Advice: Week of April 30th

Good evening everyone! Here are the questions we’ve received so far for our advice section.

 

How do I conquer social anxiety?

Social anxiety is a terrifying thing to have to go through, especially as a teenager. In a nutshell, social anxiety (also known as social phobia) is an anxiety disorder which is characterized by the intense fear of one or more social situations, which can have an impact on relationships, academics, and your overall mental health. The social situations that bring anxiety vary between sufferers; one person may have a general fear of social events, and another may only experience fear in performance situations only.

Luckily, you have options for treatment. Therapy is the most common, more specifically cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This type of therapy is very successful in treating anxiety disorders, and I myself have had success with CBT in managing my social anxiety. Medication can also be very helpful, however it shouldn’t be the only course of treatment, and should only be used when absolutely necessary. I would talk to a parent or a school counselor to see if they can set you up with a therapist. Remember, mental illness isn’t something that can be cured, but rather something that can be managed.

 

What do I do when I’m having problems with a school bully?

In bullying situations, it’s VERY important that you tell an authority figure right away, as the situation can quickly escalate into something much worse. Talk to a parent, a school counselor, or a teacher immediately. And if your school doesn’t do anything about it, keep telling someone until they do. Most schools have zero-tolerance policies on bullying, fortunately, so that shouldn’t be a problem, but just in case. You should also talk to friends about the situation so you have some support in times of need.

Ignoring a bully simply isn’t the answer. But remember, eventually it will all come to an end.

 

Are relationships in high school worth it?

Of course! Obviously, high school relationships aren’t perfect, so don’t enter one expecting something out of a Nicholas Sparks movie. Regardless, they can be great experiences that can teach you lessons about relationships for later on in life. Just remember to put school first, then relationships! 🙂

 

How can I deal with peer pressure?

I think that the best way to deal with peer pressure is to stay true to yourself, and to know what’s best for you. If you’re friends are pressuring you into doing something you don’t want to do, the best thing to do is to stand your ground and firmly decline their offer. If they shame you for not wanting to give into pressure, they probably aren’t good friends. People do a lot of crazy things, and to each his own, but you shouldn’t be mocked or ridiculed for not wanting to do something.

 

Who can I turn to when no one understands what I’m going through?

The internet! There are tons of websites where you can rant or ask for advice when you feel like you can’t talk to any of your friends. I’ll leave you some links to a few that I’ve had good luck with:

http://thequietplaceproject.com/thedreamsroom/comfortspot This one is anonymous and everyone here is very friendly and helpful.

http://forums.psychcentral.com/ These forums are typically mental health related, but there are quite a few sub forums that aren’t mental health specific.

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/GetHelp/LifelineChat.aspx The National Suicide Hotline offers a free chat service in edition to the traditional hotline. Obviously, this should only be used in a crisis.

There’s always the option of going to see a counselor to talk things out. Most are friendly and non-judgemental and are very helpful.

 

How can I stay confident in myself?

Self-confidence is a really, really awesome thing, but gaining it isn’t as simple as saying to yourself “I’m confident” (I sure wish it was.) Like building self-esteem, it’s a long process which involves a lot of soul-searching. One of the ways I’ve been able to gain some self-confidence is by writing positive self-affirmations on a sticky note and sticking it somewhere noticeable, like a bathroom mirror or maybe on a school notebook. These affirmations can be anything positive about yourself. You can also ask some friends to help you come up with some 🙂 Speaking of friends, make sure that the people you spend time with make you feel good about yourself and are supportive. Friendships should have a positive affect on you, not a negative one.

Also, remember to treat yourself every once in a while. Take a break from the stress of everyday life and take time to take care of yourself, whether that’s taking a bubble bath or eating ice cream.

 

Thanks everyone who submitted questions!! If you would like to submit a question, please leave in the comments below. You can also email me at alice.teenculture@gmail.com.

Have a wonderful day/night!

~Alice

 

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