It doesn't matter if you are 5 years old or 96 years old, you will always feel a little bit of anxiety.
Everyone has anxiety, but some people are 'diagnosed'. What this means is, the little bit of anxiety most people experience before they step onto a stage, speak in front of people, ect, has gotten way out of hand. This little fear here and there has gotten to the point where you cannot leave the house and you can't do day to day things. Anxiety comes in many different forms and levels such as social anxiety, general anxiety, separation anxiety and more.
My experience: I've had anxiety since I was 4. I was scared of raising my hand in kinder. Yeah, my friends picked on me. They taunted me saying stuff like, "Oh, you too shy or something?" or just laugh at me. When I look back, I'm kind of glad I had that anxiety, because I didn't turn out a bad kid. I'm now an A grade student, I still have a lot of anxieties and I still get bullied, but I am so glad I didn't turn out like them. I may not be able to make eye contact with somebody for more than 10 seconds but at least I know right from wrong, that anxiety I have has stopped me and my friends from doing the wrong thing, like doing drugs, drinking beer and getting into fights. I am kind of appreciative of that anxiety I have. Those moments when I didn't want to step into kinder because I was late and was scared because I thought they were going to laugh at me, they made me stronger. I felt horrible when I was in the moment but hey, I still walked into that classroom.
Here are some steps to follow if your having really bad anxieties:
1. Try and visualize what will happen after your out of the situation. Maybe go buy yourself an ice cream after your scary exam, or nerve racking job interview.
2. If a friend is with you, let them know how you're feeling. They may be able to help you out of the situation.
3. Notice what's around you. If you become aware of your surroundings you might start to feel more comfortable, or notice where the anxiety is coming from.
4. If your anxiety is because there is drugs/beer/violence around you at a party or something, please call somebody you trust to come pick you up. If things are getting out of hand please call 911/000/whatever your country rings for police or ambulance.
5. Do not fall into peer pressure. If a friend is trying to make you hang out with her drug using boyfriend at 10 o clock at night in a secluded park, be worried. You won't hurt her feelings if you tell her your not going. You can make up any excuse you can think of.
6. If you just feel uncomfortable in an area like a shopping center, tell the person you are with you want to leave. If they are forcing you to stay even though you feel uncomfortable, you should ring a taxi and go home.
There are many ways you can get out of scary situations. You shouldn't have to be forced to stay in a risky area or do something you don't feel comfortable doing!
Teenagers With Experience is an organisation created to provide teenagers with a platform to share and help others from their own experiences while also educating others on different topics. We aim to provide a safe space to all teenagers around the world and support others. You can contact us via email, social media or our contact form found on our home page.