Ask Sam letter


To Sam

social anxiety


for 3 years i have been anti-social but my parents think its because im lazy but I cant go near a stranger without shaking.Its gotten to the point where im too scared to even go in a shop by myself.I suffer from depression and i also self-harm.I used to get bullied about my apperence.Do I have social aniety?

Ask Sam


Hi there,

It sound like it’s the anti-social part that’s causing you the biggest problem right now. However, you’ve also mentioned depression and self-harm which are both closely linked to anxiety. It sounds like that you have a good awareness of how you feel but it’s frustrating because your parents don’t understand.

Social anxiety is quite a common type of anxiety, but only a doctor can really say if you have it, or send you for an assessment to see if you have it. It might help to have a look at our pages on anxiety. They might help you to explain what you’re going through to your parents. You could ask them if they’ll support you to speak to your doctor. 

Depending on your age you may be able to see your doctor without your parents. You can find lots of information and advice about seeing a doctor on Doc Ready.

Although you’re trying to deal with the social issue, it sounds like the bullying has really affected you. It might be the starting point to the other problems you’re experiencing. I know that the counsellors at ChildLine support a lot of young people with the effects of bullying, anxiety, depression and self-harm. You might find it helpful to talk to one of them about how you’re feeling and what you’ve gone through.

It sounds like self-harm has become a way of coping for you. ChildLine counsellors can support you to look at other ways to deal with difficult feelings as well. You can phone Childline on 0800 1111, you can have a 1-2-1 chat online, or you can send emails. There’s also the message boards where young people help and support each other. You might find it useful to have a look at those too.

Take care,

Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

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