Autism Spectrum


leaving school and leading your own life

Mental health 

stories for young people


An acute anxiety episode

At 16 my son had a very acute bout with anxiety, I could even call it paranoia. It came after a few stressful episodes, he’d had to go to hospital to have a small operation on his back. When he went back to school there was a bullying incident which upset him a lot.


At night time he started believing that there were people outside the house coming to get him. He couldn’t sleep and was extremely agitated.


This was really distrurbing for him but also for the other children. Basically my husband cared for them and I stayed with my son. He slept on our floor on a mattress for a few nights.


We got straight in touch with our GP and paediatrician who took it all very seriously. We got an appointment to see a psychologist too.


Our GP gave us some Valium which helped my son calm down and get some sleep at nights.  


I also started looking for a psychiatrist and later we did see one and that was good as although this acute episode only lasted a week, I won’t be surprised at all if we need more psychiatric help in the future.


Mild anxiety had been increasing in my son over the teenage years, but this sudden worsening of symptoms was a shock.  He does take medication for anxiety now and we do some cognitive behavioural therapy too.

Seana S.


Anxiety treatments for my daughter – and they work!

In the teenage years, my daughter became clinically anxious and was having panic attacks; partly due to social issues but also but also due to school academic pressure(self inflicted).


Unable, at first, to get into the local Child and Adolescent Mental health program(due to the epidemic of anxiety issues with our teens) we went to the GP and got some anti-anxiety medication and commenced private therapy sessions.


Although she hated it I think she learned a lot about how people ‘work’, even if that didn’t always apply to herself.


CBT is all about examining the evidence of a situation before acting on a thought or feeling, and, given her observational nature, this forensic approach to behavior has been useful . 


As for the medication, after finally getting to see a psychiatrist, she takes a very small amount of an anxiety reducing drug and she is coping very much better with life. It was a last resort, but now we question waiting so long.

Caro McC