When I wake up, I like to think my day will be grand but some days this doesn’t go to plan. Like for instance, the other day I was going to the health care clinic for an assessment. So, I thought as I’m near Greggs I would go in and get some hot tomato soup to give me some energy.
When I went into Greggs, the woman asked what I would like and I said just some tomato soup please. So, after I paid, I made my way to the clinic with my mammy as I can’t go into my local town alone.I have very bad anxiety due to my past with bullying so I’m scared of seeing someone from my old high school in town.
After we arrived at the health care clinic, I checked in then went to sit down to wait to be called in. When I sat down,I opened my hot soup as it was in a take-away cup so I couldn’t see what was inside. I was expecting it to be tomato soup but it was chicken soup! As I’m a vegetarian, I couldn’t eat it.
This situation really got me down and angry. I know people make mistakes but that was going to be my go kick to start the day. During the assessment, all I could think about was the soup situation it really got to me and it made me so anxious during the assessment.
After the assessment I went back to Greggs to tell them about my soup and I was really expecting them to say “we can’t change it as you had already taken it out”. But I was totally wrong! The woman who served me before was so kind about the situation and she changed the soup for me but then also offered me a free pasty of my choice. She was so sweet and very apologetic.
After that situation, I sat down and thought about it when I got home and just questioned myself ‘why did that bother me so much?’ I was really overthinking it and it got me feeling hot and really anxious. Normally, someone would just be like oh they gave me the wrong order, I’ll go back and complain.
My mental health hasn’t been good over the past year, I believe it has gotten worse, especially with my bulimia, it’s hard to break a routine you’ve been doing for so many years.
My bulimia has made me start some awful behaviours like bingeing at night then not eating during the day as my parents are at home (when they are not at work ). I think I revolve my life around bulimia as that is the only thing I feel I’m in control with.
After recapping my day, I sat down with my mammy to talk about what happened that day. She said that she thinks it’s my mind making me overthink about small incidents like this and then it brainwashes you into thinking that the day ahead will be ruined due to this situation.
I agree with what my mammy said and so, the next day I phoned my mental health and said to them look I need this weekly therapy like I was supposed to have but I’m not receiving it. I would like a new therapist please one I could rely on, not going on the sick all the time”.
They replied that they couldn’t give me further help as I needed to take it to the head of department. I was really upset about this and I didn’t know where I stood with my local mental health services.
So, situations like this happen but I don’t think people realise how much it can affect people. Overthinking is one of the most common things with mental health and it needs to change!
What is a mental breakdown? Well, according to WebMD, “a mental breakdown ( or a nervous breakdown) is a term that describes a period of extreme mental or emotional stress.” During these, the stress is overwhelming to the point that a person cannot perform normal day-to-day activities. Although “mental breakdown” is no longer considered a medical term, it is still used to describe intense stress and/or the inability to cope with a life change.
Despite “mental breakdown” no longer being used as a term in the medical community, it has been used to describe a large scale of symptoms. These include:
People experiencing a nervous breakdown may also withdraw from family, friends, and/or co-workers. Signs of such withdrawal include:
To cope with a mental breakdown, you can try the following:
To get in contact with your local helplines then visit:
Dealing with situations like being stood up at dates or a family problem can make us just want to hide away from the world. Escape reality and just go into another world of wonderland, which I thought I was doing.
In the past I have always kept my problems to myself; they started to build up like a tower.
But when the tower gets too overloaded it starts to collapse, that’s exactly what happened to my mind. Years of keeping all these problems to myself not talking caused me to have an outburst on other terms let out all my anger.
It started when I was back in high school, I was getting bullied due to having ginger hair and because of my last name which I dislike a lot to this day-that’s why I go by a different name now.
I was having a normal day in high school, but then came lunch-time. I went to meet my friends and we sat down to lunch, I went to go and get something from the food-counter and on my way back there was this girl who wouldn’t move her chair to let me pass. I asked her kindly if I could just get through to sit down but she refused.
So, that’s when things got pretty bad. She stood up and said to me “I can’t move because you’re so fat, bet I couldn’t even lift you to throw you out the window”.
That’s when the tower collapsed. I dropped everything in my hands and I just punched her continuing to then pull her hair and then pushed her to the ground.
The fight continued until we were split by the teachers. I was taken to the office to then be asked by the principal “what was that all about?” I just walked out and then was sent home. After that day I just locked myself away in my bedroom, not talking to anyone.
I was sent to a new high school where I pretended to be a person that I wasn’t. I started to wear makeup, I stopped eating and that’s when the new Mel began. Looking back on it now I wish I dealt with the situation differently because I couldn't even recognise myself!
That was just one of the situations where I ran away from my problems. A more recent one was when I was stood up by a girl who I was meant to be going on a date with. I got to the location where we were meant to meet but then she stood me up.
What I did after that was that I got a taxi back home then I relapsed with my bulimia. I punished myself because I felt like I wasn’t good enough and that nobody will like me with the way I look!
Now, looking back at that situation, I should have talked to someone. So running from the situation makes me feel ten times worse. I found some other ways that could help you feel better in situations like these; writing it all down in a journal, diary or even creating an article!
Anxiety is a factor that affects every individual and is a typical response to stressful or difficult situations. The different types of anxiety attacks that could be difficult to grasp are anxiety disorders that many people find challenging their everyday lives. This disorder leaves an individual with constant worrying or stress, leading to depleting mental health because of the tension of worrying or panic attacks.
Anyone can sense anxiety coming into effect as your heart starts to race, you begin to shake, lose control over your breath, or feel out of control in the situation. This reaction is definitely a normal one. However, finding ways to combat this anxiety can make problems easier and promote a better mentality moving forth. With the different types of stress discussed earlier, there is one that is prominent with teenagers-social anxiety. The broad definition of social anxiety is having a fear of being judged or rejected in social situations. Many of these instances can be seen in classrooms while presenting or when being with large groups of people. You might feel the anxiousness that comes with speaking in front of a large group or having a fast-paced/shaky tone. One piece of advice to keep in mind is that you are not alone. Millions of others experience similar anxiety, so not perfecting something like a presentation in school or fitting into a social setting is entirely normal.
Ways to get assistance on social anxiety could be to practice more healthy habits or breathing exercises to practice. If you feel anxious about an event, grab a journal and write down your thoughts.If you feel angry or frustrated, go on a run or let your energy lose and blow some steam off by doing physical activity. If you are genuinely struggling and need more help outside of yourself, a critical piece of advice that I can give is to talk to someone, whether it be a friend or a professional which could both prove effective in different ways. I have provided a link to a website that furthermore discusses anxiety, the different types, helplines, and many more. https://www.mentalhelp.net/anxiety/hotline/.
In my experience, anxiety has been a part of me and has always been a factor in my lifetime. I constantly feel myself worrying or holding unnecessary tension in my everyday tasks and life. Especially now, with a new shift in school, I find myself worrying and afraid of the possible outcomes of a negative situation or me not fitting in. I am still working on aiding my anxiety. I take appropriate steps that help me feel better, such as working out, journaling, reading, and cleaning my mind by taking breaks from social media, focusing more on myself and my own downtime. Finally, I practice breathing and complete 5-10 minute meditation sessions in the morning and night to provide my brain with a break and have a fresh mindset for the rest of the day/next.
Finally, anxiety is not something that is easy to overcome, but it is a part of you that you must aid and treat if it begins to affect you. Once again, there is a link provided in the article about more information regarding this topic and hotlines if you need more help, which is always okay. I wish all of you the best and hope you are navigating life in a manner of your own.
“Never judge a book by its cover.” This is a common expression used when you meet someone new-to never judge them solely based on appearance. However, we can’t help it sometimes. We are quick to judge and write off someone, assuming that they are rude or impolite. Yet, that might not always be the case. Those who suffer from anxiety have coping mechanisms and side effects that can come across as “rude.”
A lot of us have been in a social situation where we’ve felt we didn’t showcase ourselves in the way we wanted to. Whether it was being too chatty in fear of awkward silences or being too quiet. For people who live with anxiety, situations like this can feel all too real. There are other ways as well which include:
They leave an event early or abruptly: Our body’s natural reaction is “flight” or “fight.” In this case, the “flight” response is activated. If someone’s anxiety is becoming too intense, their brain’s response to a perceived threat will tell them that it’s time to go.
They cancel plans last minute: Chances are that they are excited to go out but as those plans near closer, anxiety begins to speaker louder. Their anxious thoughts may consist of fearing a panic attack in public or avoiding triggering situations.
They ask “can you repeat that?” multiple times in a conversation: Brain fog! People with anxiety are overwhelmed with thoughts. At times, it can be hard to process so much information at once.
They seem withdrawn or don’t talk much in a conversation: People with anxiety may fear being judged for what they say or how they say it. Some would prefer to listen to what others are saying, rather than input their thoughts into a conversation.
They are irritable and easily agitated for what may seem like “no reason”: Anxiety is overwhelming! Imagine trying to battle your thoughts, physical sensations, and a sense of impending doom all while trying to navigate at once.
