Childline's Wendy Robinson talks about managing a lack of confidence
by Wendy Robinson, Childline service manager, Kent
It doesn’t matter how old you are – if you’re 10, 25 or 65 we can all suffer with a lack of confidence from time to time, or sometimes we might not feel as happy and positive as we usually do. Feeling up and down is completely normal.
But if you feel sad or anxious all the time it can really start to affect your day-to-day life. It might stop you performing well at school, or it might affect your friendships or relationships at home.
If your thoughts and emotions are having a negative impact on your life, you might have a mental illness.
It’s just the same as a physical illness – you don’t choose to have it but with the right help and support you can get better.
There are many different types of mental health issues, from eating disorders, depression and anxiety, to low self-esteem and bereavement.
In 2016/17 Childline counsellors handled more than 63,600 counselling sessions about mental health – it was the most common reason for children to contact us.
Around one in four of us will experience a mental health issue at some point in our lives.
So if it’s so common, what can you do to help yourself?
Lots of things! First of all go and see your doctor and get a proper diagnosis. They might ask you some personal questions but that’s only so they can help you.
Talk to friends and family – they will be able to support you and sometimes speaking to someone else allows you to see a problem differently.
If you don’t feel you can talk to someone you know, talk to Childline in confidence. Our counsellors are here 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Do some exercise – it’s great for boosting your mood. Find an activity like you like – it could be running, dancing, walking or a sport.
Try something new. Even if you don’t feel like it at first, it will make you feel really good about yourself.
Whatever you’re felling right now just remember that it won’t always be like this. Lots of people experience mental health issues and many of them will get better with help and lead perfectly
normal lives. Have courage and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
It’s the first step to getting better.