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July 23rd, 2009 by umwpsych

My parents always talk about how when I was young I was an extremely outgoing and social kid that did not fear anything or anyone, but as I grew up I changed. I personally thought that maybe I am starting to become one of those emotionally depressed kids, but fortunately it was not that. I was just maturing and starting to act like the young lady that my parents wanted me to act like. My mom owns a childcare and that is usually where I spent most of my time after school during high school. The story that I am about to tell you is that of a girl named Briana. Briana, who was seven years old at the time used to come to my mom’s daycare and she was a sweet girl who was just too shy around every body. Even though Briana had spent almost more than a year at my mom’s daycare she was still not able to speak up or interact normally with the other children in the daycare. Even during recess time she would just go and stand in a corner by herself and stare at the ground like there was someone pulling her down to the floor of misery. My mom and the rest of the staff were very concerned for Briana so they contacted her parents and advised them to take her to a mental health professional in order to seek help. Briana felt uncomfortable when a student would approach her and had difficulty responding to a child most of the time. Briana was secluded from her peers to the point where she actually had no friends. When my mom contacted Briana’s parents they said that her discomfort in interacting with others was noticed by her teacher at school too, but she just never advised them to seek a mental health professional. Her mom also mentioned how Briana is actually an outgoing and warm person when she is with her family, but just a total different person at school and daycare. When Briana had gone to the doctor they told Briana’s parents that she had a social phobia disorder and she was going through depression. Social phobia is a type of anxiety problem where extreme feelings of shyness and self-consciousness build into a powerful fear. As a result, people like Briana feel uncomfortable participating in everyday social situations like in the class with her classmates or daycare. Like Briana people with social phobia tend to interact easily with family and a few close friends. But meeting new people, talking in a group, or speaking in public can cause their extreme shyness to kick in. Instead of enjoying classroom activities or daycare activities Briana does not enjoy them but rather dread them. For example, when one of the kids in the daycare held Briana’s hand. She started to shake her hand and cry. People with social phobia interpret things differently and therefore try to avoid the situation like Briana did.

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