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Social anxiety pushing UK teens to take extreme steps: Study

Prepare to be astounded by the startling new findings from a recent University of East Anglia study (UEA)! Keep your eyes open, because the study shows a scary link between teens who have social anxiety and later develop depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts. This shocking discovery sends shockwaves through the mental health community and prompts urgent calls to action to fight the silent killer that lives among our youth.

Dr Kenny Chiu, a clinical lecturer in clinical psychology at UEA, led the study, highlighting the critical importance of early intervention for young individuals suffering from social anxiety. Dr. Chiu says that intense fear and discomfort in social situations are common signs of social anxiety disorder (SAD), which often starts in adolescence.

The study's results, co-authored by Professor Argyris Stringaris from University College London, show that helping people with social anxiety early on could be very important in keeping them from developing depression and suicidal thoughts later on. Prof. Stringaris stresses how important it is to deal with social anxiety early on in order to lower the risk of more serious mental health problems.

The study's last author, Dr Eleanor Leigh, who is an MRC Clinician Scientist Fellow at the University of Oxford and an Honorary Associate Professor at University College London, talks about how social anxiety can make depressive symptoms last longer in teens. According to the study, depressive symptoms, one year into the study may have helped explain the link between early social anxiety and later depressive symptoms.

Dr Leigh, Dr Chiu, and Dr Elizabeth Ballard's meta-analytic review, which revealed a dearth of longitudinal studies examining the relationship between teens' social anxiety and suicidal thoughts, served as the foundation for this significant study.

The study used the Wellcome Trust Neuroscience in Psychiatry Network (NSPN) 2,400 cohort datasets. Reserachers asked more than 2,400 young people from London and Cambridgeshire, aged 14 to 24, to participate in this dataset between 2012 and 2017. We evaluated participants at the start, middle, and end of the study over a two-year period.

These results make it clear how important it is to find and help teens with social anxiety as soon as possible, because it can have a big effect on their mental health later on. According to the study, more people should be aware of and assist young people with social anxiety. The goal is to lower the number of depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts in this vulnerable group.

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