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Anxiety and Panic Attacks

If a child is feeling anxious, let them know that everyone gets anxious now and it’s ok. Let them know that they can talk to you and create time to listen. It can be helpful to help children learn about anxiety, what it is and how it works. How to start a conversation with children about mental health

Learning about anxiety and how it works can help

Anxiety is a strong feeling of worry and can affect your thoughts, your body and your behaviour. Everyone gets anxious now and then and anxiety is actually your body giving you a message that you are not safe. This can be helpful when you need to get out of danger or when you need to perform really well at something. In fact, a little bit of anxiety can help you to succeed in a test, sports match or a singing performance. The problem is when our body thinks we are in danger when we are actually ok. This is when anxiety starts to become a problem.

If you are feeling anxious all the time and it is starting to affect your daily life, speak to someone you trust and ask for help.

This video explains what anxiety can feel like and how it can affect you.

What's the difference between anxiety and stress?

Anxiety is when you feel fearful or nervous about certain situations or worried about things that might happen. All kinds of things, big and small, can make people feel anxious – everyone is different. You might be worried about taking an exam, having to speak in public, problems at home or even going out on a date.

Stress is when you feel overwhelmed by too many problems or too much pressure and start to find it hard to cope. Stress can trigger the ‘Flight or fight’ response causing feelings of anxiety.

Anxiety will usually go away, but it can sometimes develop into a panic attack. A panic attack is a very strong, sudden feeling of anxiety that can overwhelm you. Panic attacks can have physical symptoms for example feeling shaky, sick and dizzy. Panic attacks can be scary but can’t cause you any physical harm.

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Get Help Now

Here are a list of services that can help with anxiety and panic attacks. The icons below tell you the type of support available.

  • In person In person

Nottingham City CAMHS


age Under 18

  • In person In person

Nottinghamshire County CAMHS


age Under 18

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Which services can I access?

Some of the services available operate only within city or the wider county area. Pop your postcode in below to quickly check which services are available to you 

Related Topics

Here are some related mental health topics

Obsessive Thoughts

Obsessions are specific thoughts that are intense and intrusive. It can feel like your thoughts are taking over and controlling your behaviour. Compulsions are ritual behaviours that people use to try to reduce anxiety linked to intrusive thoughts.

Depression or Low Mood

Everyone has ups and downs. Sometimes you might feel a bit low, for lots of different reasons. People may say that they are feeling depressed when they are feeling down, but this does not always mean that they have depression.


Anger is an expression of emotions, it is usually underpinned by an emotion that your child is not able to express because they do not have the words, or because they don’t themselves understand how they feel.

Self Harm

Self-harm, or self-injury, describes a wide range of things people deliberately do to themselves that appear to cause some kind of physical hurt. It can be very hard for parents and carers to know about - or witness - self-harming behaviour in their children.