• Stress: We all feel stressed out at times, especially when we feel like we’re under pressure and things are getting on top of us. Having a lot of stress for a long time can become difficult to manage and lead to us feeling very anxious.
  •  Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD): anxiety is triggered when someone gets nervous or worried about things going on in their life, big and small. Some anxiety is normal but if it goes on for too long, or starts to take over everyday life, they might need some support to manage their worries.
  •  Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD): this is an anxiety-related condition which involves a person having ‘obsessions’ (unwanted thoughts or images that are difficult to stop) and ‘compulsions’ (rituals of checking or asking for reassurance or repetitive actions) to try to relieve their anxiety.
  •  Panic attacks: a panic attack is a sudden, intense feeling of fear or anxiety, often with physical symptoms such as a rapid heartbeat, sweating, fast breathing and feeling faint.
  • Phobia: a phobia is an irrational or extreme fear of a situation or an object. Some common phobias are claustrophobia (fear of confined spaces), arachnophobia (fear of spiders) and social phobia (fear of social or public situations).
  •  Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): it is normal to feel a high level of stress in the weeks following a traumatic event. For some people, the feeling of stress does not decrease over time and they develop PTSD.
  •  Separation anxiety: it is common for young people to feel some anxiety when apart from people they are close to, especially in new situations. However, if this anxiety is so severe it stops them doing things independently, or if it carries on for a very long time, it can be called separation anxiety.

Where to get help and support 

If you feel you or your child may be showing signs of these conditions, the first step is to speak to your GP.

Where felt needed, your GP will make a referral to CAMHS who can support young people and their families manage or work through these conditions.

There is also:

  • ChildLine: a free and confidential support service for children and young people (telephone 0800 1111)
  • OCD-UK: support for people affected by OCD
  • Young Minds – anxiety and phobias: information and advice for young people about anxiety and phobias