What’s going on?
There are many life events that can be viewed as stressful. Examples of these include being involved in, or witnessing an accident, being a victim of, or witnessing abuse or violence, or having someone close to you die. Any stressful event can affect your emotions.
When a stressful event occurs, it is normal to feel some level of stress, anxiety, sadness or fear. It can take time for you to adjust to changes and return to a normal routine.
If the experience causes you to have flashbacks of the event, have bad dreams, lose your appetite, lose sleep or become distant from day to day activities, and these experiences persist, you may want to consult your doctor, a counselor, or other mental health professional.
You may want to check out the Stress fact sheet.
What can I do?
It is important for you to find a healthy way to deal with your feelings before they become overwhelming. Here are some tips that may be helpful:
Paint it! It is sometimes helpful to let go of your feelings and express yourself in a creative manner. Try to draw or paint a picture or image that expresses what you are feeling.
Keep a diary or journal. It may be useful for you to keep a diary or journal where you can write down your feelings, as well as keep a record of any other activities or events which you’ve experienced.
Talk to someone. Bottling your thoughts inside you can oftentimes make your reactions worse. It may be helpful to talk to a friend, family member or someone else you trust about the event and your feelings. Another option is for you to share your feelings with someone who was involved in the event.
Seek help. Your local doctor, therapist, counselor or youth worker will also be able to help you to develop coping strategies. In some cases medication may help to relieve your anxiety. Your medical doctor or psychiatrist can point out the benefits and side effects of medications.
If you feel like your stress is overwhelming and you need to speak with someone else immediately or maybe someone that doesn’t know you but can help, you might want to call youth helpline Your Life Your Voice at 1-800 448-3000, run by Boys Town for everyone. The hotline is free and staffed with trained volunteers who can speak with you 24/7.