What Is Anxiety And How To Get Help
MTV got in contact with YoungMinds, the UK’s leading mental health charity for young people, to find out more about anxiety, and how to get help.
One of the biggest problems with mental health is that even though it’s a totally normal part of life, a lot of people don’t talk about it.
So shout out to Zayn Malik who was honest about why he cancelled a gig in London - it was due to his struggles with anxiety. It’s important to break taboos and stigma around mental health so that people can get access to support and treatment, and high-profile names like Zayn Malik can help with this.
Posting on Twitter, Zayn said: “Unfortunately my anxiety that has haunted me throughout the last few months around live performances has gotten the better of me… with the magnitude of the event, I have suffered the worst anxiety of my career.
He ended with: “I know those who suffer anxiety will understand and I hope those who don’t can empathise with my situation.”
Olly Alexander, the Years & Years frontman, has also spoken publicly about his long-term struggle with both anxiety and a panic disorder.
Speaking to The Guardian, Olly spoke about the mental distress he was experiencing: “I always had really, really bad nightmares, like night terrors or whatever they’re called,” he recalled. “I used to wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to move ... I’d hallucinate and have really scary visions and dreams, so I wouldn’t want to sleep.”
YouTube queen Zoella has also spoken up about her mental health: “I know just how isolating it can feel to experience severe anxiety. However, the overwhelming response I’ve received every time I’ve spoken out online, shows just how many young people confront it every day,” she said.
“I am passionate about the need for everyone to feel ok to speak out, to talk to friends and family about what they’re going through, to ask for help.”
And there are even more who have spoken out honestly about their mental health. Just this week (July 4), Rou Reynolds, the frontman of Enter Shikari, discussed struggling with anxiety and a panic disorder.
So while we’re 100% behind everyone who is honest and open about their mental health, there is still some confusion around what exactly anxiety is and how you get help with it. MTV got in contact with YoungMinds, the UK’s leading mental health charity for young people, to find out.
What is anxiety?
Problems with anxiety are really common. As many as 1 in 6 young people will experience an anxiety problem at some point in their lives.
Anxiety is the feeling of fear or panic. Most people feel anxious, panicky or fearful about situations in life, such as money problems or exams, but often once the difficult situation is over, you feel better and calmer.
If feelings of fear or anxiety continue after the difficult situation, or you may feel a stronger sense of fear than other people - this could be when anxiety becomes a problem and can affect you doing everyday things. If you think this could be something you’re experiencing – then try talking to someone you trust, or go and see your doctor.
There are also lots of helplines out there that can give you advice, such as Anxiety UK (08444 775 774), No Panic (01753 840393) and Mind (0300 123 3393). Furthermore, Anxiety UK currently run a Live Chat over here.
Symptoms of anxiety include feeling frightened, nervous or panicky all the time. You may also feel down or depressed and have difficulties sleeping and eating, be unable to concentrate on things and feel tired and irritable. There can be physical stuff too, like your heart racing, faintness or stomach cramps.
Young people with anxiety usually tend to experience anxiety in three ways:
- generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)
- panic attacks
But just the same as with any medical problem, every single person is different. The main thing is that you don’t ignore it – and are supportive of others around you who might be struggling.
How to get help
If you feel like you are anxious or panicky a lot of the time, speak to your doctor and explain how you feel.
There are lots of things they will be able to help with – from general advice, through to more tailored options, like relaxation techniques, wesbites that can help, medication, or talking therapy. As the patient, it’s always up to you what you choose to do out of the options they give you - the most important thing is that you’re taking positive steps to minimising the impact of anxiety on your life.
Ask as many questions as you need – doctors are there to help, and support you. If you feel confused, or unsure, speak up. We all deserve to be happy.
MTV would like to thank YoungMinds for their help and expertise. To get in contact with YoungMinds, click here.
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