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Conquering Anxiety

Set up by Sophie over at One Unique, Huddle and Cuddle is a campaign to help raise awareness of mental health issues by using the means of social media. Influencers have teamed up to help this campaign and to spread the word, allowing people to never feel alone by sharing their experiences with you. Huddle and Cuddle wants people to get involved by talking to people, whether it be an influencer, family member or a helpline about their thoughts and challenges they may come across. 

When Sophie first told me that she was working on a project I was so excited; everything Sophie does is to such a high calibre. Without even knowing what she had set up, I told her that I'd love to help and be a part of it... so I was ecstatic when I found out that it was this campaign! I had been trying to talk myself into writing a post about mental health for a while and the 'Huddle and Cuddle' project is the push I needed.

For a while I'd wanted to make a post about anxiety because it's something I've lived with for the past few years.  I think it'll be beneficial to start with the basics and then work up. So, anxiety is general term for a few different types of mental illness all of which cause nervousness, fear, apprehension and worrying. It effects 12.8% of UK citizens (there were 8.2 million people diagnosed with it in 2013) and recently it's become more prevalent amongst teens. Anyone and everyone can get feelings of anxiety at some point- it could be about a test, doing a performance, trying something new- but when those feelings start happening more frequently or taking control is when I might advise speaking to your GP.

I'm not really too sure when my anxiety started. I sort of think it was always there; I was a very nervous kid but always outwardly confident. SATS were a huge deal for me so I was terrified for that but afterwards everything died down for a bit. About half way through year eight I started getting increasingly more worried for smaller and smaller things and that feeling just stuck. Throughout year nine it fluctuated between okay and just terrible which would be hard for any 13/ 14 year old to deal with. 

One thing I have to say about the experience was that it taught me the importance of support. Independence is something I used to value above anything but now I understand the need for other people. At first, I found having anxiety embarrassing but as time goes on, I'm finding it easier to talk about. I have an amazing group of friends who are always there for me and my family are all very supportive.

You should never isolate yourself. At times it could feel like there's nobody there but I promise there is. You can talk to a friend, a helpline, a parent, or a teacher. The pastoral team at your school could seem scary to approach but they can get you in touch with some very helpful people and are always there... even if you only want to talk. Where I live, in Hull, there is a youth service called The Warren  who offer counselling for teens: I found having counselling very helpful.

The main piece of advice that I have is to just know your strength. Anxiety (or any form of mental illness) is a huge struggle. It really tests you but it takes a special person to come out of the other side. You might not win every battle, but I know you can win the war. Just believe in yourself, and stay strong. 

If you want to read any more articles about mental health that have been written by teen bloggers like myself, check out www.huddleandcuddle.com or look at their twitter @huddleandcuddle. If you've come from their website, have a look at the rest of my 'Stress free September' series. I hope you have an amazing week!


Thanks for Reading
El

Comments

  1. Thank you for writing about your experiences, El. Isolating yourself is the worst thing you can do, it's so important you tell someone how you're feeling in order for you to get better.

    Sophie xx // One Unique

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I 100% agree. I'm so glad to have been a part of Huddle and Cuddle because it gave me a chance to share this. Thanks for your support xox

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