Young people 'need help' with anxiety, warn charities

The number of 16-25 year olds looking online for help with anxiety is on the rise, say Anxiety UK and YouthNet.

In January, Anxiety UK had more than 5,000 young visitors on their site, compared to just over 3,500 at the same time last year.

In January 2014 YouthNet recorded 10,936 visitors compared to January 2013 when they received 9,611.

"Anxiety is a ticking time bomb among young people," said Emma Rubach from YouthNet.

She added: "For many years it hasn't really been recognised that they're suffering from this.

"And now that people are starting to get help I think we're starting to see more numbers coming forward.

"I certainly think young people have it tougher - never being able to switch off. You have your phone in your pocket, you're on social media on all the time, and it's really hard to step away from that sometimes."

Terri Torevell from Anxiety UK said: "There needs to be more support for young people with anxiety.

"Anxiety is normal, it's treatable and it getting help early can help a person to not experience those feeling any longer than they need to."

'Panicky', 'agitated' and 'out of breath'

Anjeli Shah
Anjeli's GP has recently referred her to a counsellor

Twenty-one year old Anjeli Shah turned to YouthNet last year after suffering symptoms of anxiety.

"I feel quite panicky, nervous. My chest does get quite tight, I get out of breath, and it tends to happen when you're either in unfamiliar surrounding or surrounded by a lot of strangers.

"You feel quite agitated, you don't really know what to say, and I feel quite blank."

She says it's affected her day-to-day life.

"Lately I've felt like I can't go to a party where there's going to be loads of people there that I don't know.

"I can't go to a club because it's going to be crowded and I don't want people coming close to me.

"It affects me when I'm commuting, I feel like I have to go to work earlier so there will be less people on public transport coming near me."

Anjeli said she went to see a doctor on a number of occasions, but it wasn't until recently that one GP spotted signs of anxiety and referred her to a counsellor.

Earlier this month, new guidelines were brought in by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to improve the standard of care for people experiencing anxiety disorders.

Anxiety
NICE found people diagnosed with anxiety were often given prescription drugs

NICE found that recognition of anxiety disorders was poor, and only a small number of people were diagnosed.

The health watchdog also found the few who were diagnosed were given prescription drugs as a treatment, instead of the psychological help that NICE recommends.

Now Anjeli has been referred to a psychologist she says she hopes life will someday return to normal.

"I really am looking forward to being able to go back to being happy, secure in myself. I want to be social again, and not scared of challenge and new environments."

Follow this link for more information on getting help with anxiety.

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