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im 16 years old a jounior in highschool i need help.

 
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boomboxjunky
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Joined: 27 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 8:20 am    Post subject: im 16 years old a jounior in highschool i need help. Reply with quote

Im Nicole im 16 and im a jounior in highschool. I had to take last semister off becuase ive been dealing with social anxiety since i was in the 7th grade. My anxiety is only in school it has gotten to the point where i make myself sick just thinking about school. My parents are getting really frustrated with me and this situation where they are talking about just dropping me out of school all together this makes me really sad becuase i know that in order to make it in life i need a highschool degree and i actually enjoy leaning i think eduacation is one of the best gifts in life. Homeschool is a bit of a reach but im just trying to find something to do so i dont have to drop out of school , both of my parents have to work for a living but is there anyway that homeschooling can still be an option if your parnts are not able to stay home to teach you?
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Theodore
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 11:16 am    Post subject: Re: im 16 years old a jounior in highschool i need help. Reply with quote

After 3rd or 4th grade (and you're in high school), you should be able to teach yourself most things. Any subjects you can't handle on your own using textbooks and online syllabuses can be covered through online / homeschool co-op / community college courses. Once you complete each course to your satisfaction, you should then take a nationally standardized test (AP, CLEP, or DANTES) to prove that you've adequately covered the material. Passing scores will be accepted at most colleges (though what is considered a passing score varies), and you can often get college credit as well if you score high.

The first thing to work on should probably be language arts - grammar, spelling, vocabulary, punctuation, etc. - and math, since these subjects are the foundation for everything else, and will be required for test-taking and communicating with potential colleges. I recommend getting drill software to help you with self-study, especially ACT / SAT prep software (if it's on those exams, you need to know it).
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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a problem here with your train of thought:
1) I want to be succesful in life.
2) I need a high school degree to be succesful in life.
3) I can't attend school because I have social anxiety
4) I need to find another way to get a high school degree - maybe home schooling

Yes, home schooling is great - but you also need to recognize that you have an anxiety disorder that is just as much a hinderance to you as a lack of education would be.

It is also VERY UNFAIR that your parents are getting frustrated with you over this and that frustration is only compounding your problems.

You need to explain to your parents that you need to see a therapist - specifically one who will not try to solve your problem by drugging you.
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Theodore
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 2:04 am    Post subject: Re: im 16 years old a jounior in highschool i need help. Reply with quote

How is seeing a therapist going to help? A therapist will just do one of the following:

1) Listen to your problems. But any friendly person will do for this, and therapists are expensive.
2) Prescribe drugs.
3) Both.

What you need to do instead is remove yourself from the unfriendly environment (leave public school), take a rest period where you don't have to worry about getting stressed, then restart your social life through extracurriculars. For instance: 4-H, Civil Air Patrol, martial arts, team sports (either at the local school or a homeschool group), volunteering at a church, hospital, or nursing home, etc. You won't get stressed if you know the people are nice and you can leave at any time.

Public school is not the real world - you shouldn't feel bad if you can't relate to anyone there.
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SAD is a real problem and it can limit your life tremendously.

The anxiety isn't purely a 'public school' issue - it applies to sports or musical groups she may want to get involved with or any other kind of social environment.

My brother had it quiet badly. At times I had it at a young age.

There are a lot of reasons not to want to go to a public school but SAD.

A therapist / psychotherapist will help her to change her thinking patterns that cause the anxiety in anticipation of social encounters. There is a specified, non-drug-based treatment that adresses SAD on both a cognitive and behavioral level.

So seek out either cognitive behavioral therapy OR cognitive behavioral group therapy.

Theodore - you are very mistaken in your diagnosis and recomendations.

Boomboxjunky - you can PM me for additional information. But you need some help and need to talk to your parents about this.
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Theodore
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 4:32 pm    Post subject: Re: im 16 years old a jounior in highschool i need help. Reply with quote

I'm not saying that she wouldn't necessarily have SAD other places as well, but in this case the stress is already associated with public school, and even more so with having to go to public school. If any time you feel threatened you can just get up and leave, then you're not going to feel nearly the same amount of anxiety in the first place. Hence, voluntary activities rather than mandatory school.

Also, church and community service activities, where you focus on helping others rather than on trying to blend in (and where most of the people are adults), are by nature non-threatening. You're not expected to make clever conversation, just to work. It's a good way to gradually build up to more socially-oriented activities.

And if you're going to talk to someone, again, why a therapist? Therapists may be trained psychologists, but therapy is their work, not their calling, if you get the distinction. You might as well read a few articles on SAD and how to cope. If you're going to talk to someone about your problems, it's much better to talk to an older relative or person at your church, who may not have the same training in psychology, but is much more likely to care about you personally.

Incidently, some behavioral scientists did a study where they took a large number of people with psychological problems and had half of them talk to trained psychologists, the other half to professionals from other fields entirely, who made it up as they went along. The two groups of people had exactly the same results. Bottom line, psychology as a field of medicine is somewhat of a crock - it's a placebo, not a cure. You can get free "therapy" at your local church that will be just as effective, assuming your problem isn't insanity or chemical imbalances. People who are motivated to improve will improve anyway; people who aren't motivated to improve just imprint on their therapist and become unable to function without regular (expensive) sessions.

And yes, I took psychology and have read a fair bit on the subject. I just don't subscribe to the "all scientists and doctors are supermen" theory. I'm not saying that "therapy" is bad per se, just that getting your therapy from a trained therapist is needlessly expensive, when the alternatives work just as well.

Whatever works, though.
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Dramagal12
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 11:46 am    Post subject: Unfair judgement Reply with quote

I am not looking for a fight, but I must respectfully disagree with Theodore about his statement that "psychology is a crock." Therapists do not just listen to people talk about their problems. They are people who are trained to recognize patterns of behavior, maladaptions, and give suggestions on how to correct these problems. Sure, anyone can listen to you, but only trained professionals can help you to realize where your behaviors/ thoughts/ emotions/ ect. are coming from and what that can mean to you. They guide you in the right direction. They may provide an objective sounding board, at times, unlike your pastor/ friend/ mother/ ect. who would be subjective in their interpretation and advice. Perhaps the study that you read was biased toward those findings or not representative of the population. In any case, it is ok to have differing opinions and it is ok to communicate them, but it is wrong to dictate your opinions as truth. So many people have been truly helped by therapists and so many need the help. It isn't right to tell those people that psychology is a crock and ask them to instead talk with their pastor. And from a personal stand point, it isn't accurate to state that psychology is "their work, not a calling." I very much see psychology as my calling and I know many others who do as well. I graduated with a degree in psychology from a Christian college and received training in integrating Christianity and therapy. I believe it to be an invaluable resource to many. Not everyone needs to see a therapist, but for many, a stand-in will not do.
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Theodore
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 1:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Unfair judgement Reply with quote

My point was not that therapy is a crock - it does make people feel better to be doing something to try to improve their situation - but rather that there's no point in most cases to going to a trained therapist rather than just someone with a friendly ear. Unless the cause of your problem is something medical that can be diagnosed and fixed (chemical imbalances, brain tumor, etc), you can get just as good results from any older, mature adult who cares enough to listen (I can try to locate the study again if you want) - and you won't be spending money in the process. Given, not all therapists are uncaring, and I'm sure most try to do a good job, but what you're trying to cure isn't a disease, and five different therapists will probably prescribe five different treatments, all or none of which may work. In this case, it really is the thought that counts.

To give somewhat of a parallel, the vast majority of homeschoolers have no formal training as teachers, yet their children still hugely outperform public schoolers. Why? They don't even use the same teaching methods. The common denominator is motivation.

(by the way, I apologize to boomboxjunky for helping turn the thread into a debate on the merits of therapy. If you're reading this and the discussion is making you feel worse, PM me and I can remove my posts)
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hbmom36
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't exactly have social anxiety in school, but in the year before I dropped out I began suffering severe headaches. These headaches were real enough, but ceased as soon as I left school. I'm not saying that this is your best option, but I got my GED at 15. Later I went to junior college and have become very self-educated on a number of topics. You don't necessarily have to go the traditional route-lots of very successful people have blazed their own paths in life.
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WissNX-01
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see what Theodore is trying to convey. Therapy is basically a hinderance in most cases. All you ever do is rehash the past and pay someone to listen to your boring stories. Get over it and move on. If something in life isnt right, get out of the situation or adjust.
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nep
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nicole,

I don't know if you are checking this still, but there are correspondance diploma programs which allow you to get your highschool diploma while at home. This would not require much from way of your parents since you are old enough to look after yourself and to understand and discover on your own. There are also online highschool academies which might offer higher learning than a typical diploma program but would require you to do testing and such to get into college- though again, often on a higher level than many public school graduates. I personally do not see public school as a good environment regardless of anxiety. The peer envirnonment in public school is not reality- and it does not prepare one for the reality of an adult world. But a question to ask: why put up with the extra stress, especially when you love to learn and could learn so much more on your own? You also have opportunity to get a part time job or be involved in other community programs as already mentioned. THe thing to check though is laws for your specific state. you probably can get those by typing 'homeschool laws [your state]', or isnt there a place on this site too? but that would help you to know how strict your state was mostly for your parent's part in it- to see how plausible it is for you and them to work it out. I'm really sorry they haven't been supportive, I'm sure they just have no idea what to do to help, I am glad you are looking into options though.

As for the anxiety- you mentioned it was only in school right? So at this point I don't understand why a doctor is in order. You have not been diagnosed with SAD, etc. Keep tabs on it, of course, as you get older that it doesn't branch into other areas. I use to get ill before piano recitals- and sometimes terrible shakes, but funnily enough if I was acting in a drama- though nervous- it was exciting and fun- or speaking in front of groups- it was a challenge I relished. Go figure. I was never big into large groups either, just sort of sunk into the wall or clung to one person I knew. These were situations that have no comparison to the average stress a teenager goes through on a daily basis- and how many youth get by passed in school or drop out or pushed behind and forgotten because of the environment such a place engenders? I don't think stress in school is uncommon at all- it just is overlooked or explained away or runs out in other outlets (drugs, etc.)

nep
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