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Topic: Dealing with anxiety and depression at school

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. Rosie W
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    Rosie W avatar
    3 posts
    11 May 2015

    Hi all,

    As suggested in the title, I am a school kid still (in year 12) and I have particularly struggled this year with both my social anxiety, panic attacks and depression. I struggle to walk into classrooms, have panic attacks whilst in there and I am in danger of stuffing up the HSC. I have days where I won't talk at school because I am too down and then I worry that I am being rude and ignoring my friends. It has got to the point where I have been truanting certain classes which is really not ideal! 

    I have many strategies for dealing with this at home (eg deep breathing, ripping up paper, literally wrapping myself in a little blanket and many more) but what are some useful strategies for dealing with panic and depression in a more public setting (such as school)?? Preferably things that don't involve walking out of a room or drawing attention to myself.

    I would love for suggestions to be related to not just me, but for this thread to generally address ways to deal with anxiety and depression at school so that this can be a place for lots of people to benefit from a range of strategies. Thanks so much in advance for contributing to this thread :)

    2 people found this helpful
  2. Zeal
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    360 posts
    11 May 2015 in reply to Rosie W

    Hi Rosie,

    I'm sorry to hear that your mental health is making Year 12, and your life in general, difficult for you. Try having your iPod in your bag at school; I'd recommend creating a playlist of relaxing/calming songs. These don't have to be meditation or relaxation ones: they could be any genre. Choose songs which bring back good memories or that make you smile. Obviously you can't listen to music as a distraction all the time, such as in class or assembly.

    I recommend seeing your school counsellor, and letting at least one of the teachers know that you're experiencing mental health difficulties. Perhaps tell a teacher who you see regularly and who teaches you in one of your subjects. Confiding in one or both of your parents is a good idea too. I understand if you don't want too many people to know. Telling adults rather than peers at school means you don't need to worry as much about other people finding out.

    Also, depression is nothing to be ashamed of and is not a sign of weakness or a flaw. It can be hard to see it this way when you are going through it though. Seeing your GP about your mental health is also important. They can give you advice on coping strategies. I struggled with anxiety in Year 12, which affected my results. If you don’t have your hopes set on a tertiary course with a really high entrance score, then just aim to do the best you can in your situation. If your subject teachers know you are genuinely struggling mentally and emotionally, they may be more understanding and be able to offer extra assistance.

    I hope something I’ve said has been useful for you :)

    Take care,


    1 person found this helpful
  3. white knight
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    11 May 2015 in reply to Zeal

    Hi Rosie W

    you know, we often here ridicule the saying "just snap out of it" with regards to some 'friends' responding to one depression. Because we cant just "snap out of it"

    However, when it comes to anxiety and its symptoms like shortness of breath and panic attacks, sometimes we can take a short break then reconfigure our approach to a hurdle then restart and overcome that hurdle....because its all about out mental state at any one time.

    For example- Getting married the first time, about one hour beforehand my chestwas like a rock, my hands sweaty and shaking. I asked my best man to talk to me about cars, our common interest. It took 20 minutes and I was calm and laughing. It worked. Mind diversion.

    When we have symptoms that point clearly to anxiety we often dont think that "ime out" will help....we just want to flee.

    About your silence. As someone that stopped talking for 3 months at age 12, I can say that your teachers and close friends should be told that you cannot help that and you hope it will be a passing phase. It is likely a defence mechanism and a lot to do with your depressive state. You are not alone with this. I can assure you that it will slowly drift away.

    Finally. Take a book with you in school. If you are feeling crappy try reading it, again diverting your mind. My niece, a sufferer of depression takes Game of thones with her. Other students, unaware of her not wanting to talk just think she is reading and dont bother her. She is reading but she is also wanting to be left alone.

    Take care.  Tony WK

    1 person found this helpful
  4. rayofsunshine123
    rayofsunshine123 avatar
    5 posts
    15 May 2015 in reply to Rosie W

    Hi Rosie,

    ok so obviously year 12 is a hard year, it's normal to be stressed to a degree. But when the anxiety over takes you, you should seek some help. Trust me, it helps, even if you think no one cares, they do:) also panic attacks are tricky, but the truth is that when you get them you are in a tricky situation, what you do is practice deep breathing before any stressful situation, but at school I have a help ful trick. Get your thumb and index and focus all your attention on them, just them then so lightly touch them together, while taking deep breaths rub them together even. Then focus all your attention on the threshold of touch, then do whenever you feel comfortable. Just keep in mind it takes practice and I'm sure you are a beautiful person:)

    keep smiling,


  5. Taash33
    Taash33 avatar
    4 posts
    14 June 2015 in reply to Rosie W

    Hey Rosie,

    im 20 and I've suffered from severe separation anxiety for 16 years, I had anxiety all thru school primary thru to high school. 

    Have you tried talking to your deputy? Or principle about your anxiety? 

    If not then you should, if the school knows about your anxiety then they can let you out of class for 5 min to gather yourself together. They can sort something out for you if not let you see the school councillor. 

    I struggled with my anxiety at school really really bad. I use to get panic attacks on the school bus but I went and seen my deputy and he gave me a pass to get on the bus first so I always got a seat up the front. Also once my teachers knew about my anxiety it was a lot easier because if I started feeling myself getting worked up I use to go over to the teacher and tell them I'm struggling with my anxiety can I just leave the classroom for 5 mins and they were more then happy for me to do that. I would them go for a walk down the corridor, calm myself down then continue with the rest of my lesson. 

    I also told my close friends about it and they really were a great support at school when my anxiety was bad. They use to distract me so I didn't think about my anxiety. 

    I hope this helps Hun , let me know how you go :) xx