I am a 13 year old with depression, anxiety and social anxiety. Whenever I go out in public my hands start shaking and I break out in sweat. Whenever I accidentally see a bit of the newspaper, I have to run up to my room so my parents don’t see me cry. And I struggle with suicidal thoughts (from the depression) Have any advice?
- Thank you so much for reaching out to the Teen Central Community! It can be really difficult to ask others for help and oftentimes more difficult for individuals with anxiety. Great job! It takes a lot of courage to share your story and show your vulnerabilities. You are not alone and we hope to provide you support during this difficult time.
- First and foremost – If you are ever feeling unsafe, there are things you can do to get help right away. Your safety is the number one priority. Under the “Help” tab there are a few important hotlines/text lines that we encourage you to write down or store in a place you can always access if you need it. The first is the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. The second is the Crisis Text Line where you all you do is text “HELLO” to 741741. They are available 24/7 and can provide immediate support. One of the most powerful things you can do is take time to educate yourself and seek out resources to help you understand what you are going through. We have many awesome resources here at Teen Central. If you click on the “Learn” tab, there are sections on Anxiety, Depression, and Suicide among other topics. There’s also a “Tools” tab with other resources on depression, mood trackers and even a support plan you could create to help yourself in times of need.
- One of the most valuable tools you have is the support of the trusted adults in your life. They can provide valuable feedback, support, and help you feel not alone by just being there to listen. Is there anyone you feel comfortable talking to about some of these issues? It could be a positive family member, family friend, or even a trusted community member like a counselor.
- Finding outlets to organize your thoughts and release your emotions safely and effectively is another important step in managing some of the negative things you are experiencing. Have you tried keeping a daily journal? You could also write a letter to someone you trust if you feel too much anxiety in having a conversation. Often times even just writing down your thoughts and feelings can make you feel a little bit more in control of what you are going through. You can do things like making a list of the things / situations that make you anxious as well as coping skills / activities that make you feel better. We encourage you to give it a shot and see what works for you.
- Making sure you practice good self-care is another important part of supporting yourself through tough times. Find time to do the positive things that calm you down or make you feel happy. What are your favorite things to do that bring you happiness or calm? Add those things to your support plan and try to make them a part of your daily life. It doesn’t have to be anything big – simple things like listening to a favorite song or just getting outside and being active can be a great mood booster.
- Who are the positive people you enjoy spending time with? Using these individuals as sources of support and comfort can be very helpful in navigating tough situations or emotions. Spending time with these people who you feel safe and comfortable with can also help ease some of your social anxiety. If you are having a really tough time being physically around people, we encourage you to read some of the other stories on Teen Central – you will find many other individuals who struggle with similar issues and you can see the feedback they have received also.