MDAO Forum

Family, Friends, and Supporters => Family, Friends, and Supporters => Topic started by: zabava on November 17, 2014, 04:21:15 pm

Title: 14 year old with social anxiety
Post by: zabava on November 17, 2014, 04:21:15 pm
Hi there,

I am the parent of a daughter with social anxiety.  She is currently attending school for only one period a day and not making much progress.  She is taking Cipralex 10 mg, but refuses therapy.  I'd love to her from anybody in the same situation.  I'm feeling a bit hopeless at the moment.  Not sure how she will get through high school.

Title: Re: 14 year old with social anxiety
Post by: Peace on November 18, 2014, 09:17:25 am
Hi Zabava and welcome  :) You posted in the correct section, but will find that you will receive more replies if you post in the General Discussion section.

I personally had severe social anxiety during high school when my parents moved cities. I lived in 15 to 20 different places and attended 5 different high schools. My parents helped me to the best of their ability. I left school during Grade 10 due to my anxiety. During that period my father made suggestions to me to find friends. To make my father happy and to stop  him from talking to me about it, I found the wrong friends. The following year I returned to Grade 10 and made two very good friends and did very well until we moved again to a different city.

Basically what I'm saying is that eventually despite my anxiety and the situation I was in, I did complete high school and I'm very proud of myself for that. I hope that gives you some encouragement.

The best advice I can give from my experience is to provide your daughter with encouragement and unconditional love. It was very difficult for me to not have any friends and to feel like my father was not happy with me.

Good luck!
Title: Re: 14 year old with social anxiety
Post by: zabava on November 18, 2014, 04:33:00 pm
Thanks for the advice and insight.  And thanks for the posting tip.
Title: Re: 14 year old with social anxiety
Post by: Daniel F on November 19, 2014, 11:29:10 am
Hey zabava,

It's always hard to see a loved one suffering, and I would imagine it's especially hard to be a parent watching your daughter going through social anxiety and struggling at school. Perhaps one of the best things you can do is to "hold hope" for your daughter in that she can get through this difficult time. Can I ask what city you're located in to see if I can find you some resources/support?

Title: Re: 14 year old with social anxiety
Post by: zabava on November 21, 2014, 09:43:33 am
Hi Daniel,

Yes, staying optimistic is one of the hardest things.  I am Toronto.
Title: Re: 14 year old with social anxiety
Post by: Daniel F on November 21, 2014, 11:10:12 am
Have you come to see us at the MDAO? We provide counselling support, peer support groups, recovery programs, and more! If you're interested in getting more support, please give us a call and ask to speak to Becky, our intake coordinator. Contact info here: (
Title: Re: 14 year old with social anxiety
Post by: LuckyLou on November 26, 2014, 04:50:42 am
I have suffered from social anxiety throughout my life and my high school years were especially difficult. My parents were the key to my staying grounded and in school. They provided me with unconditional love and that was what i needed. They were my friends when i felt i didnt have any. High school was difficult and my being gay did not help. It was hard to face going to school everyday and facing being bullied. But with my parents love and support i did it. I had to make the decision on my own though that i was not going to let my social anxiety stop me from living my life. Your daughter will have to do the same. All you can do is love her through it. It was a painful period in my life but things can and do get better. After high school I managed to find a circle of friends that supported me. I went on to get two degrees from university. None of this would have been possible without the support of my parents. She is lucky to have you. Feel free to keep posting we will all help if we can.
Title: Re: 14 year old with social anxiety
Post by: zabava on December 07, 2014, 10:07:44 pm
Thanks for your post Lucky Lou.  I am feeling very torn right now because my daughter would like to do online schooling and not do therapy.  She is very unhappy...sleeping all day and complaining of stomach aches and headaches.  I would like her to go to a therapeutic program at Toronto East General (Building Bridges) but I'm afraid she will resist.  I don't want to force her, but I'm scared if she doesn't get psychiatric help she will get worse.  Any thoughts on motivating a teen to accept treatment?
Title: Re: 14 year old with social anxiety
Post by: paulm on December 08, 2014, 12:42:25 am
Hello Zabava.I can understand your worry and concern.It's really tough dealing with a child that you can see going downhill and there seems little that you can do about it.   Unfortunately most of us on the forum are unqualified to give you really good advice on this matter. Dealing with Teens and mood disorders is difficult for even trained professionals.  (My son had a mood disorder as a teen and I know it can be difficult to get them to accept therapy). 

 I can give you some generalities. First most medications don't always work the same on a young person as they do on someone older 2) If she has been on cipralex for at least 60 days and there has been no improvement it's time to have a discussion with her doctor about whether or not 10mg cipralex is the right drug or dosage.

 Often a medication will work for one person and have no effect on the next person, so it's important to keep the doctor informed if you think it's not working.

3)Often as our anxieties increase so does our unwillingness to meet people we know, much less strangers in a new setting. Our anxieties can literally paralyze us, as well as giving us very physical symptoms like stomach problems and head aches.

 Although you probably have the power to force your daughter to attend therapy, it's been my experience that when something is forced on us, we may attend, but we rebel and don't pay much attention.

 Has her medical doctor ruled out other sources of her problems? That may sound silly, but our bodies have a variety of glands and if one of them isn't working properly that could explain some of her problems. Only a very complete physical and a complete blood work up can really tell if everything is working as should.

 The MDAO has an excellent guide on Helping Someone With a Mood Disorder. You can access it at

 At the bottom of that page you will see a link to F.A.M.E. (Family Association for Mental Health Everywhere.) You might want to check out their website too.

  The guide may seem overly simple, but it does contain a lot of good advice.

 As Daniel F has suggested earlier you may want to contact the MDAO about their programs and also about their peer support groups for people like yourself.  You can also find out more about these groups  at

 Good Luck and please keep posting. You may not instant answers here, but we will try our best to support you as you struggle with a loved ones mental illness. Take Care. paul m

Title: Re: 14 year old with social anxiety
Post by: Becky C on December 08, 2014, 02:21:25 pm
Hello Zabava,  It sounds like you are struggling to support your daughter.  I am glad that you have had such supportive replies to your post.  If you are looking for support for yourself we offer both one-on-one and a variety of group supports for individuals who are supporting someone with mental health issues.  If you are interested in finding out more about our supports, please do not hesitate to contact me as I am the intake worker within our family program: 416-486-8046 ext. 240. 

We have also produced a more extensive guide for families that can be accessed through signing up for our newsletter:

AnxietyBC has some great self-help resources that might be a good tool for your daughter or for yourself to better understand what she is going through:

Here to Help BC has some great toolkits for individuals and supporters: