Category: Confidence

Social anxiety


 

Also known as social phobia or fear of social situations. It often starts when a person is in their teens but it can last into adulthood and it can severely affect your ability to cope with social situations. Social anxiety is fear that can wear away your confidence and cause distressing symptoms which can undermine your ability to function at home, school or at work. It can cause an intense dread of everyday social situations, of doing things in front of people and it can limit your ability to engage in activities such as meeting friends, initiating conversations, walking into rooms where there are people, attending parties, engaging in phone conversations and social outings. It can result in staying away from places where there are people which can lead to withdrawal and isolation.

There are various symptoms, such as thinking that people are judging or watching you, or a fear that you will embarrass yourself or that you are not socially capable or competent. Consequently, one’s sense of self-esteem is lowered, confidence is adversely affected causing shyness, leading to avoidance of eye contact and social withdrawal. It may become very difficult to make and keep friends. As a result, you may also experience palpitations, along with a feeling of sickness, sweating and panic attacks. Two young people, Khalid and Laura, who have suffered from this form of anxiety, share their experiences in this short video. (courtesy of Voice Box, Childline’s weekly video chat)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqDX9rntbQs

Social anxiety can be treated with counselling and psychotherapy, such as talking therapy. If you experience social anxiety, the following organisations can offer further advice and information :-

Social Anxiety UK

Anxiety UK

Young Minds

Anxiety Alliance

Mind

 

Girls are more likely to be miserable and unhappy, research suggests

Girls more concerned about appearance and looks
Girls are more concerned about their appearance and looks.

Girls spend more time on social media

Girls spend much more time on social media.

There is clear evidence that nowadays our teenage daughters are growing up to be more miserable and unhappy and this is cause for serious concern. The reason is not  because boys are growing up to feel much happier, but because of the longer term risks to girls’ mental health, especially the danger of developing eating disorders and depression.

The reason for girls’ unhappiness may be due to the fact that they spend much more time on social media which has been linked with a higher risk to mental health. Not only are girls more concerned about their appearance and looks, they are also more likely to feel under pressure by emotional bullying. Teenage girls are more likely to take dozens of selfies in an attempt to create a perfect ‘celebrity lookalike’ beautiful photo. They also fear missing out on something if they don’t engage in social media. Such gestures are often indicative of an underlying lack of confidence and an obsession with body image. They feel compelled to play out their social relationships by spending up three hours a night on social media, some obsessively posting images that they hope will make them appear to be perfect.

If this sounds like someone you know and you feel concerned about someone who is unhappy, you can help by advising the person to-

Limit their time spent on social media and ensure that it is being used in a safe way.

You can help boost body confidence by sharing with and talking to a young person.

Encourage them to develop their self-confidence and esteem by rewarding them for praise for kindness shown rather than just about appearance and looks.

 

Dealing with addicted partners and family

Addiction Gambling Drugs Alcohol Dual diagnosis
Addiction
Gambling
Drugs and alcohol

 

The use of alcohol and drugs as well as gambling are often regarded as a normal part of family life but inevitably can lead to addiction which may pass from generation to generation. We tend to associate with people from similar backgrounds, so drinkers will associate with other drinkers, gamblers with gamblers and so on. The support and influence of family and friends, on the one hand, can enable a person to escape from addiction, break the cycle of dependence and seek help. In this BBC podcast however, partners also talk of how they deal with imposing ultimatums on their addicted partners. It demonstrates how dealing with addiction requires developing coping skills and strategies, not only by the addicted individual themselves, but also crucially by their families and partners. Successful recovery requires the support of family and friends, however beware the dangers of co-dependency. The importance of sharing experiences with other people in a similar situation is emphasised. The advice given:-

“Take a deep breath and ask that first question …. learn to ask the really uncomfortable questions”

“Think of your role as the enabler…. You find out that you are not actually the supporter, you find out that you are the enabler and that you are actually part of the problem and because you love that person, you have helped them maintain their habit.

For further insight, follow the link:-

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06ptylr

Over a third of teenage girls suffer from stress and anxiety

 

Mental health of teenage girls has worsened
Mental health of teenage girls has worsened

The mental health of teenage girls, especially 14 year olds, has worsened according to a Cohort study recently published by The Department of Health. Teenage girls are more likely to suffer from stress and anxiety and over a third of teenage girls reported that they felt distressed, worthless, and unhappy and suffered from poor concentration.

The study reports that young people’s health and wellbeing is now slightly worse than it was in 2005 with girls faring less well than boys and with young people from relatively advantaged backgrounds being slightly more likely to exhibit social distress. Research shows that teenagers need on average, 9.5 hours sleep per night but only get 7.5 hours. Research also suggests that teenagers engaging in social media during the night could be damaging their sleep and increasing their risk of developing anxiety and depression. Girls tend to seek comfort on social media when worried and teens generally feel under pressure to make themselves available 24/7, suffering from anxiety if they do not respond to posts or texts. Girls especially feel more of a desire to be perfect and to avoid a ‘FOMO’ (fear of missing out) Hospital admissions for self-harm in the under 16’s have risen by an astonishing 52% with Head teachers in schools becoming worried.

In comparison with 2005, although girls’ mental health has worsened, teenagers are now more work focused, less likely to drink, smoke cigarettes, or engage in vandalism, graffiti or shoplifting.

Department of Health Longitudinal study of Young People in England. Cohort 2: Health and Wellbeing at Wave 2. Carli Lessof et al.

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