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I'm feeling stressed or anxious

  • Feeling stressed about exams or school work?
  • Things happening at home making you feel anxious?

From time to time, everyone feels worried, stressed or anxious – these feelings are normal reactions to challenging events in our lives. However, if it gets out of control it can make us unhappy and frustrated.

How can I tell if I am experiencing stress or anxiety?

You may feel physical symptoms such as your heart beating fast, your stomach churning, nausea, sweating, difficulty sleeping, tense muscles, headaches or dizziness.

You may also experience psychological symptoms such as feeling nervous and ‘on edge’, feeling worried or upset, fearing the worst, having difficulty concentrating, feeling like your mind is really busy, or feeling numb.

It is normal to experience some of these symptoms from time to time, especially before a big event like an exam or having to do something difficult. However, if you are constantly stressed and anxious and it affects your everyday life, then you may need some help.

Where can I get help & support?

There's lots of help and support available if you think you are suffering with stress or anxiety.

Understanding a bit more about stress or anxiety, and how to manage it, may help you feel better and more in control.  The Young Minds website explains more about anxiety or visit the Mood Cafe to learn about worry and stress.  Take a simple mood quiz, or watch a Youtube video about young people sharing their experiences. 

Talk to someone you know and trust

It's a good idea to speak to someone you know and trust about your feelings. This could be a friend, family member, teacher or mentor-person. It feels good to offload and the other person may offer you good advice, or help you find the right support.

If you feel it difficult to talk to some, that it's too hard to explain or that they won't understand or feel the same, The Young Minds website has some great tips to help.

Get professional support

If stress or anxiety becomes a big issue for you, you may need professional help. Off the Record offers a free, confidential support service for Merton residents, with online or face-to-face counselling options. If you are aged 14-18 years, you can get in touch with Off the Record directly by calling 020 8680 8899 or emailing merton@talkofftherecord.org.

Otherwise, talk to someone at school or to your GP about making a referral to Merton's Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

CAMHS can offer support, or refer you to Off the Record for counselling.

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