Walton High School

01785 334 917

Student Self Help

WORRIED
 
Everyone can feel fearful or worried from time to time, however some young people have severe anxiety which causes a lot of distress which can seriously affect their everyday lives.
  
It's okay to worry. Sometimes worry and anxiety can be helpful, and get us to do things to protect ourselves or solve problems. Too much worry is when you can't stop thinking about the things that worry you, and you start to feel confused, sad or scared a lot of the time leading to severe anxiety.
 
Anxiety can cause both physical and emotional symptoms. This means it can affect how a person feels in their body and also health. Some of the symptoms are: feeling fearful or panicky; feeling breathless, sweaty, or complaining of 'butterflies' or pains in the chest or stomach; feeling tense, fidgety, using the toilet often. These symptoms may come and go, it can be hard to put into words how you feel. You can appear irritable, become tearful and have difficulty sleeping. Anxiety can even cause you to develop a headache, a stomach-ache or to feel sick.        
 
To Find Out More...
 
MIND have produced a really useful guide on anxiety and panic

 

IDENTIFY

Many young people struggle with concerns about identity, sometimes feelings about gender are unclear and puberty can be a very difficult time.

Gender identity (how you feel about your gender) and sexuality (your sexual preferences) aren't the same thing, but they're both linked. Teenagers who experience gender discomfort might feel unhappy, lonely or isolated from their peers and friends. There may be social pressure from friends, teachers and family to conform to gender stereotypes, or they may face bullying and harassment. Their discomfort about being male or female may affect self-esteem, depression, self-harm and face suicidal thoughts.

Many children and young people will generally know that they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or question their sexuality or gender identity from a young age. A large number don't tell anyone until they are older – this is mainly because they are scared and worried about what others might think. This gap between initial questioning of their identity and starting to accept it can leave a window of time when young people can suffer with lower self-esteem, depression and isolation. 

To Find Out More...

Mermaids

Mermaids is a charity who offer support to young people and families around gender identity, the young voices section of the website can be accessed here: http://www.mermaidsuk.org.uk/young-voices.html 

 The Mixhttp://www.themix.org.uk/

 RUCORucomingout.com

 

HEARING VOICES

Anybody can hear voices in their heads or in their ears. Some may be nice and some may be unkind. Sometimes the voices can be heard once and then never ever again, in other cases they may just reoccur in particular circumstances and situations, and for others it may be more persistent. 

Hearing voices is not necessarily a sign of mental illness. It can be related to a traumatic event such as a bereavement or family breakdown. Some people who hear voices have positive experience of the voices they hear and they are helpful in their lives.  

It is very important to understand that not everyone hearing voices needs support or help with their mental health and wellbeing, however it may be wise to seek help if the voices become hostile, intimidating and start to have a negative impact on your day to day living.

To Find Out More... 

http://www.youngminds.org.uk/for_parents/worried_about_your_child/hearing_voices/getting_help

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BB9_Zy0I3VU 

 

SUICIDAL THOUGHTS

Suicidal thoughts can range from being preoccupied by abstract thoughts about ending your life, or feeling that people would be better off without you, to thinking about methods of suicide, or making clear plans to end your life.

If you are feeling suicidal, you might be scarred or confused by these feelings. But you are not alone! If you are really struggling please seek help, you don’t have to deal with this alone.

Helpful links:

http://www.youngminds.org.uk/for_parents/worried_about_your_child/suicidal_feelings

http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/suicide-supporting-someone-else/

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Suicide/Pages/Getting-help.aspx

 

BULLYING 

Bullying is a repeated behaviour which is designed to hurt someone either emotionally or physically. People can get bullied for lots of different reasons such as; race, religion, gender, sexuality, appearance or disability. Bullying can happen in many different ways and in different places like at school, home, online or just out in the street.

It's important to know that if you're being bullied you should tell someone straight away (like a parent/guardian, teacher, support worker) and not try and deal with it on your own. Bullying can be a scary and upsetting experience, by telling someone about what is happening you can take the first step to making it stop and get some practical advice for how to get through it.

To Find Out More...

Kidscape 
Kidscape's website has a useful section on advice if you experience bullying:

https://www.kidscape.org.uk/advice/advice-for-young-people/ 

 

FEELING SAD

Everyone has generally experienced the feeling of being sad. This feeling can come in many forms and can look very different for each individual. For instance some people can become very withdrawn or tearful when sad where as others can present as angry or hyperactive. When we are feeling sad we would generally expect these feelings to pass in due course. Sometimes these feelings can interfere with your life i.e. your motivation, relationships, concentration. This feeling at its mildest form can make daily tasks very difficult and not seem worthwhile. If you are experiencing the sad feeling for a few days at a time over a number of weeks or if you feel that it is always there it could be a sign that you need some additional support to help you through this difficult time. There is support out there both on the internet or you can explore local services through your GP or health professional.

To Find Out More...

This article helps you to think about what is helpful to do when feeling low, you can listen to it too rather than read it!
http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/depression-tips.html

 

PROBLEMS WITH EATING

Many people experience problems with eating. They can occur at any age but often affect teenagers – both males and females. Eating problems include a range of different concerns. Often, food intake may be restricted either as a way of losing weight or for other personal reasons not involving weight loss. For other young people, there may be a cycle of eating lots in one go (binging) and then compensating for this with behaviours including restricting food, forcibly vomiting or taking laxatives. Some people may binge without doing these behaviours afterwards and others have a combination of the above difficulties. Finally, there are some children and young people who have very restrictive diets because they struggle with the taste of new foods. This can make it difficult for them to get the nutrition they need and can cause social difficulties such as eating out with family/friends. Eating problems can be very distressing both for you and your family and it can be hard for those around you to understand. Eating problems can also affect both your physical health and your emotional wellbeing and people can feel quite lonely trying to deal with it by themselves. If you are struggling with any of these issues, there is help out there, both through local services and self-help resources.

