A young man whose anxiety got so bad he was worried someone would kill him if he left the house has created a film showing that talking about your problems can make them easier to deal with.
Rob Senior says that asking for help allows you to move on from issues such as anxiety and low self-esteem.
The 22-year-old stars in the film, which he made with Fixers – the charity which gives young people a voice.
You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ce7qbAGrJJ0
It shows how people frequently put their problems into boxes and carry them around rather than talking about them.
Rob, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, developed anxiety after starting secondary school and became afraid of leaving the house at the age of 13.
‘I was too scared to go outside because I thought someone would kill me and I felt very intimidated by everyone,’ he says.
‘I was out of school for about six months and had to have home tuition instead. My parents did everything they could to help me – they were very worried.’
The trainee support worker, who lives in Stafford, Staffordshire, says that opening up to his family, friends and a school counsellor about how he was feeling helped him to move forward.
‘I had weekly sessions which helped because I had someone to talk to. I gradually eased back in to going to lessons and getting involved in school.
‘I opened up and shared my problems and insecurities with people who would listen and things became easier for me.’
After he started college, Rob saw an improvement in his mental health, and he later began making YouTube videos under the name RSRobStar.
‘Making these videos helps me to get my anxieties, worries and fears off my chest. It’s like a creative therapy for me,’ he says.
‘It’s really improved my confidence and the ability to express myself.’
He hopes his Fixers film will encourage people to ask for the help they need and open up about their own problems.
‘I know there are lots of other people out there like me who might be afraid to talk about their worries, fears and insecurities and I want to reach out to them and say that they’re not alone and you don’t have to carry it all by yourself, you just need to ask for help,’ he says.
‘It’s very easy to hide things away but that’s not always the answer.’
Fixers works with young people aged 16-25 across the UK by providing them with resources to help them campaign on issues they feel strongly about.
The charity has helped more than 19,000 youngsters across the UK to have a voice in their community on issues such as cyber-bullying, self-harm, suicide or transphobia. For more information or to make a donation to fund more Fixer projects, visit www.fixers.org.uk