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In fact, children with social anxiety disorder are more likely than their peers without SAD to develop depression by age 15 and substance abuse by age 16 or 17.
As they head toward adulthood, young people with social anxiety disorder tend to choose paths that require less involvement with other people, and so cut short a lot of opportunities.
By middle school, they may be avoiding all extracurricular activities and social events.
And by high school, they may refuse to go to school and exhibit signs of depression.
But when they do learn these skills, it is so heartwarming to see how their world opens up and their lives improve.
It is what has kept me working in this field for almost 30 years.
Director, Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders, Columbia University Medical Center Social anxiety disorder (SAD), or social phobia, can have a crippling effect on young people.
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Understand parents’ role For most young people, social phobia is successfully treated with therapy and sometimes medication.
Additional support and accommodations at home can support recovery.
Learning to distinguish a shy child from one with social phobia, and understanding how parents can empower—rather than enable—children with social anxiety will help our children live full, socially rich lives.
Recognizing the “silent disorder” Social anxiety disorder is sometimes called a silent disorder because it can affect children for years before it is diagnosed.