So basically, I am 17 and a senior in high school. Heres the thing.. I always stress out so much and it can be the littlest things. For example if someone doesn’t text me back within like a few hours I start to get nervous that there mad at me or something. I get afraid to ask questions because I feel like it will sound stupid, I’m ALWAYS worrying about what people think, about tests and quizzes in school, I’m also a very sensitive person so if someone says something remotely mean I just want to cry! Also, when stressful things happen I just breakdown and cry and sit there sometimes I can’t control it. I don’t know why! I’m scared to go to a therapist because I have trouble opening up to people, like I said I’m very sensitive. I just want it to stop and I don’t know how to do so.

A. Thank you for having the courage to open up in this forum. First let me say that what you are asking about is very normal. The work here is to start trusting yourself more, and to recognize that just because you think or feel something doesn’t make it real. Let me share with you a strategy that has gotten some very good results (check out the resiliency program at the University of Pennsylvania for some research if you are interested). The strategy is to challenge your thoughts when you start to worry. Ask yourself if there is another way to look at the situation. Then ask what the worst thing that could happen, the best thing that could happen, and then the most likely. There are a variety of reasons why this tends to work, but in any case I think it is worth a try.

If you have difficulty after that you may want to talk to a therapist. The find help tab at the top of the page will direct you to someone in your area. You may also want to talk to your high school counselor. He or she may be able to help.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral