09 November 2022

The stress of exams during this time can strain one’s mental health. As students sit their final exams, Cyril Ramaphosa Education Trust (CRET) helped ease the stress and anxiety of its beneficiary students by convening an advice session with the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG).

SADAG said anxiety is a mental disorder that is associated with the feeling of worry or fear that is usually caused by excessive stress. The symptoms of anxiety disorder are:

  • Excessive worry
  • Overthinking
  • Feeling frightened
  • Racing heart
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness, feeling light-headed
  • Nausea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Tingling and numbness in fingers, face and toes
  • Hot flushes, cold sweats
  • A fear of dying feeling

Anxiety disorder can interfere with a person’s daily life if not treated.

But although anxiety is a serious condition that a lot of people suffer from, there are a few quick things one can try to manage in the moment:

  • Grounding exercise
  • Breathing techniques
  • Removing oneself from the environment
  • Get some fresh air
  • Talk to someone

SADAG advises that stress, depression, and anxiety may also be managed by:

  • Talking to someone you trust
  • Planning ahead
  • Having a schedule
  • Knowing one’s triggers
  • Avoiding toxic environments and people
  • Taking time out and practice self-care
  • Eating and sleeping well

Taking care of one’s mental health should be a priority and it is essential to pay attention to the things that triggers one and affects one’s mental health.

Psycho support organisations like SADAG offer support to people who suffer from depression and anxiety. It is OK to ask for help. It may be the best thing one can do for oneself. SADAG’s 24-hour Helpline is 0800 363636.