What is anxiety?

When you are scared, worried, stressed or afraid you may experience anxiety, this can happen when you know something difficult is planned, for example, exams or a driving test, or when you think about the unknown or the future.

Anxiety can be experienced physically, with many different symptoms, within your thoughts or both, but the response itself is actually a natural biological response when under stress.

Certain natural chemicals are released into our bodies, mainly adrenaline and cortisol, and these make your body ready to respond under pressure, this is known as Fight, Flight or Freeze. In a stressful situation it can make you stronger and faster, but sometimes you can be in a situation and your Fight, Flight or Freeze response will kick in and can cause your anxiety to feel overwhelming. You can experience triggers to your anxiety, for example, certain situations, people or places may cause your anxiety to begin; these triggers can also increase if you do not learn to manage your anxiety.

Why do people get anxiety?

Some anxiety is perfectly normal, even for an extended period of time, but anxiety can become an issue if it starts to affect your daily life:

  • If you start to worry about things you used to enjoy
  • Start to avoid friends or social gatherings
  • You worry in advance about possible outcomes
  • Your symptoms are frequent and increasing
  • You feel overwhelmed
  • Areas of your life are disrupted, for example, eating and sleeping
  • This list are not the only examples, you may have others

Working with a mental health professional can help you look at the root causes of your anxiety and help you with techniques to manage the physical and emotional symptoms.

How to seek support

  • Complete the self-referral on this website and you will be contacted on your school email by a mental health professional
  • Go to your GP
  • Speak to a trusted adult
  • Look on line for information, for example:

You are not alone and will not be judged, support is available.

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