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Topic: I'm worried about my 15-year-old son

3 posts, 0 answered
  1. Horaldo
    Horaldo avatar
    1 posts
    6 April 2019

    My son is a bright, caring boy, but I'm worried that his family are the only ones that get to see that side of him.

    He has always been quiet, but in the last year or so his social anxiety has become much worse. He completely shuts down when he is around people that are not close friends or family. He hates talking to teachers or shop assistants and avoids it at all costs.

    It became really obvious when we were on a trip with his aikido group. Even though these are people we see regularly, I was dismayed to see him giving one-syllable answers to questions and disappearing at every opportunity. He said later that he had a near panic attack at the beginning of the course, just because of the other people around, and he described walking into the breakfast room with about 5 other people as 'being faced with a room of tigers'.

    We've talked to him, but he insists he is 'fine'. He says he is just antisocial and comfortable being that way. His plan is to simply avoid anything that makes him feel uncomfortable. He has a few friends from a previous school, but has made no new friends at a new school this year (which he insists is just because he doesn't like them, not because he's anxious).

    We have a family history of depression and anxiety, so I would really love to help him learn some more coping mechanisms and resilience. But he seems so resistant at the moment that I wonder if counselling would actually help, or if he would just argue with the counsellor as he is arguing with us.

    What do others think? Any tips on approaches on an anxious walled-off teenager would be very welcome.

    1 person found this helpful
  2. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
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    white knight avatar
    8366 posts
    6 April 2019 in reply to Horaldo

    Hi, welcome

    I'm 63yo but I recall vividly my teenage years and that of not talking one word for 3 months. I was 12yo. But that followed a traumatic incident that according to my psych 40 years later, set off dysthymia.


    Beyondblue Topic dysthymia

    That is just one illness people can possess amd not know it. It is good insurance to find out if there is such illness there and no, I dont think he'll argue to a counselor like he does to you.

    I would take him to your GP as a first point of call. I'd also consider him getting a part time job as that has benefits eg pizza shop etc. My daughter grew more social when she got such a job but consult his counselor.


    Beyondblue Topic depression and sensitivity, a connection?

    Beyondblue Topic anxiety, how I eliminated it

    Good luck repost anytime


  3. romantic_thi3f
    Community Champion
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    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    romantic_thi3f avatar
    2781 posts
    8 April 2019 in reply to Horaldo

    Hi Horaldo,

    Welcome to the forums and thanks for reaching out. I'm really glad that you're here trying to advocate and get some help for your son; it sounds like he's really struggling with anxiety.

    You mentioned that he said he felt like he was 'being faced with a room of tigers'. Do you think this explains the majority of why he's acting this way, and why he hasn't made new friends in school? My guess is that if the breakfast room causes that intense anxiety, it makes sense he would feel it everywhere else too.

    I disagree a little with TonyWK here. I think that there is every chance your son will argue with the counsellor. That's okay though, and honestly it wouldn't surprise me. Going to see someone can be very confronting and scary. But I also think that it would be very helpful.

    Headspace offer free counselling for anyone between the ages of 12-25, and they are either free/low cost. - https://headspace.org.au/headspace-centres/

    Hopefully this helps,

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