My 15 year old daughter has what I believe is social anxiety disorder, type performance based. She doesn't ask questions in class or never volunteers to read. When she has to read someone next to her will whisper you sounded like you were going to cry. When she has to give an oral presentation she doesn't sleep very well the night before. She has gotten headaches, shakes, blushes once in 4th grade she passed out. After she does her report her girlfriend told her she did a great job but she looked like she was going to pass out. She plays volleyball and know she is losing interest because she is at a level where people watch. She won't eat lunch in front of boys.
We have been to the doctors about the eating, she does eat and is gaining weight properly so we are watching closely but doesn't seem to be a problem. She has had numerous tests concerning headaches and nothing was found medically wrong. Then, I came across an article on social anxiety disorder and she fits the defination for performance based social anxiety disorder to a tee.
We have never allowed her to miss school or sports event because she was to nervous, we helped her work through it. This has been going on since 4th grade, it is getting worse not better. Just recently her grades have suffered. She received her first "C" in high school. We didn't make a big deal out of it because we knew she tried. But she was very upset. In english they get graded on classroom discussions, her grade in suffering. At parent teacher conference I told her she hates talking in class. The teacher said it would get easier.
My heart was broken last night when my daughter asked me when is it going to get easier mom, I've been like this over seven years. Why? I'm starting to ask myself the same question why? Perhaps we should try a new approach tell the teachers not to call on her or have to give a report relive some of the stress. Life is to short to have her stressing out over this. Please, if you have any suggestions or can relate let me know.
I belong to a support group for parents and teachers of children suffering from anxiety. Yes, I suspect strongly that your daughter suffers from social anxiety. I'm wondering - did she speak much in elementary school as there was a segment on the Today show re severe social anxiety called "Selective Mutism". You can find it on the "Today" website; however, I digress.
It appears as if your daughter is not able to manage her "fears" on her own. She is asking/begging for your help. This is when you ask your family doctor for a referral to specialist who is experienced in anxiety disorders. Social anxiety is so common - the numbers on the Toady show was 1% of children suffer from this disorder (that's one out of a hundred), so you are not alone in fighting this disorder. Anxiety is an inherited trait and your daughter will not outgrow it nor will it go away. That being said, anxiety is highly treatable using a multi-modal approach which could include intervention, therapy and possibly medication. I know - we have a child who was unable to speak in school for several years due to extreme anxiety; today, she is a bit shy but is able to function normally in most, if not all, social environments. Please get help for your daughter as soon as possible. Really, there is no other solution.
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