How do I help my 13 year old son with Social Anxiety Disorder?
Asked By: Anonymous Views: 1,702 times
First, I would like to say “Thank You” for having this website. I have been on the net fordays and this is the first time I have felt like I’m not in this alone. I watched video within a few minutes of choosing your website and called the toll free number immediately. As the polite operator listened to my issue and asked for my address all I could think is she will soon ask for a credit card number that I don’t possess and I will be letting my son down again! I can not thank you enough for sending me FREE info. And for giving me a chance to reach outfor help without cost. I lost my job several monthes ago and do not have health insurance. Which leads to my questions. I believe my son may have social anxiety. I have always just assumed he was shy, that he didn’t like school because he did not perform well, and feelings of inferiority was based on my limited financial capabilities. Recently after speaking to him about joining a church basketball team, he revealed his feelings about why he was not willing to play. After making up many excuses he blurts out, “I don’t want to play! I don’t know why you are even asking; you know I don’t like things like that where everyone is looking at me! I’ve never even played on a basketball team, you know everyone would be better than me! They’ve all been playing forever!” I tried to reassure him that with a church league its about fun and learning the fundementals of the game, they don’t keep score and was doubtful he would get taunted by church kids and their families. At this point he gets almost frantic telling me of times and ways he avoids his peers. Of how he finds a close friend to enter classrooms, the cafeteria, or the gym so he will have someone to “duck behind and just blend in”. The most alarming to me was how on this very morning his Nana got him a biscuit before school and because he couldn’t find a buddy to walk into the cafeteria with he ate his breakfast in a stall in the boys restroom! It breaks my heart to know my son is suffering this way, and has been doing so alone. I have let my son down what seems like most of his life between failed relationships and my own drug addiction. Yet he has still turned out be a kind, considerate, and well-mannered young man. He has difficulty with his school work and at times a violent temper with some family members, but all in all I feel blessed that he doesn’t seem to be going down thesame path as his father and myself. I hope you understand why me being able to help my son deal with this emotional discomort is of such importance to me. I would appreciate any advice you (or those who have also dealt with this issue) goes about talking to a young teen and telling him of social anxiety. I do not want him to feel as if something is wrong with him (think his self-esteem is low enough) without adding the word “disorder”. Please tell me there is a way to treat him that is not going to be so expensive for me to afford!
The following is part of a collection of questions and sharing by our readership community about a wide variety of aspects of social anxiety. Dive in and receive practical insights and advice. If you have a question that is not included you can contact Jonathan at firstname.lastname@example.org.