The untold about social anxiety
Social Anxiety Disorder, or SAD, among teenagers has dramatically increased in the newer generation, particularly boys, due to the advancements of technology and changes in society.
According to an article written by Bustle, “Women are treated for more mental illnesses than men. Twenty-nine percent of women have been treated for a mental illness of some kind, as opposed to 17 percent of men.”
This is interesting because anxiety, particularly social anxiety, is equal in both men and women. It is the biggest one out of very few mental illness that affects both genders greatly. Keystone Oaks therapist, Ms. Sarah Hazlett, is someone who experiences the gender difference in this field of anxiety.
“I think the stereotype is that girls have it, but I’ve seen a lot of males come to me for social anxiety. Maybe 60% girls to 40% boys.”
Three students from Keystone Oaks, senior Kimberly Ramolt, junior Sabin Gurung, and a freshman girl, who wanted to remain anonymous, are really a reflection on what social anxiety is. Three very different people, two of which have social anxiety, all share the same foundation of anxiety. Gurung plays on the Keystone Oaks soccer team and was explaining how he gets nervous before his games.
“I don’t want to make a mistake.”
This is just one of the many everyday thoughts that goes through the head of someone who naturally gets nervous in certain situations.
Ramolt revealed some of her triggers.
“Social situations. Test will give me anxiety. And small things like changes in my schedule.”
Comparing being shy and social anxiety would not be fair. Some people who think they are just shy or nervous about certain situations might have social anxiety and not even know it. Some people like to argue that students play the anxiety card to get out of uncomfortable situations like speech class. It is not an easy illness to identify just by looking at the surface. The girl that’s quiet in the back might have a phobia of talking to anyone at all, or she just likes to be quiet. Either way, the disorder is a discussion that needs to be had in order to support those who need help.
Social anxiety is not anything new at all. It is a problem that keeps getting pushed under the carpet and now it has gotten so messy that the truth needs to be faced. Kids today are getting anxiety at the age of 10. We have to start looking for the root of the problem. Is it social media, or is it just society to blame? Either way, it is not just affecting one specific group of people. This is a problem and we have to treat it like one.