‘It’s like if you do one little thing wrong, you just feel terrified and shaky, you get hot flushes and a feeling of fear a lot of the time.’
Lucia Harrington, 17, from Grange-over-Sands, is calling for more support for anxious and stressed young people at school.
She believes youngsters have never been under so much pressure and knows what it’s like to struggle alone with mental health.
Fixers arranged for her to tell her story on ITV News Border on April 12.
‘From the age of about 11 I started to feel very worried and anxious, mainly because I felt rejected from other social groups and it made me think that there was something wrong with me or that I was a bad person,’ she says.
‘I’d isolate myself, I would be really scared going into very crowded places, I would feel very nervous and it made me feel depressed.
'It wasn’t until I was about 15 or 16 that I actually talked to someone about it. It got to the point where the school noticed I was crying and it was only once I had talked to them that I could talk to my parents.'
Dave Smithson, therapy services co-ordinator at Anxiety UK, says anxiety is a major problem.
‘Probably one in ten young people will experience some degree of anxiety or some form of anxiety, anxiety stress or anxiety-based depression at some point during their young lives and support for young people is patchy across the country, particularly in schools,' he says.
'If we don’t give them the help and support they need when they need it the problem is only going to get worse.’
Lucia says: ‘I think it’s important that young people suffering from mental health issues get the right support from a counsellor or CBT therapist.
‘If there were a couple of things I could change the main ones would be to decrease the stigma that is around mental health and also raise awareness of what help is there and show people that the right help for you can make your situation better.’
Lucia's project was supported by the Wellcome Trust
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