I feel lonely in school and struggle to make friends, when I try to talk, nothing comes out of my mouth and I feel lost and I have no one to talk to, it’s so overwhelming. I’m literally breathless right now. I also don’t like to make people worry so I bottle up my feelings a lot, and sometimes scratch myself with my fingers to cope. Any advice??

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Hi @pr3xxy

Thank you for coming here to share your struggles with us on this platform. It sounds really difficult for you as you navigate through your school life without having people you can feel comfortable talking to.

I wonder if you have friends outside of school or a trusted family member whom you can approach when you feel that you are having a hard time. I see you mentioned your concerns about making others worry thus not sharing about how you feel. I believe there are people around you who are concerned about you and could be worried even if you are not talking about it.

It is important to know that reaching out and seeking support is a natural and healthy way of coping with life issues. Everyone goes through difficult periods in their lives and sometimes sharing your feelings may pull the relationship closer. Perhaps connection is something you need at this point so please do not deny yourself of that due to your worries.

Also, I am a little concerned about your ways of coping. Do you hurt yourself or require any medication after scratching yourself? Sometimes, people get in a repetitive way of doing things to help themselves cope when thoughts get overwhelming. I hope you are able to cope with ways that are helpful and not hurtful to yourself. Here are some alternate suggestions for you to consider trying:

  • Deep breathing exercises – Find a comfortable space and position yourself comfortably. Take a deep breath in while counting to 5 and breathe out counting to 5 as well. While you are breathing out, imagine that the air leaves with your stress and tension. Stay focused on your breathing and cast aside other thoughts. Repeat until you feel better.
  • Grounding exercises – A five-step exercise (5-4-3-2-1) can help to ground you in the present when you are feeling anxious.
    You would need to engage your 5 senses (like 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can smell, 2 things you can hear, 1 thing you can taste).
  • Fidget toys – It can be something to keep your hands occupied and to provide sensory stimulation without causing hurt.
  • Physical activity – It can be to walk around, jump a little, anything to release any pent-up energy within yourself.
  • Mindfulness meditation - Mindfulness involves focusing on the present moment without judgment. It can help you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings without getting caught up in them. You can start by trying simple mindfulness exercises, such as deep breathing or guided meditation (easily available on YouTube), to help calm your mind and reduce anxiety. Check out Balance Yourself

Remember that you are not alone in this journey, and I believe that there are people around you who genuinely care for you and want to be support you in this, so please do not worry about being a burden to others.

You may also consider making an appointment with your school counsellor or consult with an external professional to talk it out.

Here are other community options you can consider:

Singapore Association for Mental Health (SAMH) - 1800-283 7019


Care Corner Counselling Centre - 1800-353 5800

I hope this has been helpful. All the best and take care!

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Thank you for the coping methods, I really need them because I don’t have any good ones at the moment. Does having a hobby work as well?

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Hi @pr3xxy

You are most welcome! Hope they are helpful for you.

Having a hobby will definitely be helpful! It is always good to engage in activities that brings release of tension (exercising) or brings positive feelings such as hobbies, or activities that you enjoy. It might also help in cultivating positive connections with people.

Wishing you all the best!

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