Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Having an operation

I am being put to sleep to have an operation and im really scared, can you help me please

Ask Sam


Hi there,

When something really scary is happening it's important to look after yourself and find ways to cope with fear, as it can have a big impact on your emotional and mental health. If you worry about something that's happening in the future it can make it difficult to think about anything else.

It's natural to be scared when you ‘re going to have surgery. Some people can find any kind of medical procedure scary - such as having blood taken or going to the dentist. No matter how big or small the procedure, it's okay to feel however you feel. Accepting that it's okay to be scared is the first step to being able to deal with it.

The next step is to understand in more detail what it is that's scaring you. If it's about being put to sleep then it would be important to focus on that an understand why this  makes you anxious. You might be scared about different parts of the operation, so make a list of those. When you've done this try making a second list of things about the operation that don't scare you - for example you might find the nurses comforting or enjoy having visitors whilst you're in hospital.

Once you have your list of things that scare you then you can start to face that fear before you get to the operation. A good way of doing this is to talk with other young people on the message boards who have had operations about their experiences. . You can also talk to your doctor and the nurses at the hospital about it. If you explain how nervous you’re then they can help to reduce your anxiety. You won't be the only person to be nervous about this so they will have a lot of experience helping people cope.

Until the time of the operation you can also use relaxation techniques to take your mind off the worry and stress. Our calm zone has lots of ideas and ways of doing this which you might find helpful. Childline counsellors are able to talk with you about how you feel and can support you both before and after the operation.

I hope this has helped, thanks for writing in.

Take care.


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