Everyone gets stressed from time to time, stress is a normal part of everyday life – the key is not to allow it to get the better of you, and learn to manage it. Stress can be caused by anything, some examples of what students may stress about are:
School, exams, not coping with the workload; an argument you may have had with a teacher or friend; bullying.
Home and personal life,parents or guardians arguing with you or with each other, abuse, financial difficulties, break up of a relationship or being worried about getting selected for a sports team.
Stress is healthy in small amounts. However when stress gets out of control and interferes with normal day to day life, it is a problem.
This excess stress may cause you to feel and act differently to your usual behaviour. You may feel angry, upset, anxious or sad along with other feelings. It may also cause headaches, indigestion, sweating, as well as changes in sleeping and eating patterns.
Increased worry and stress may cause anxiety. Anxiety is an unpleasant feeling of fear about something. A small amount of anxiety is normal, however if the feeling is not controlled or goes on for a long time, these feelings may stop people from going about their day-to-day life and thus make life very difficult.
Increased stress and/or anxiety may cause someone to have a Panic attack. A panic attack may happen without any warning. It involves quickening of breathing with this more oxygen is taken in which speeds up the heart rate. This increases adrenalin levels and worries the mind into a state of alert.
Symptoms of a panic attack include; heart palpitations, feeling of disaster and sometimes death, dizziness, hot and cold flushes, hyperventilation, confusion, trembling. A panic attack can be a very frightening experience for someone. Many students experience panic attacks in second-level school.
What might help dealing with stress, anxiety and panic attacks?
It is important to learn and understand what is causing the worry. It may help to note how you are feeling during the day if you are feeling more stressed and anxious when doing certain task(s) or when talking to a certain individual then this may be part of the problem.
It is important to think positively.
Relax and take time out.
Exercise – DANCE, WALK, RUN, PLAY SPORTS.
Most importantly – DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP.
If you or a friend is experiencing stress and/or anxiety and/or panic attacks, it is important to take the measures required for full recovery. This may include help and support from friends, family, school, youth worker etc. If the stress and/or anxiety and/or panic attacks are causing severe problems, a young person may have to seek further professional help to aid recovery, this may be talking to a GP or counsellor about what is going on and how you s/he is feeling. This help and support will make recovery easier.