Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Anxiety at school

hi sam. i have anxiety. my guidance teacher gave me a card that i show to my teachers and they would allow me to leave. my classmates are confused and ask me why i leave the classroom so frequently, how do i explain it to them?



Ask Sam


Hi there,

It can be difficult to explain what having anxiety or a panic attack is like to someone who's never had one before. It can help to find others going through the same thing, and ask them how they talk to people about it.

It can be hard to explain a feeling to someone and to know what words to use to describe everything you feel. Most people have felt anxious but that probably isn't enough to describe what having anxiety's really like. It's hard to get someone to really understand it without them feeling it for themselves.

One way to help someone understand is to focus more on how these problems affect you, as well as how they feel. Telling your classmates at school that you leave the room because you feel anxious may be confusing for them. Instead you could talk more about how the anxiety affects you and how leaving the room helps. For example you might explain that your anxiety's harder to cope with when you're in a group of people and it helps to be somewhere private. Going to a different place and spending a few moments alone can help you to come back to class and carry on.

There are lots of people who experience anxiety. You may not be the only person with a card that lets you go out of class when you feel anxious. Sometimes talking to people who have a similar problem can give you ideas about how to cope as well as how to explain what's happening to people you know and trust. If you don't know anyone like that you could always try posting on our message boards to see what other people with anxiety think.

I hope this has helped you.

Remember our counsellors are always here for you if you need someone to talk to.

Thanks for your letter,

Take care,


Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small. I read every single letter but I can only answer a few each week. My replies are published here on my page.

Write me a letter