I have been in situations where due to my anxiety, I may have come across as rude. Whenever I am out with friends or at a party, I end up staying for a very short while before leaving. Also, during these social gatherings, I stick by the side of who I’m with. This is where I would be seen as clingy and disrespectful. This is something I don’t mean to be. I just want to stay with people I know.
I also don’t know how to connect with random strangers. I don’t know what I can trust about what they do or say. I don’t know how to react to the conversation. So I become monotoned to avoid saying or doing the wrong things. But once I get to know them, I start to relax and I can be myself. I’m not as cold as I initially seem.
These are just a few things that I do that can easily come across as rude to others to strangers and acquaintances.
But there are ways to overcome your anxiety with these coping mechanisms. Some methods include:
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) helps people learn different ways of thinking about and reacting to inducing anxiety situations. A therapist can help you develop ways to change negative thought patterns and behaviours before they get out of control.
Identify and manage your triggers: Whether it is on your own or with a therapist, learn what your triggers are and how to manage them. Sometimes they can be obvious, like caffeine, drinking alcohol, or smoking. Other times they can be less obvious. Long-term problems, such as work-related situations, may take some time to figure out. When you do figure out your trigger, you should try to limit your exposure if you can.
Meditation: Meditation can help your brain dismiss anxious thoughts when they arise. If sitting still and concentrating is difficult, try starting with yoga.
Health: Exercising regularly, eating balanced meals, getting enough sleep, and staying connected to people who care about you are great ways to not think of your anxiety.
Medication: If your anxiety is severe enough that your mental health is being jeopardised, discuss your concerns with your doctor.
(Note: Remember that different methods work for different people.)
Anxiety is our body’s natural response to stress. How we deal with it may come across as “rude” to those that do not know us. For loved ones, recognize that these anxiety-driven patterns can be extremely difficult for the anxious person to adjust, especially if they're in the midst of a clinical anxiety problem.
To get in contact with your local helplines then visit:
Anxiety is described as a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. While the majority of individuals will experience anxiety at some point in their life, some may experience anxiety frequently at a more intense level. Through overthinking and overanalyzing, those with anxiety will constantly fret over multiple situations, oftentimes being irrational.
The difference between being anxious about a specific event such as a public speech, a first date, or a test, and being anxious over nearly everything is that when one experiences severe anxiety, their entire life can bring them unease.
While anxiety is an umbrella term, some may not know the different forms of anxiety disorders.
Separation anxiety is described as inappropriate and excessive fear or anxiety concerning separation from those to whom the individual is attached. Regardless as to why someone is excessively attached to a specific individual, it can become a disorder if the individual has recurrent excessive distress when anticipating or experiencing separation from home, excessive worry over losing someone from illness, injury, disasters, or even death. Some may even struggle to leave their house due to fear of being away from someone.
Another form of anxiety can be a specific phobia where one experiences anxiety over a specific object or situation.
Social anxiety disorder is the fear of one or more social situations in which the individual is exposed to possible scrutiny by others. This can include the fear of having a conversation with unfamiliar people or performing in front of others.
Panic disorder is when one experiences recurrent unexpected panic attacks. A panic attack is known as an abrupt surge of intense fear or discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes (symptoms may include sweating, shaking, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, dizziness, etc).
Perhaps the most well-known anxiety disorder is generalized anxiety disorder which is excessive anxiety and worry occurring more days than not about a number of events or activities. This anxiety is difficult to control and can lead to irritability, restlessness, sleep disturbance, etc.
When I was younger, my anxiety was rooted in bullying. After attending schools and being bullied by other students, I began being home schooled for a few years and was terrified to reenter a physical school afterward. This caused me to keep to myself and limit my socialization in fear of once again being bullied. As I have grown older and made friends, this fear has decreased dramatically. Although some days I do fear being around others I do not know well, I am able to control it better and conquer my fears. Though this anxiety has decreased, I still suffer from other forms of anxiety. Some days I become stressed over irrational fears and am unable to focus on anything else. Some nights I find it challenging to sleep due to thoughts racing through my head and tormenting me. The anxiety can get so intense that I may experience a panic attack that is difficult to stop.
Although I still struggle with anxiety and panic attacks, I have found healthy ways to cope and clear my mind of these irrational worries. By speaking with someone who I am close to, such as a family member or friend, they are able to reassure me and let me know that these worries are over situations that are unlikely to occur. They are aware of the severity of anxiety and therefore do not undermine my feelings but do aid in reassuring me so that I can calm down.
