This question and answer page has been set up for children/young people to ask questions of Irene Tubbs who is an experienced professional working with children/young people. You can find out more about her by logging onto main heading HOME and clicking on Bibliography.
Question: “I feel different to my friends”
Answer: “That’s because everyone is and needs to be different, because being different is what makes each of us special. If we all looked alike, behaved the same, liked the same things, had exactly the same ideas, we would never have all the amazing new ideas that we have. Think of computers, phones, games, sports, tv programs, I’m sure you like some different ones to your friends. So being different is actually ‘fantastic’, be proud of yourself because it means you will have lots of different ideas, be able to make your own choices with confidence and find ways of doing things that you can develop or share with others as you get older”.
Question: “What’s wrong with me I feel anxious all the time”
Answer: “When we were first on this planet we needed to be able to survive in very harsh conditions so our bodies developed very special abilities to warn us of dangers. They are our best friends because they never leave us, will always be there, ready like a soldier on guard duty to warn us to be careful.
One of these friends is an emotion called anxiety, your very, very, best friend. Your brain very cleverly stores memories of any fears or difficult experiences you have had, which get triggered if you think about, see, smell, taste or touch them again. It wants to immediately warn you so you are ready to deal with it, which it does by making you feel anxious. You can’t switch it off, you wouldn’t want to because then you really would be in danger, but you can help it to go quiet by listening to it. So being anxious doesn’t mean your weak it means your best friend is warning you to be careful. Talk to it, say “hallo friend (or hallo annoying friend) thanks for the warning, I’m ok, I know what to do; or I’m going to be careful; or I’m not afraid of them anymore, then it will go quiet, because you listened to it. Waiting patiently, ready to switch on again when you need another warning.