Social Anxiety in Children Snowballs

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Social anxiety is a rising mental health issue in children. Severe behavioral, social and academic demands frequently snowball childhood development related normal apprehension into an anxiety disorder, especially in those who are susceptible.

Social Anxiety Snowballs into Devastating Mental Disorder

Anxiety in children is almost twice as common in girls as that in boys. It typically surfaces during middle childhood - around 10 years of age.

It is the third most common cause for children’s mental health concern, which can be a very difficult, painful, disabling and eventually a devastating mental disorder.

During preteen and early teen years, 1 in 5 to 10 children experience considerable apprehension about appropriateness of their actions even in usual social settings.

Modern lifestyle attributable unnatural and stressful expectations snowball anxiety in children, which hinders all forms of their social interactions; communication with authorities, performance in front of audience, group activities, using common places from gym to restrooms and so on. Consequently, their peer popularity also suffers an essential setback.

Waning peer popularity could be a warning sign

Unable to cope with “Chicken Licken” like attitude, peers are compelled to withdraw from their over anxious friends. Peer rejection further aggravates social anxiety in children. “No one likes me”, is anxious children’s major concern, which when Not substantiated by logical facts could be the earliest overt warning sign of the forthcoming anxiety disorder.

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Initial symptoms confused for developmental process

Unfortunately, the complaint, “No one likes me”, is ignored as a notion provoked by competitive school environment, and social apprehension is mistaken for basic shyness. Parents patiently wait for children’s social anxiety to disappear as they advance through social and emotional domain of childhood development.

Positive support and necessary management is therefore often delayed for over two decades. Awareness of the possibility can help parents understand their children's emotional upheaval during the formative years, and extend timely support that could prevent normal development related social apprehension from snowballing into an anxiety disorder.

Competitive environment during psychosocial development of middle childhood only brings out children’s existing inadequacy. The fear of being criticized masks anxious children’s ability to overcome stumbling blocks with the determination of “I can, I must and I will”.

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Being abused, bullied or ridiculed could be the cause

Before concluding the cause of anxiety in children, it is crucial to explore concerned child’s environment. Pleasant and unpleasant experiences influence children’s self-concept.

Being ridiculed, bullied or abused can also instil social anxiety; embarrassment about what they say and how they look. Eventually, affected children’s self-esteem falls. They doubt their abilities, get socially withdrawn and avoid challenges for fear of making errors.

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