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Irrational fear of being kidnapped?

Hi sam,

I know it sounds stupid but I am scard, no, absolutely terrified of being kidnapped. I've spent endless hours googling and looking through articles and YouTube videos on how to 'thwart' an abduction attempt but I just don't feel safe. Anywhere. My family says it is irrational as it will never happen to me. Or that it's very unlikely. I don't know what to do, do you have any advice?


Ask Sam


Hi there,

Being scared of something can affect you in different ways, and it can also affect you at any time if your imagination keeps creating the situation you fear most. It might also make you feel anxious and worried when others least expect you to feel that way. No matter what, your feelings matter and it's important they are taken seriously.

Like your family say, it’s very unlikely that you would be kidnapped. Random kidnapping by strangers doesn't happen very often in comparison to all other crimes. Although, hearing that doesn't usually change anything because your fear isn't based on how likely it is to happen. When we fear something that’s very unlikely, it's often linked to a fear of  how we might feel if it did happen. So in this case, that’s feeling helpless or being separated from your family.

Understanding your fear is the first step towards coping with it. To do this you probably need to talk to a professional. Talking to a therapist who specialises in fears could be really useful for you. To  talk to a therapist you can either go through the NHS, by speaking to your GP, or by paying privately. Going through the NHS might take some time, but it is free. It could be worth talking to your parents about this to see what they think.

If you don't get therapy there might be other ways of helping you feel less anxious when you’re outside. You can make sure you’re out with other people and not alone, keep a mobile phone on you at all times and even carry something like a personal alarm. Taking small steps to try and cope with your fear might mean that it becomes less of a problem for you over time.

Talking with other young people who have fears might also help,  so you could try our message boards. In the meantime,you can also talk to Childline counsellors anytime you're feeling anxious, or try visiting the Calm Zone to see if there are any tools on there to help you with your fear. Thanks for writing to me, I hope this has helped.

Take care,


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