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To Sam

Scared of the world

Dear sam, I have recently been worrying about because of all the crime and killing that has been going on. I heard about the Plymouth shooting and it has been on my mind for some time. There has also been a lot of killing in the past. Im too terrified to want to go outside. Im concerned for my family, and i also cant sleep properly anymore. I don't know what to do. please help.

Ask Sam


Hi there,

When tragic things happen it can be really shocking and affect you in ways you didn't expect. This can be true even for things that didn't happen to you directly but that you saw on the news or happened to someone you know. Everyone reacts differently and it's okay to feel however you feel - there's no right or wrong.

When something in the news affects you it's important to not just ignore those feelings. If you're feeling nervous about going out in public because of what happened, this is a sign  you might need some more help. There are different therapies and techniques that you can use to get you used to going out again. Talking to a professional would be a good step - your GP should be able to arrange this, though there might be a waiting list to speak to someone.

There are a couple of things you can do yourself in the meantime. First it's important to try and force yourself to do things outside - the longer you wait, the harder it will get to take that step.

If you're able to push yourself to go out for a walk, this will really help you to get through your anxiety. If this isn't possible, try taking smaller steps - standing outside of your house for 1 minute, before raising this by a few minutes at a time. By slowly increasing the amount of time you're doing things outside, you'll get used to it - rather than it being big shock.

Worrying about the world is common - especially when it feels like so many bad things are happening. The news can be good to keep up with so that you know what's going on, but it can also be scary or depressing, as the news often shows more bad things than all the good things that are happening.

Try going without the news for a few days and see how you feel - you might find that it was affecting you more than you realised. Some people stop watching the news altogether because it’s too difficult to forget the things they've seen and read. If you need to do this, that's okay too.

If you’re having problems sleeping, this could also feed into how you’re feeling and make you feel more anxious too. You may find some activities in the Calm Zone could help you feel calmer and let go of some of the stress you’re feeling.

No matter what, Childline counsellors are here to listen. If you want to talk, they’re here to help through chat or email. If you want, you could also ask other young people how they cope with this kind of thing on the Childline message boards

Thanks for sharing, take care.


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