I’m so awkward in public

Sounding quite upset, John, age 15, contacted his local child helpline.

illustration young boy

He said he found it difficult to fit in with his peers and felt lonely and often anxious in social situations. He said he felt particularly ‘low’ on this night as he, along with the majority of his school classmates, had been invited to a 16th birthday party, and he was annoyed with himself because he felt he couldn’t attend because of his anxiety. John said he didn’t understand why he was that way because he had a great family. Yet he felt he was a ‘weirdo’ who didn’t belong anywhere. He told the child helpline counsellor that he was finding it hard to cope with his feelings and wanted help. The counsellor and John explored John’s options, and he decided to talk to his parents about getting help to overcome his anxiety. With the help of his family and the child helpline counsellor, John also agreed to see his family doctor.