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Dear Katie: I’m struggling with anxiety and I’m finding social situations really difficult to deal with

Dear Katie: I’m struggling with anxiety and I’m finding social situations really difficult to deal with

Katie Harrington

Dear Katie,
My name is Amy, I am 17 years old and lately I have been really struggling with anxiety in social situations. I am a really confident person but lately I have found social situations really difficult to deal with.
Dear Amy,
First of all, thank you for being so brave and opening up about your anxiety. I can assure you that you are not alone in your struggles with anxiety in social situations and by opening up about it, you’re actually helping so many other young people like you.
The first piece of advice I will give you is to open up to a trusted adult about your recent struggles with anxiety, such as a parent/guardian. If they’re aware of this, it will reduce the risk of you being subject to anxious situations that you’re not prepared for.
The fact that you are naturally such a confident person, it may feel like you are always expected to be confident in every situation. The fact is, no matter how confident you are, sometimes certain situations can make us feel uncomfortable. If you notice yourself feeling like this, try find the root of where the anxiety is stemming from. If it has only become noticeable to you recently, then maybe something happened to trigger this feeling. Maybe if you can identify the trigger, then at least you can prepare yourself.
If it is social situations that you’re finding difficult, the first instinct may be to cut off contact from friends and peers, to avoid these social interactions. Trust me, this outlook won’t help. If you can confide in some close friends, they may be able to help, and some of them may even be feeling like this themselves. At the very least, they will now understand that you are going through a difficult time and can be a shoulder to lean on.
It doesn’t apply to you yet but for anyone 18 years old and older, alcohol can have huge impacts on anxiety and mental health, especially in young people. The website has excellent information on these effects, which I have linked below.
Whenever you start to experience these anxious feelings, remember to take deep breaths, focus on your breathing or something else like your favourite song, get some fresh air if needs be and don’t be afraid to tell someone and let them help you. You are not alone in feeling like this, and remember there’s always someone you can talk to or who can help you.
We also have some additional articles on Mental Health, The Importance of Self-worth and How To Build Confidence which I hope are helpful. provides some more information also.
Katie x

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