Ask Alea: I am having a lot of anxiety, can’t make friends because I’m shy, and I’m losing interest in everything. What do you think I should do? (14, M, SC)
Sometimes anxiety can feel very terrible and frustrating. When you think about being shy and anxious, what are your fears? Are you feeling hopeless, helpless, angry? Are you scared you will be embarrassed or feel vulnerable? Are there times you don’t feel scared? Is there someone who makes you feel safe at home or at school? How do you know you are safe? I’m sure a lot of things are changing in your life, the more you know about what is bothering you and why they are bothering you. Once you start to answer each question you can find support and feel better. Sometimes you have to ask for help from a safe person to get that help. So finding out who is safe is a good start also to understanding anxiety. If you are still feeling sad, sometimes finding activities that you like outside of school where you can be with others you own age can be really helpful like art, sports, tutoring, reading, journaling, writing, music, computer games, YMCA, etc. If you start to think life isn’t worth it anymore or you don’t have anyone to talk to there are hotlines: 1-800-273-8255 (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline)
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