Extreme Teen Shyness Could Be More Serious

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Half of all teenagers say they're shy but for some it's more than that.

A government study finds a small fraction of those teens show
signs of a troubling anxiety disorder that can be mistaken for
extreme shyness.

Researchers say shyness if a normal human temperament and that
it can be hard to tell when feeling sad turns into depression.

The difference is that the shy can be drawn out and adapt, while
teens or adults with full-fledged social anxiety are inhibited from
everyday functioning.

About 47 percent of teens identified themselves as shy. The
study team found that about 1 in 10 of the self-described shy kids
met the American Psychiatric Association's criteria for social
anxiety disorder or social phobia.

There are anxiety-treating medications but the main treatment is
behavioral therapy, exposing people very gradually to fear-inducing
situations and teaching them coping techniques

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