Social Isolation: Chance or Choice?

By nature, we think of teens as social creatures, right? Thus, when we notice that our sons or daughters are distancing themselves from social situations, we have to wonder if their social isolation is by chance or choice. For instance, your child may be suffering from anxiety that has led them to choose to avoid certain situations or social events. On the other hand, peers may be isolating them on purpose. Even so, if your teen is experiencing social isolation, it’s important to pay attention.

Whether by chance or by choice, isolation can be damaging. Unfortunately, isolated teens often become the “outcasts,” which feeds their tendency to withdraw into themselves.

Reasons For Isolation

Your teen may isolate themselves for the following reasons:

  • Perhaps they do not feel as though they look, dress, or act like they think they should.
  • Some teens are excluded because they are exceptionally smart. In turn, some are excluded because they are considered underachievers.
  • If your teen acts erratically or is “moody,” others might isolate them.
  • If your child has a condition related to social weakness such as Asberger’s Syndrome or ADHD, they may become isolated.
  • As a primary cause of isolation, Depression is one reason why teens choose to isolate themselves.
  • Some teens choose to spend more time on social networking sites, essentially replacing physical social interaction with online social forums.


Reaching a solution when it comes to your teen’s isolation involves a consideration of many factors, some of which are tied to social anxiety and depression, or both. For instance, consider the case of a young teenage girl who began experiencing mild social anxiety in middle school. Often riddled with complex feelings and changes in body image, the transition from tween to teen is overwhelming. In turn, the focus of friendships deepens, as more intimate thoughts and feelings are shared. Fitting in and feelings of acceptance become paramount. Yet, when teens do not feel as though they are accepted, they may began to over predict how others perceive them, which leads to anxiety, isolation, and perhaps depression—in no particular order.

The Support You Need

At Nathan’s Waypoint, we understand that while you desire help for your isolated teen, you also need support. Thus, while you are reeling from the impact of your child’s isolation, we are here to provide practical care as well as insight and a suitable solution to work towards peace for your family. For a free one-hour consultation, call Nathan’s Waypoint today. 

Posted on behalf of Nathan's Waypoint