Some ways to deal with a panic attack include deep breathing and focusing on an object. A calm way to focus is to look around and see five things, touch four things, hear three things, smell two things, and taste one thing. This can help one get out of a panic attack and focus on what is around them and slow one’s mind. It is also valuable to know that everything will be okay and having someone tell you this can greatly aid in calming down. The majority of the fears that one experiences when suffering from an anxiety disorder are oftentimes unlikely and therefore it is important to set these fears to rest and focus on other things. By talking with someone, watching TV, listening to music, going for a walk, doing chores, etc, one can get their mind off of their worries and stabilize.
Everyone experiences anxiety now and again and it can be perfectly natural. However, if the anxiety remains constant and controls your life, it might be wise to seek help. Anxiety doesn’t have to control your life, help can greatly reduce the anxiety one may suffer from. It is useful to realize that the anxiety is temporary and oftentimes over an outcome that has a very low probability of occurring. Anxiety can be a serious issue for many and it is also valuable to understand that if you have a loved one who suffers from anxiety. Do not undermine their state but rather provide the support they need whether that be addressing the issue or helping to get their mind off of their worries.
Anxiety; our body’s natural response to dealing with stress. Anxiety is a response our body gives out when we stress, this response is the feeling of fear or apprehension about what’s about to happen. “Anxiety is a mental disorder”. First of all, when you read this sentence, I believe that many of us grew up to believe that a “mental health disorder” meant that something was wrong with our body and it was our fault. I’m sorry to break it to you, but that is completely incorrect. Our bodies are a fascinating thing and we cannot create a disorder or a disease, so, each one of you out there needs to understand that nothing is your fault.
Anxiety is like having the feeling of butterflies when you’re nervous or anxious about something which is about to happen, or when you’re stressed about a couple of things, or when you fear something when you’re sad or worried. Anxiety disorders are when you have these feelings constantly, like nearly every day, and while others sometimes don’t understand what the “big deal” is, its because they don’t understand how it feels to have anxiety nor an anxiety disorder. It’s really hard to cope with anxiety let alone an anxiety disorder because of the immense and overwhelming feelings.
Personally, I have a lot of anxiety and I deal with my anxiety nearly on a daily basis. I know how it feels to keep having a constant feeling of being worried or stressed, feeling a shortness of breath, having heart palpitations, to get obsessive over something you can’t control. The feeling of having an anxiety attack is overwhelming, and trust me when I say, I’ve had my fair share of them. An anxiety attack is an immense feeling but I have some tips/tricks which have helped me cope with them;
1) Breathing. When I have an anxiety attack, I usually breathe in for 7 seconds, hold it for 6 seconds and breath out for 8. This helps to slow down your breathing and have better control over it.
2) Talk to your body. When I face an anxiety attack, personally, I can’t control my hands and I get really fidgety, so whenever I can’t control it, I talk to my hands. I know it does sound a bit off but trust me, it does work.
3) Talk to yourself out loud. Talking to yourself out loud to calm yourself down does work. Sometimes, saying it out loud makes your body listen better than talking in your mind. These are my top 3 tips and hopefully, they work for you too.
An anxiety attack is not easy to deal with alone so its good to open up about it to your loved ones. For those who don’t have anxiety or an anxiety disorder, if you know someone who does have anxiety/ an anxiety disorder, its always good to know the symptoms: heart palpitations, sweating, shortness of breath/ feelings of choking, dizziness, trembling/shaking, numbness, hot and cold flashes, fear of dying or of losing control, queasy stomach, feeling detached from oneself and one's surroundings. If you know someone who has anxiety/anxiety disorder and is having a panic attack, some ways to help them are:
1) Remain calm. When you know someone is having an attack, you need to remain calm in the situation. They need to have an assurance that everything around them is under control so you should calmly tell them that you are there for them and that they are safe.
2) Ask them how you can help. If the person you know has dealt with anxiety attacks and knows how to control/stop it, then ask them how you can help and what their coping methods are.
3) Do not say “ don’t worry” or “calm down” over and over, it may worsen their attack, instead, make them do breathing exercises with you, like take deep breaths and count with them, or ask them to count down from 100, or ask them to name 5 things they can hear, smell, see or feel. This would help them keep their mind off their anxiety attack and calm them down. These are my top 3 tips on how to help someone if they have an anxiety attack.
