Teenagers might develop social anxiety for any number of reasons. In this section, we’ll examine five of the more common ones.
Mental health conditions are often influenced by hereditary factors. If you’re a teen whose parents or relatives have suffered from social anxiety at one point or another, there’s a higher chance that you will develop a social anxiety disorder. Similarly, if you’re a parent who’s dealt with social anxiety or has family members who have, your teenager might be more susceptible to SAD.
Most of us grew up in a world where social media platforms didn’t even exist. On the flip side, teens today essentially have grown up in a world where social media is pervasive. While social media can connect us with people from all over the world, it can also be quite divisive. In fact, research suggests that teens getting fewer “likes” on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat can cause anxiety.
Embarrassing or bad experiences
Teenagers who are bullied, rejected by someone they ask out, or experience an embarrassing situation — like not being able to do pull-ups in gym class or doing poorly on an exam and getting made fun of — might develop social anxiety.
When teenagers aren’t comfortable with themselves, they are more likely to develop social anxiety. For example, an individual might not be fully confident in their appearance; maybe they think they should lose weight, maybe they aren’t comfortable with their own looks, or maybe they have a physical condition that gives them anxiety (e.g., a birthmark on their face or a teenager who’s already going bald).