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  1. #1

    Help for my son who I think has social anxiety disorder

    My son is 18 years old. He attends CEGEP in Quebec (like college) and works part-time at Loblaws. He had difficulty last year with addiciton to computer online games and at that time he quit school and stopped going out. He had very bad acne from the time he was 13 although it has cleared up quite a bit in the last few months. He has always been considered quiet and shy by his teachers. He has particular difficulty in groups and does not speak when in a group. I have been with him at social gatherings and he is always very quiet. He says he doesn't like people and that he doesn't know how to make small talk. He will avoid social gatherings if possible and doesn't like us to have people over. He was in one to one counselling last year but it doesn't seem to have improved his comfort level in groups. He has few friends and only talks to them on the phone occasionally. He is always home if not at work or school and usually on the computer. He admits that he would like to be more comfortable in groups but otherwise he does not feel that he has any problems. He considers himself an introvert and says he gets enough socializing at school and at work and doesn't need to see people outside of school or work. At home he is quiet and keeps to himself a lot but he will join or initiate conversations with us. He has agreed to look at some options for becoming more comfortable in groups however he is adamantly opposed to medication. How can I help him? Or should I leave him be? I feel very concerned for him.

  2. #2

    Help for my son who I think has social anxiety disorder

    Would he be interested in seeing his existing friends in person more often, seeing a movie with them rather than just talking on the phone?
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  3. #3

    Help for my son who I think has social anxiety disorder

    It's hard to know. He used to see them more when they all belonged to a club. When one of his friends organizes something he will go and usually enjoy himself unless there are people there that he doesn't know. If he knows in advance that there will be people there besides his few friends then he will not go.

  4. #4

    Help for my son who I think has social anxiety disorder

    It does sound like he may have a problem with social anxiety and/or shyness. If so, then seeing a counsellor would probably help but only if he is agreeable to doing that and motivated to make the necessary efforts to change. If not, it's probably wiser to let him wait until he is ready to make that commitment.

  5. #5

    Help for my son who I think has social anxiety disorder

    Thanks David. Can you suggest any counsellors that specialize in this area? And are you taking on any new patients? He did say he was agreeable to counselling to help him feel more comfortable in groups.

  6. #6

    Help for my son who I think has social anxiety disorder

    I didn't realize he was in the Ottawa area... but yes, I do work with anxiety disorders including social anxiety and I can take new clients. It might help him to have a look at the website -- http://www.psychlinks.ca/pages/anxiety.htm and http://www.psychlinks.ca/pages/baxter.htm -- as well as taking a look at the forum -- not necessarily even to join if he doesn't wish to but to get a feel for how I approach issues like this and therapy. Contact information is at http://www.psychlinks.ca/pages/baxter.htm and http://www.psychlinks.ca/pages/map.htm .

  7. #7

    Help for my son who I think has social anxiety disorder

    Thanks David, I'll do that.

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