What is social anxiety and depression?
In childhood, have you ever felt so nervous and conscious about yourself that it was difficult for you to perform your daily activities, like answering a question in a class? Are children around you feeling the same? If no, do not worry. This is no sign of Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)
Social anxiety is a mental disorder that involves intense fear of social situations and excessive self-consciousness. Children with social anxiety worry about negative judgements by others. This may lead to not doing things they need to do because of the fear of being judged, embarrassed or rejected.
Depression is when the child is sad or is not interested in doing things that he/she loves to do. When the child feels sad and hopeless very frequently, he/she can be diagnosed with depression.
How are they related?
Social Anxiety is when the child is anxious about doing daily tasks involving social situations. Social anxiety if untreated will lead to depression.
Introvert and extrovert personalities
Are you confused if children around you are introverts or extroverts? Let’s look at an introvert and extrovert type of personality in children.
- Introvert –
Are children around you reserved? Do they easily mingle with other kids and play with them or stand back and just watch them play? Do they participate less or do not participate at all in social gatherings? If yes, these children have an introvert personality trait.
The introvert is a type of personality trait, where individuals are reserved and not enthusiastic in social situations. Introvert children don’t always have depression or anxiety. They are quite and reserved because of their personality.
- Extrovert –
Do you know children who are always enthusiastic? Who can engage and mingle with people easily? Who can work and play with others? Yes, these children have an extrovert type of personality.
Extroverts are usually enthusiastic all the time, they can adapt easily to new people and situations.
Causes of SAD
It’s normal to feel nervous and anxious in some social situations. But, if everyday interactions and situations cause anxiety, fear, embarrassment and self – consciousness then it is Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD).
But what causes social anxiety among children?
- Negative experiences –
- Family history –
Children with parents or siblings with SAD are more likely to develop it.
- Environment –
SAD can be a learned behaviour. Children may develop SAD after experiencing an unpleasant or embarrassing situation.
Consequences of SAD
SAD if not treated properly, can lead to depression later.
- Poor social skills
- Low self-esteem
- Difficulties in maintaining social relationships
- Sensitive to criticism
If you detect SAD in your child or children around you, please get it diagnosed and treated for it. SAD untreated can lead to depression in future. Hence, it’s advisable to look for the possible signs and symptoms of SAD in children.