The Negative Effects of Social Isolation in Teenagers

Boulder Creek Academy pic

Boulder Creek Academy
Image: bouldercreekacademy.com

Boulder Creek Academy is a coed therapeutic boarding school for teens ages 14 to 18. Located in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, Boulder Creek Academy serves the unique needs of students who struggle with various behavioral, clinical, and academic challenges, including social isolation.

Given the social nature of human beings, feeling disconnected and isolated from one’s peers can be extremely harmful to teenagers. In many cases, because teenagers tend to stay connected through online interaction, adults disregard social isolation in teens. However, the need for face-to-face interaction persists. As individuals grow through their adolescent years, they often seek peer support to process the various dramas and changes they are experiencing, and online interactions alone cannot fill this need.

When teens feel socially isolated, it results in a wide range of mental health problems. Teens often experience lower self-esteem and increased anxiety. Further, they may become depressed and possibly develop suicidal tendencies.

Teens experience physical problems, as well. They are more likely to become obese during young adulthood, have worse physical health, and experience headaches and stomachaches. Isolated teens also frequently have higher blood pressure, higher cholesterol, and poor cardiovascular health as young adults.

Improving Social Skills among Teenagers with ADHD

Boulder Creek Academy pic

Boulder Creek Academy
Image: bouldercreekacademy.com

Since 1993, Boulder Creek Academy has helped teenage boys and girls with academic, clinical, and behavioral challenges to embrace their strengths and flourish academically. Among the students served by Boulder Creek Academy are teens with ADHD, for whom social interactions can be challenge. Below are three ways in which teenagers with ADHD can develop their social skills:

Discuss ADHD: It’s normal for teens to feel embarrassed when talking about their ADHD, but explaining the issue to their friends can help. When friends know the reasons why a teen often loses track of time or forgets to meet them, they will be more understanding of the situation instead of simply becoming angry.

Join clubs: The key to joining a school club or youth group is finding one that fits the teen’s interests. Social interactions become easier for teens with ADHD when there is already a shared interest or passion.

Practice with family: At home, teens with ADHD should practice putting their thoughts into words. This can be accomplished by reading a book or watching a television show together, and then summarizing what the family watched or read. Additionally, parents can plan group outings to make it easier for teens to hang out with friends.

Anxiety in Teenagers

 

Boulder Creek Academy pic

Boulder Creek Academy
Image: bouldercreekacademy.com

At its campus in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, Boulder Creek Academy offers multifaceted therapeutic and academic services to students age 13 through 18. Boulder Creek Academy enrolls many students with mental health challenges, including anxiety and depression.

For most teenagers, anxiety is a manageable aspect of facing new or challenging situations. For some, however, symptoms of nervousness escalate to a level at which they interfere with everyday life. A student may feel anxious about activities that to an external observer may seem ordinary, such as a day at school or an interaction with a peer.

This anxiety may manifest internally as worry, nervousness, or unrelenting stress. Many teenagers with anxiety report a pervasive restlessness and an inability to settle, and physical manifestations are common. Typical complaints include muscle tension, fatigue, back pain, stomachaches, and headaches.

The intensity of nervous feelings often causes teens to avoid certain triggering situations, such as school or peer interactions. A teen may become unusually withdrawn or inhibited, although others display their anxiety through behaviors of dependence or excess emotionality. Some teens attempt to handle their anxiety by engaging in high-risk behaviors, such as sexual activity or drug use.

If untreated, anxiety can significantly affect a teenager’s performance in school and extracurricular activities. Related distress can lead to the development of additional mental health issues, such as eating disorders or depression, and suicidal ideation is a real risk. For this reason, any symptoms of anxiety lasting more than six months should prompt professional intervention.