I won’t say that I know exactly how you feel because I understand that we all cope with our anxiety differently but I am able to understand you and I’m there for you as well. To all of you out there, there is no such thing as being “normal”. We all have our battles to fight and to stand up for, and one battle that we all need to fight is to understand anxiety and anxiety disorders, and eventually all mental disorders out there. It’s our job and now your job if you read this article to stand up and educate others about anxiety and anxiety disorders, and make them understand that it's no one’s fault.
You need to be there and support those who have mental disorders, and tell them they are not alone.
- Ananya :)
Some articles written by TWE with coping and dealing with anxiety and anxiety attacks:
a.Dealing with anxiety and panic attacks: what to do:
b.Cope with panic attacks: https://www.teenagerswithexperience.com/guest-articles/cope-with-panic-attacks
c.Breathing tips for anxiety: https://www.teenagerswithexperience.com/guest-articles/breathing-tips-for-anxiety
Hotline Numbers to Call:
a.Panic Disorder Information Hotline: 1-800-64-PANIC (72642): If you don’t feel comfortable with calling someone you know while having a panic attack, some hotline numbers you can call if you need to speak to someone while having a panic attack. You could also call this number if you would like to know more about panic disorders.
b.Teen Line: 1-310-855-HOPE (4673) or 1-800-TLC-TEEN (1-800-852-8336): This helpline allows teens in crisis to connect with other teens who understand what they’re going through. The service can also be reached by texting “TEEN” to 839863.
Some articles you should check out if you want to understand more about how to deal with your panic attacks:
a. Tips on how to stop a panic attack: these tips are really helpful in dealing with your panic attacks and reduce your anxiety symptoms:
b.This article on “How to deal with anxiety” will help you and teach you more about accepting your anxiety and how to listen more to your body’s
An article to read if you want to understand more about anxiety disorder sign and symptoms:
Stress: it's an emotion we all feel every now and then. However, with the right mindset, it doesn't take much to combat the dreaded feeling once and for all. With university applications just finished, while the first step of the lengthy process is just about over, the stress never seems to stop. Here are some tips to stay mentally sound during the application process.
Procrastination is something I've struggled immensely with and is still a big issue that concerns me today. Although I am tempted to leave my work to the last minute, I know that this will ultimately do more harm than good. Instead, you should always start the work ahead of time, and divide the work into sections while doing it. This will allow you to retouch work from before without having to do it all in one go, thus limiting any unnecessary mistakes.
Your mental health should be in a place that is steady and calm. Take a deep breath and relax for a while. Do some stretching, take a walk, grab a snack or do some yoga. Just do anything other than work. This will not only strengthen your body, but also your mind.
Talk with someone:
If you are struggling with applications and need an opinion or two, talk with someone. Communication is key to getting your thoughts across and obtaining sufficient feedback and ideas that can benefit you in your application. Talk with your friends, or even better, an older person who is currently in university. This can be your older sibling, a family friend, or even a relative.
With these tips, you can battle stress in any shape or form that comes with the tense pressures of applying to university. While stress is an emotion that will always be apparent in your life, it doesn't mean it should always negatively impact the things you do.
In the last few weeks, the UK lockdown measures have eased in ways that a lot of us did not think were ever going to happen. Pubs have opened back up, we can eat inside restaurants, and the queues to get inside a clothes shop are the longest that I have seen for a long time. Living in a small town means that it is nice to see local, small businesses opening up again and serving members of the public. However, the anxiety that some of us are feeling makes the idea of going out to casually eat a meal again difficult to deal with. As someone who has definitely felt this stress and anxiety, I thought I’d collate a short list of things that have helped me in return to normality and might help some of you.
A couple of ways to help ease the anxiety you might be feeling:
For more information about how to combat feelings of stress and anxiety about the easing of lockdown I thought I would provide some links to further reading that some of you might find helpful. These are websites that I’ve personally visited time and time again whilst looking for advice, therefore having no association or sponsorship with Teenagers with Experience. I think the Mind charity does a really good job of explaining a plethora of feelings that individuals may be experiencing, not only stress and anxiety. In addition to Mind, is Rethink Mental Illness. Their website takes you through a series of scenario-based questions about returning to work, the ever-changing rules and the fear of catching or transmitting to vulnerable friends or family members.
It’s easy to think that you are the only person struggling with lockdown easing, especially when scrolling through social media and every other photo is of a person in a bar or with their friends they haven’t seen for months. Remember that social media is not an accurate representation of people’s lives, it’s a highlight reel of their personal best bits. The person who went out the night before may have extreme anxiety about going out in three days time.
Here’s hoping that some of this advice helped, don’t forget to share your opinions or advice. Helping each other is how we’ve made it this far over the pandemic.