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When Worrying Gets You Down

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A Story About John

  • John lived with his mom and dad. Then he moved to a group home.
  • Now he worries a lot about moving.
  • When someone new comes to visit, John runs to his room.
  • John is afraid that visitors will make him move away.
  • He asks his support staff over and over again, “Do I have to move?”

What is anxiety?

  • Anxiety is another name for worry.
  • You have anxiety, if you are worrying about something that is:
    • New to you,
    • Hard to learn or do, or
    • A problem in your life.

What is stress?

  • Stress happens when you are upset or afraid.
  • You feel stress when you think there is something to fear or be upset about.
  • A person, place or situation can cause you to feel stress.
  • Things that cause stress for you may not cause stress for someone else.

Worrying can be good or bad.

  • A little stress or worry can help you work harder to do your best.
  • Too much worrying can make you sick.
  • Too much worrying can get in the way of your everyday life.

Stress can make your body feel bad.

  • People react to stress in different ways.
    • Some people get a headache.
    • Some people get stomach aches.
    • Some people feel their heart beat very fast.

What do worry and stress feel like?

  • You might feel:
    • Tired a lot of the time
    • Hungry all the time
    • Clumsy
    • Scared
    • Unhappy
  • You might have:
    • Sweaty hands
    • Trouble sleeping
    • A dry mouth
    • Trouble swallowing
    • Shakes and shivers
    • Tight or sore muscles

Medicine can change how much you worry.

  • Some medicine helps people worry less.
  • If you can’t stop worrying, your doctor might give you medicine to help.
  • Some medicine makes people worry more.
  • Ask your doctor if the medicine you take might make you worry.

How can you deal with worry?

  • Here are some healthy ways to deal with worry and stress:
    • Eat a healthy diet
    • Don't eat too much
    • Get enough sleep
    • Exercise regularly
    • Spend time with friends
    • Do things for fun
  • Here are some healthy ways to deal with worrying and stress:
    • Don’t drink coffee or soda with caffeine
    • Avoid alcoholic drinks
    • Don't smoke or use drugs
    • Learn ways to relax like:
    • Deep breathing
    • Yoga

Call your doctor if you:

  • Can’t do anything but sit and worry
  • Think about hurting yourself
  • Feel afraid for no reason
  • Repeat an action over and over again, like washing your hands

Call 911 if you:

  • Have sharp chest pain
  • Have a hard time breathing
  • Feel like you are going to faint

Remember to take it easy and relax!

Last updated on Thu, 05/27/2010 - 14:42