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Increased social anxiety in early teens?
I would say lack of sleep, upset tummy, increased headaches, withdrawing, crying fits, not speaking in certain social events would be signs of anxiety. I don't know if they give meds to preteens or if it is harmful. Practicing social skills such as giving them money to buy something by themselves is good and also might boost self esteem.

My mother was useless. She would tell me that I need to get better self esteem and a "personality" and not tell me how to do that. Teachers at school would tell me that I had a bad attitude but not how the change it. I remember telling the therapist at age 20 that my mother told me that I did not have a personality which contributed to me having no friends.
(This post was last modified: 09-14-2018 04:44 AM by MM.)
09-14-2018 04:43 AM
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MM Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Increased social anxiety in early teens?
What is it about that youth group he goes to that he enjoys so much as maybe compared to school?
09-22-2018 11:09 PM
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142857 Offline
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RE: Increased social anxiety in early teens?
(09-22-2018 11:09 PM)MM Wrote:  What is it about that youth group he goes to that he enjoys so much as maybe compared to school?

They have a few young adults involved who ensure that there is no bullying or nastiness. And they just get together and have fun. My wife says a lot of the kids are different.

He seems happy and emotionally okay. Very chatty at home with me. He has become very uncomfortable in public places and around strangers though. I guess he has hit an age where he is more self-aware.
09-22-2018 11:59 PM
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Genesis Offline
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RE: Increased social anxiety in early teens?
(09-22-2018 11:59 PM)142857 Wrote:  
(09-22-2018 11:09 PM)MM Wrote:  What is it about that youth group he goes to that he enjoys so much as maybe compared to school?

They have a few young adults involved who ensure that there is no bullying or nastiness. And they just get together and have fun. My wife says a lot of the kids are different.

He seems happy and emotionally okay. Very chatty at home with me. He has become very uncomfortable in public places and around strangers though. I guess he has hit an age where he is more self-aware.

Everyone goes through different periods of being self-aware though. Mine took awhile to accept... maybe your son's period of self-awareness is just the beginning stages?

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09-23-2018 03:35 AM
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MM Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Increased social anxiety in early teens?
I remember at age 10 I discovered that I was different and that my brain did. It works the same way as other people. I thought I was alone.

So maybe you have to show your son that he is not the only person who thinks differently. You can tell him about other people who overcame fears and struggles.
(This post was last modified: 09-28-2018 01:03 AM by MM.)
09-28-2018 01:03 AM
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Ana54 Offline
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RE: Increased social anxiety in early teens?
My social anxiety increased exponentially by age 12. It crippled me and got way worse by age 14-15, especially when kids are at their worst for picking on other kids too. It only got WORSE by age 18-19, I had something I call post humiliation stress disorder, or post bullying stress disorder, where I had PTSD-like symptoms and eventually needed meds and therapy.

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09-30-2018 10:29 AM
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