Everybody experiences anxiety at some point in time. Anxiety is a natural response. Anxiety can vary in severity from mild uneasiness through to a terrifying panic attack. It can vary in how long it lasts, from a few moments to many years.
Anxiety is a normal, human feeling of fear or panic. When we face stressful situations, it can set off our brain’s in-built alarm bell system, which tells us something isn’t right and that we need to deal with it. Our brain wants the difficult situation to go away, so it makes us feel more alert, stops us thinking about other things, and even pumps more blood to our legs to help us run away.
Most of us worry sometimes – about things like friendships – and feel anxious when we’re under stress, like at exam time. But afterwards we usually calm down and feel better. But when you’re not in a stressful situation, and you still feel worried or panicky, that’s when anxiety can become a problem.
At home a young person experiencing anxiety may:
- Be tearful in the mornings and say they don’t want to go to school;
- Spend more time doing school work or express unnecessary concerns that the work isn’t good enough;
- Complain of headaches and other physical symptoms such as feeling nauseous;
- Demand constant reassurances from parents;
- Be irritable and snappy in interactions with family;
- Find it difficult to sleep;
- Spend a lot of time worrying about their appearance and behaviour leading up to a social event or being reluctant to attend.
Young Minds UK -
Anxiety UK -
Telephone: 0344 477 5774 / Text: 0753 741 6905
No Panic -
Telephone: 0300 772 9844 / Youth Helpline: 0330 606 1174
CBT Online -