To Find Out More...

B Eat
B-Eat are a charity with great information about eating difficulties.
http://www.b-eat.co.uk/about-eating-disorders

 

SELF-HARM

Self-harm is any behaviour that involves someone putting themselves at risk of being hurt in some way either through deliberately injuring themselves or by putting themselves in dangerous situations. Examples can include cutting or otherwise inflicting injuries but may also include failing to take prescribed medications or follow recommendations from health professionals. Self-harm has become increasingly common in the UK in recent years especially amongst young people, both males and females. It can happen for lots of different reasons but is most often used as a way of expressing distress or releasing difficult emotions that can feel too hard to talk about. Many people describe the feeling after self-harming as a release, although it is often then accompanied by guilt, which can make any low or distressing feelings even worse in the long term. If you are struggling with self-harm, then help is available, both through services but also through self-help resources.

To Find Out More...

Nshn
http://www.nshn.co.uk/whatis.html  

We particularly like the distractions leaflet which you can get to directly by clicking here:

 Nshn 1http://www.nshn.co.uk/downloads/Distractions.pdf 

 

OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER

Obsessive compulsive disorder is a serious anxiety related disorder. It consists of obsessions (what we think) and compulsions (what we do). This may take place as horrible and intrusive thoughts and images, which result in urges to complete certain actions or rituals, such as hand washing, for example.

An example is being scared someone will break into the house (obsession), so you constantly check doors and windows to ensure that they are locked.

Helpful Links:

http://staffordshire-ocd.org.uk/

http://www.ocduk.org/

 

ADHD

ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Someone with ADHD will struggle with concentration, can be easily distracted, and fidget. At school, you may seem disruptive and get told off in lessons. At home, you might find it hard to remember and follow instructions, and can overreact to situations or throw temper tantrums. Sleeping can be difficult if you have ADHD.

There is a similar problem called ADD which stands for Attention Deficit Disorder which is the same as ADHD but without the hyperactivity.

An assessment for ADHD or ADD will involve talking to you, your family, and your school, there can be many reasons for having inattentive behavioural difficulties and we are careful to ensure we understand what is going on for you as an individual.

To Find Out More...

AddissADISS (ADHD Information Services) have a useful website with for information about ADHD.
This link sends you to a factsheet on ADHD:
http://www.addiss.co.uk/adhd.htm

Young Minds Young Minds has a section of their website just for ADHD, this is the direct link:
http://www.youngminds.org.uk/for_children_young_people/whats_worrying_you/adhd

 

PROBLEMS WITH SLEEP

There are many problems people can face with sleep. These come in various different forms such as:

  • Hearing things in the night
  • Not being able to get off to sleep
  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares / night terrors
  • Sleep paralysis
  • Bed wetting
  • Sleep walking

It is very common for people of all ages to experience sleep problems, this doesn’t always mean that there is a mental health problem however it can be influenced by diets, lifestyles, worries, stress, anxieties, big changes such as moving house or school. If sleep problems persist and are impacting on your day to day living you seek help from you GP.

Helpful Links

http://www.youngminds.org.uk/for_parents/worried_about_your_child/sleep_problems/about_sleepproblems

http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/sleep-problems.html

 

SELF ESTEEM

'Self-esteem' is a phrase that we use to talk about how people feel about themselves. People with healthy self-esteems will generally have more positive opinions about who they are. They may sometimes not like certain parts of themselves (like personality or appearance) but in general they can deal with this without it having a long-term negative impact on them. People with low self-esteems tend to have very negative opinions about themselves. They often focus on the parts of them they don't like and find it hard to see the positive parts of who they are.

If you feel that you have low self-esteem you should think about talking to either your parent/guardian, a teacher or a support worker. Self-esteem is something we all struggle with at some point and so by talking to others it helps us see we're not the only one who feels this way. Try thinking about the parts of you that you do like, focus on compliments that you've been given in the past and talk to someone about the negative thoughts you have.

To Find Out More...

Dove Dove (the people that make the soap) have a self-esteem project:

http://selfesteem.dove.co.uk/

 

PROBLEMS AT HOME

What people call home and their family can be very different. They are made up of different people, with different needs, ideas, characters and ways in which they behave. This can make family something very special but equally very complicated and difficult. Families are supposed to be loving and caring to one and other. These are the people you should feel most safe and secure with.

It can be normal for families not to get along sometimes. Every family has problems even if they are happy and don't usually argue. Problems at home can take many forms, some examples can be arguments, separation, abuse (sexual, emotional or physical), money problems and drugs and alcohol to name but a few.

To Find Out More...

If you feel that things at home are getting too much for you or if you feel scared, worried or unsafe you can get help and advice from online, ChildLine or you should speak to your teacher, health professional or local social services.


Family Lives http://www.familylives.co.uk

 

ALCOHOL & DRUG MISUSE

T3 is a confidential service for young people up to 18 years old in Staffordshire which aims to help reduce the risks and harm associated with alcohol and drug misuse. T3 aims to help young people make informed choices about their alcohol and drug use, and to raise awareness of all the risks involved. A team of qualified staff with specialist alcohol and drug knowledge and specific experience of working with young people will provide an initial comprehensive assessment of need, access to specialist prescribing pathways, structured care planning, therapeutic interventions and motivational support. 

To Find Out More...

T3 Young Person's Substance Misuse Service - Staffordshire

01785 241 393

t3staff.stafford@cgl.org.uk