Future Voices: Advice for a young people suffering from anxiety

PUBLISHED: 09:00 27 November 2016 | UPDATED: 17:37 28 November 2016

Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

In the UK around 290,000 people suffer from an anxiety disorder. Often many young people fear speaking out, worried of judgement or lack of understanding from peers and family.

It is important to be able to speak freely and without worry when it comes to mental health, so I interviewed Katy Dunne from mental health charity MIND in Norwich for advice for those living with anxiety or those who knows someone living with it.

How can you spot the signs of anxiety?

Like all mental health there is no ‘one size fits all’. Anxiety affects people in varying ways which can make spotting symptoms in others hard. Someone may lose weight and withdraw from social activities whereas someone else may gain weight and appear outgoing. Any changes in behaviour or temperament can be signs.

When thinking of yourself I would say it is normal to feel stress some point in your life such as before a driving test. But it becomes a problem when the stress doesn’t go away and stops us from getting enjoyment from our life.

Who can you contact for help?

There are many organisations you can go to for help. A good first point of call is your G.P. Your G.P. can diagnose anxiety and give you advice on the best next steps to take. This may be referring you to a specialist or even offering you medication.

The Wellbeing service is a free NHS service in partnership with MIND, Norfolk and Suffolk foundation Trust and Relate. It is available to people 16 years and over living in Norfolk and Waveney, and for all ages in Suffolk. You can self-refer onto the service or get a friend or G.P. to.

How can you talk to family about anxiety?

Many people don’t want to tell their parents or family as they don’t want to upset them. A good question to ask yourself is how would you feel if someone came to you for help? It’s likely you would want to help them.

I would advise you to talk to a family member who is non-judgemental and a good listener. Find a good time to speak with no distractions. If you find it hard to express your feelings, you could always write a letter instead. Be honest about your feelings and how anxiety is affecting you.

What advice would you give to a young person suffering from anxiety?

I would say you are not alone. Many people experience anxiety and it may feel bad now but it will get better. All sorts of things can trigger anxiety such as exam stress, bullying and many more reasons. If we can get to the root of the cause, it can help identify the best treatments.

If you or someone you know is suffering from anxiety, visit the following sites:

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