Social anxiety teens and school refusal

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Social anxiety teens and school refusal

Hi,
I have a 16 year old with severe social anxiety and school refusal who refuses to access counciling due to ineffective previous experiences. She is intelligent, stubborn and a perfectionist which adds to complexity of her condition. Is anyone else dealing with this and been able to find an online parent support group. The only one I’ve found is in the USA where this type of thing seems more common.
Mod

Re: Social anxiety teens and school refusal

Hi @Mum2018 welcome to ReachOut and thanks for sharing. I'm sorry to hear of the difficulty your daughter is experiencing with her social anxiety and that she has found counselling ineffective previously. It's great that you've reached out for some support. I'm wondering if she would be open to an online chat service that can provide support as another avenue? eHeadspace is a service that provides free online support which can be done by web chat or over the phone. You can also access this as a support for yourself too in terms of getting some advice around supporting her with her anxiety. I'll also tag some of our members for some further advice @taokat @sunflowermom @Caz01 @Tulip

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Re: Social anxiety teens and school refusal

Hi,

  if by web chat you mean a Skype type session, she won’t agree to that and won’t use the phone other than to talk to immediate family. She is very reluctant to talk to anyone other than myself. She doesn’t talk to her teachers when she’s doing online education, she will occasionally text chat to them but rarely which makes things difficult. I think she may be on the ASD spectrum however apart from a screening form which is currently being reviewed, she will not agree to a formal assessment. She has not face to face friends but has made a few friends online due a common fan group of Harry Styles. I’m seeing a psychologist who is working with me to work with her. This has progressed since end of year 7. 

Mod

Re: Social anxiety teens and school refusal

Hey @Mum2018, that sounds like a really tough situation you are in right now. It seems like you are really trying to get help in whatever way you can, which is great. It can be so difficult to manage if your child does not really want to speak about what is going on for them. It is usually beneficial to receive some professional support in situations like these, especially once it begins to affect yourself as well. Has your psychologist provided any useful suggestions?

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Re: Social anxiety teens and school refusal

Hi,

   Thanks for replying. Psychologist has helped by giving me reassurance that I’m handling the situation in the right way, reminding me to give her at least 20 minutes to recover from a meltdown before really engaging with her, as when she is in peak flight/fight mode she’s virtually in auto-pilot and not really taking in anything said to her, so trying distraction prior to her getting too high or once in that zone, trying to leave her to settle by just sitting with her quietly etc. While she is unwilling to seek help, I just do the best I can. It just helps to talk to others facing a similar problem sometimes. Just have to focus on the positives...she’s very driven to achieve academically despite her difficulties in getting past the anxietyat present, she’s reasonably healthy and I believe she will get there eventually. Just take one day at a time.

Super frequent scribe

Re: Social anxiety teens and school refusal

Hi @Mum2018

Thanks for sharing your story I hope it has helped. You sound very patient and caring and you are doing all the right things. My daughter also suffers from social anxiety but I think we are nearly at the other end. I wonder too if my daughter has ASD or ADD as well. She was perfectly fine until 12 or so I thought. She started school refusal in year 8 and has been doing online schooling since then, now in year 12. I can empathise what you are going through my daughter also didn't want to speak on the phone etc or in person. Her psychologist encouraged her to go shopping and take herself out which she is anxious about but will still go and also has a part time job. I really hope your daughter will get to this stage too. It's a shame she won't see a psychologist as it would be beneficial, can someone come to the house? I also like to read up on anxiety to see if I can understand it a bit more. We are all here to listen and support each other, all the best x
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Re: Social anxiety teens and school refusal

Thanks Tulip, I appreciate your comments. I’m so glad for you and your daughter that she seems to be coming out the other side. I experienced that with my older daughter also and she’s currently doing well. The main difference with her was she went to a psychologist. She finally connected with one she liked and this was a big help. I’ll keep working on that with my younger one. One day at a time. 

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Re: Social anxiety teens and school refusal

Hi there,

 

I am new on here and I have a 14year old boy who is the same. He has been suffering half way through year 7.

Socially he is fine but when his anxiety takes control he tends to withdraw as he is embarrassed.  When he is going through this we try really hard to encourage him to go out.  The refusal to go to school we don't understand as when he does go he is fine.  He has been suffering this half way through year 7 and since then he is fine in the beginning of the year but seems around this time it takes hold and he finds it hard to not let it get out of hand.  We are at a loss and at times I feel like I am letting him down as I don't know how to help him.  Your daughter is lucky to have a caring Mum as frustrating as it is, at times all you can do is just be there for them.

 

We have found a  psychologist he is comfortable with and he has asked to see him again but he is booked out and can't get in until July.

 

K x

Active scribe

Re: Social anxiety teens and school refusal

Hi Popcorn,
It is great that your son wants to go back to the psychologist. It crucial that you keep that going. My daughters anxiety really took off towards the end of year 7. Unfortunately it got harder and harder to keep getting her to school. Eventually she ended up studying online which although it reduced her anxiety she lost all of her friends as it’s hard to keep contact whennyoure not there and they didn’t really understand what she was going through. Friendships and connection to psychologist is crucial. If the psychologist is hard to get into book a few appointments in s row as it’s easier to cancel than wait 3-4 months each time. Good luck.
Active scribe

Re: Social anxiety teens and school refusal

Hi Popcorn,
It is great that your son wants to go back to the psychologist and he’s found someone he likes. It crucial that you keep that going. My daughters anxiety really took off towards the end of year 7. Unfortunately it got harder and harder to keep getting her to school. Eventually she ended up studying online which although it reduced her anxiety she lost all of her friends, as it’s hard to keep contact when you’re not there and they didn’t really understand what she was going through. Friendships and connection to psychologist is crucial. If the psychologist is hard to get into, book a few appointments in a row as it’s easier to cancel than wait 3-4 months each time. Good luck.