Grace's diary: What's it like living with anxiety?

Last updated at 10:25
Grace's diary: what's it like living with anxiety

My name is Grace, I'm 14-years-old and I have anxiety.

Anxiety is when you worry constantly about things like, 'what class will I be in next year?'

There is a voice in your head that keeps on going over and over the same thing. The voice never stops.

When I began to feel anxious, I couldn't go out and walk on the pavement without wanting to be on the side by the road because I was worrying constantly that I would push someone into the road.

I couldn't do everyday things without worrying.

I think I have had anxiety all my life but I couldn't tell people about it because I felt like I had done something wrong. My earliest memory of this was when I was very little and ate a sweet from a pick and mix before paying.

It took me forever to tell people about my anxiety but when I did I felt a lot better. I decided to tell people because the guilt of thinking I had done something was eating me up.

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Anxiety and depression explained

When I did tell someone, my parents took me to see my local doctor who put me on a list to see someone from the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

During my first appointment I kept my hands crunched up in a ball shape because I was worried about swearing. It took a long time to get better because I found it difficult to accept that the worries and thoughts were not true. But telling people was the best thing I ever did!

Activities such as horse riding helped me because they were a good distraction from the anxiety. I was taught some coping strategies such as breathing and ways that I could push the thoughts out of my mind. These strategies help me now to stay in control.

My advice is to talk to someone if you are feeling worried - talking will only make it better.

Remember that you are never alone and other people know exactly what you are going through.

Finally, always smile and never let the condition win - you are all stronger than that.