Anxiety is very common - up to 1 in 6 young people are thought to experience anxiety.
Anxiety is the feeling of fear or panic. In some situations, like before an exam or giving a presentation, this is completely normal, and even healthy.
But if you feel anxious, fearful or nervous for long periods of time without an obvious reason, it might start to interfere with your life and become a problem.
How do I know if I have anxiety?
There are a range of physical and emotional symptoms you might experience if you have anxiety.
If you think you might have anxiety, there are ways of coping with it, and there is help and support out there.
What can I do?
Here are some top tips for coping with anxiety:
- Talk to someone you trust - this could be a parent, friend, teacher, 4YP, Chathealth or even your GP for some professional support
- Set aside some 'worry time' dedicated to expressing your worries - if a worry crops up through the day, try to ignore it until you reach your 'worry time'. You might even find you aren't so worried about it by the time it comes around!
- Share your anxieties with others who are feeling the same - visit the ChildLine messageboards
- Every night, write down something positive that happened that day or something you are happy or grateful for. You could even write on post-it notes and stick them around your bedroom to remind you of the good things in your life.
- Support your general well-being, like eating well, resting and taking some exercise. For other ideas check out our Whats Up page.
For more about the symptoms of anxiety and tips and advice for coping, watch the video below:
There are loads of websites with information and advice on dealing with anxiety. Young Minds have some handy leaflets and guides on their anxiety factsheet page.
For some useful tips and personal stories from other young people, visit The Mix anxiety pages.
You can also chat to a professional 1-1 online - get support at ChildLine.
Help with panic attacks
A panic attack is a sudden and severe attack of fear and anxiety, with symptoms such as a shortness of breath, pounding heart, feeling like you might faint and a sense of 'doom'.
There are ways of managing your panic attacks - check out this advice on getting to know your panic attacks.
Watch the video on taming your panic attack monster.
Need to talk to someone?
Speak to a school nurse - weekly confidential 'drop-ins' in secondary schools. Send a text to ChatHealth (07507 333356) or ask in school to find out more.
The children and young people's Emotional Wellbeing Hub provides an online referral for support and a telephone helpline (0345 600 2090) if you are worried about you or a friend's emotional wellbeing and need advice.
Get confidential help and advice through our 1-1 live chat service, Ask the 4YP Expert.
Young people's workers at 4YP (Suffolk Young People's Health Project) are available to offer support around emotional health and wellbeing issues from 5-7pm Monday to Friday.
Think you might need some help from a professional?
The children and young people's Emotional Wellbeing Hub provides an online referral for support and a telephone helpline if you are worried about you or a friend's emotional wellbeing and need advice.
You can go to your GP for help at any age. Anything you talk about is confidential and will be kept between you and your doctor.
If you're 16 or over, you can also refer yourself for free support from the Wellbeing Service. This could be in the form of short term counselling or a telephone call from a professional, or wellbeing workshops or classes. For more information, visit the Wellbeing Service website.