Ask Sam letter


To Sam

fear of being kidnapped

hi sam,

i'm writing to you to tell you of my recent fear of being kidnapped or abducted. at night i can't sleep and this is all i think about. i go through scenarios in my head of what if i was kidnapped or attacked and i can;t sleep because of this. i also hear stories of people who were kidnapped and i am scared. i told people about it and they either just said "the chances are low just don't worry" or they think my fear is completely irrational. i know how unlikely it is but i need help on overcoming this fear so what can i do to help stop this? thanks

Ask Sam


Thoughts like this can be upsetting and even though some people may say that your fear is irrational, it is real and distressing for you. Once you start thinking about things that worry you, it can feel as though it can be hard to stop but there are lots of things you can do to distract yourself from these thoughts and to overcome them.

One way can be to understand the reality of what it is you are thinking: it can help to explore the likelihood of something happening: this could be research done via reliable sources such as Government or Police sources and ones that relate to the country you are in. If you feel it is necessary, to put in place safe and sensible measures to reduce the risk you have identified.

It can also help to reduce exposure to the types of stories you mention – you may be seeing these on social media, so it can help to spend less time there or to reject or not read related content some platforms may send your way.

When we are trying to overcome a fear like this it can help to talk to someone we trust or to a counsellor in Childline who can help you to explore your thoughts and feeling and recommend tools and techniques to help you refocus your thinking – things like the Calm Zone and Coping Kit on the Childline website are great for this.

Relaxation and stress reduction can really help to improve mental wellbeing and promote a more rational approach to our fears and worries. Many young people also find the Childline message boards useful – this is where other young people share their stories anonymously and talk about what they do to get help and support.

No matter what is going on for you or how you are feeling, you do not have to go through it alone – there is always help available and writing this letter is a great first step in getting that help.  Any one or all of what I have mentioned can help to reduce your anxiety and, over time, you might find new ways to help yourself as well.

Take care.


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