What should I do when I worry too much?

What is worry?

Worry is a thought that makes you feel upset or bad or scared inside. Sometimes a worry is clear such as “What should I do if my mum does not pick me up after my club today”. Sometimes something might be making you feel bad or scared but you might not be sure what it is. You might get a funny feeling in your tummy or feel sick because you do not want to go to school that day but you might not be sure why you do not want to go. Have you got worries today?

Do my friends worry too?

Everyone feels worried sometimes and this is normal and ok. Lots of people may worry a little bit before having an injection or before having a school trip away. Sometimes your friends might not worry about the same things as you or understand your worries or you might not understand theirs, but it is still nice to help each other with the worry. Has your friend told you a worry they have?

How else might people see I have worries?

Often people with worries feel safer staying with their mum or dad or grandparent. Sometimes they do not want to go to school or to friends’ houses to play. Sometimes people who worry do not like to sleep alone. Sometimes people who worry cry a lot. Did you realise someone who does these things might be worrying?

Below are written comments from feedback from recent young people who have been seen by her in her clinic:

Lovely Dr who was there to listen and help anyway possible. Full in detail and good natured with myself and my son. Got a lot from it and finally felt we were listened too. Lots of advice and next steps to follow.
Empathetic, caring!
As always Dr Hayley was fantastic. She is always one step ahead and any additional admin requests etc are never too much bother. We will be sorry to lose her, as my daughter moves on soon to an adult psychiatrist now that she’s 18. I will be surprised if we can get such attentive service from any other psychiatrist. Many thanks indeed for your amazing support over the past few years.
Dr van Zwanenburg put my 10 year old at ease immediately which helped her open up
She is very helpful
Thank you so much. Straight forward. Caring. & already actioning a plan. I’ve recommended you to two people already
Dr van Zwanenberg was very friendly and put my son at ease so he felt comfortable to talk openly. She was very reassuring and seemed to understand him straight away.
We feel blessed that Dr van Zwanenberg was available when my daughter was referred. It was a relief for my daughter to be understood and feel that there was hope for getting better. Dr van Zwanenberg has been endlessly kind and provided the expertise needed so that we felt completely supported. Although we have not had to use it a lot she has been available for advice in between appointments, which again adds to our feeling of being well supported. We would wholeheartedly recommend her and know she would do the best for anyone who came to see her.
I was highly recommended to yourselves by someone who had previously been to see you. I will also highly recommend you also. My husband and I Felt very at ease during the whole process.
Brilliant Doctor, I gave up and Dr Hayley picked me back up and got be back to myself. I feel like she actually cares and respects what I say.
Dr hayley is always so positive and encouraging. She listens well, is very professional and is very calming. Always a positive and helpful experience. My daughter won’t speak to any therapists however she is happy to open up to Dr Hayley. Thank you.

Dr Hayley is phenomenal – she has transformed our daughters life and we are grateful every day that we found Dr Hayley and got the help we so desperately needed.

Dr van Zwanenberg’s tone, manner & approach was perfect for our child, she listened to us all and helped set wheels in motion. Thank you
Dr Hayley is such a lovely and compassionate psychiatrist. She has transformed the life of my son. I am so grateful.
Hayley has always been very accessible and helpful if we’ve needed to contact her between appointments.
I really thought I was going to lose my daughter. Lose her to her own despair and potentially her own life. I searched for what seems like too long to find her the support, acknowledgment and treatment she needed. Finding Dr H was not just a life line but a true life changer. The care, understanding and treatment my daughter has received is truly outstanding. With Dr H’s consultation and understanding, my daughter has been able to reconcile her feelings of despair and inadequacy. I now have a confident, happy, social daughter who is starting university in the autumn and is looking forward to life. I can not thank you enough Dr H. Honestly, thank you so very much.
Dr Hayley was incredibly thorough, supportive and engaged. My daughters confidence with the process soared and throughout the 2.5 hour process. I am profoundly grateful that expertise and care exists in professionals like Dr Hayley. She is life-changingly good.
Dr Hayley is the only doctor that we trust to help us with our daughter’s mental health; more importantly, our daughter also trusts her. She genuinely cares. She talks to her, understands her and engages with her and us. She quickly identifies the problem and suggests realistic, pro active plans to tackle the particular issues at hand. She is always available for us to contact by phone and email (no matter how small the problem) and has telephoned us during the day and sometimes in the evening when the situation requires it. As parents, we have at times really struggled but she always manages to reassure us and we feel very lucky to have her as our doctor.

Dr Hayley is always really professional but totally relatable and understanding. Would definitely recommend her to others.

The doctor was really personable and helped to make my son feel comfortable, she asked great questions to elicit information to help the diagnosis and was very good at listening to our feedback
Dr Hayley was very calming and listened carefully to my concerns
The level of care and communication from Hayley has been exceptional throughout and I have already strongly recommended her to several other parents.
Van Zwanenberg was able to see us much more quickly than we had expected for which we were very grateful, and we were touched by the level of care and personal attention we and our son were afforded when we met. The speed, depth and quality of the written follow up was impressive, too.
Hayley was wonderful. She engaged with my son beautifully despite his almost constant hyperactivity and chattiness during the appointment! She has a lovely warm approach while remaining very professional and highly knowledgable. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her.
We love Dr Hayley. She is the only person my daughter will engage with. She has been incredibly helpful in all kinds of ways, not only with medication but with diagnosis, advice and referrals. My daughter has come along way since seeing Dr Hayley
Dr Hayley probably saved my son’s life. A great Doctor.
Dr Hayley saved me from suicide and helped me turn my life around. She is the best!
Dr van Zwanenberg was fantastic, everything we’d hoped for.
Dr Hayley she is a amazing person, very caring, patient and helpful
Thank you ever so much for a very thorough assessment.
Very early in our treatment but Dr Hayley has already made a huge improvement to our daughter and her health.
Dr Hayley van Zwanenberg is a very good doctor
Very kind and knowledgeable
Dr Hayley was wonderful with my son. She put him at ease very quickly and consequently he was very happy to open up to her and talk freely. Thank you so much.
Without Doctor Hayley I am certain I would not be alive today and she has been a massive help to me and my family.
Dr Hayley is very supportive and I would thoroughly recommend her through this organisation
She is so kind and supportive
Dr Hayley took an impressive amount of care in advance of our initial assessment appointment, to evaluate our son’s situation from many angles. We felt listened to and reassaured by her suggestions of strategies to help manage his symptoms. My son commented after the appointment that “She was vey kind and understood me”. We have also appreciated her quick responses to our questions outside of the appointment itself
Very approachable and friendly style, felt that she really listened and put our anxious daughter at ease. Explained very clearly what the problem was and how we were going to deal with it as a team. Highly recommend.
Hayley was amazing with my daughter and she felt very reassured that she would help her get back to her old self!
So happy my son is finally getting the help he needs to free himself of a life of anxiety. Thank you.
Very good doctor.
As always Dr Hayley listens, is empathetic, encouraging and non-judgemental and gives sound professional advice. Thank you.
Thank you so much for a faultless service. I’ve recommended you already to friends!
Dr Hayley has been very good for my daughter – she has been kind, caring and has explained her condition to us very well. My daughter was really poorly but is now well on the way to a good recovery thanks to Dr Hayley’s treatment and care.
Can’t recommend Dr van Zwanenberg enough for child ASD/ADHD assessment and follow up. She’s very empathetic & puts everyone in the family at ease.
When dealing with a person with mental illness it is essential that the patient feels that they are being believed by the Doctor who provides the treatment. Dr van Zwanenberg is able to build trust and rapport and is sympathetic, understanding and non judgmental in her approach.
Very friendly and helpful.

Very happy with Dr Hayley. She She’s very kind and makes us feel at ease within the session. listens carefully to problem and tries to recommend a right solution. She’s very prompt in replying emails or in event of asking for prescription, which itself has made me feeling better in the stressful situations we have been experiencing. I am very happy with her and would recommend to others. Thank you Dr Hayley.🙏🏼🌸

Thank you, I am very grateful for your professional, committed and caring approach that underpins your clients’ healing of minds, developing self-confidence and sustainable growth as autonomous individuals in becoming. I hope you recognise you save lives and give hope with your calm faith that your clients will, and do get better.
Dr Hayley has made my child’s life happy again, and our families too. She has identified and helped him with his anxiety and adhd. Her practice is run with precision and care with excellent communication from Dr Hayley and her team. I can’t thank them enough.
An excellent doctor who is thorough and non-judgemental and takes a collaborative approach.
Dr Hayley and her colleagues provide outstanding accessible compassionate and effective care for young people with emotional and mental health difficulties including ADHD. We can not thank her and her colleagues enough for the extraordinary difference they have made to my son’s well- being and helping him approach his full academic potential.

We have received a very positive experience using Dr van Zwanenberg. We have felt listened to and supported without any judgement getting our daughters autism diagnosis. We would highly recommend.

Very happy with the service Dr Hayley has provided.
Dr H has made a lasting improvement on both my daughters’ states of mind and their approach and outlook to life. I can not rate her services highly enough.

Is it normal for worry to make my body feel bad?

Worries can make you feel any or all of the things below: – Headaches

  • Tearful
  • Dizzy
  • Sweaty
  • Tummy aches
  • Sick
  • Faint
  • Fast heart beats
  • Out of breath Where does your body hurt when you are worried? You could draw it on a body picture.

What should I do if my worry grows or gets stuck in my head?

The first thing to do to help get rid of your worry is to tell someone. They should take your worry seriously and help talk to you about it. The person you tell should help you look at how likely your worry is to happen, (it is probably not likely to happen). The second thing the person you tell should do is to help you think about how you would manage if your worry did happen, (like where you would go to get help if your mum did not pick you up after your club).

What if your worry stays after this?

If you keep thinking about your worry, you help it grow. Decide you will only think about it for 15 minutes a day, such as after tea. You should sit with an adult to talk to them about your worry in these 15 minutes. If your worry pops up at other times in the day, refuse to think about it, imagine building brick walls around it in your brain, so it cannot come out until you let it. If this does not work, you could write your worry down and put it in a box to read in your 15 minutes worry time. Grown ups should remind you if you go to them with a worry that it needs to be ignored until your 15 minutes of worry time that day. Doing these things help worries shrink. Will you try these things?

Stand up to the worry

Worries can be like bullies and they like to frighten you. If you get cross with bullies and tell them to go away, you get stronger and they get weaker. Do this with your worries. Tell them “Go away”, “You are talking rubbish”, “I am not listening to you, you’re stupid”. If the worry keeps coming back to pick on you, do something to take your mind off it, like playing with a friend or reading a book, count to 100 while jumping on the spot. You could draw your worry as a monster and you as a superhero chasing it away. What other things could you say to the worry to chase it away?

Beating worries is hard at first but gets easier with practice. When you have learned how to do it, keep busy with things you enjoy, talk to adults when worries are little so they do not grow, and argue back with them if they try to pop up. Soon you will notice worries have gone and be able to tell your friends how to fight them.