Ask Sam letter

Asker

To Sam

My plane being highjacked by terrorists

im very nervouse for my holiday to spain on the 4th of august as im scared my plane will be highjacked im scared as we learnt about highjacking at school and about 9/11 i panick so bad when im in london and i feel i cant go to a consert or a show as im scared a terrorist will kill me i really want to go on my holiday and i wish my anxiety wouldnt hold me back.im panaking im too young to die and i want to live the rest of my life going on this plane could end it pls help me and explain some facts to make me less nervouse

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Terrorism is a scary thing to think about and it's in the news the time. Even though the thought of terrorism is scary, it's very unlikely you'll be affected by it. The number of people who die each year from terrorism is very low. Every year around 4 billion people fly and there are almost no deaths from planes being hijacked by terrorists. It can be helpful to look at the things that scare us, take a step back and wonder if it's something we can cope with in a better way.

The news is a great way of keeping up with what's happening around the world, but sometimes it talks about certain topics more than others. The problem is that this can make it feel like something as rare as a terrorist attack is more likely to happen to you than it really is. The first step to overcoming this fear is to remind yourself that just because something is in the news, doesn't mean it will directly affect you.

Being scared of dangerous things is sometimes a good thing - it can keeps us safe and make us more alert to things that can harm us. Sometimes we can take reasonable steps to stay as safe as possible. While a terrorist attack is very unlikely to happen in the UK, you can make yourself feel safer by planning where you're going, being on the lookout for things that don't seem right to you, taking note of emergency exits and keeping a mobile phone with you so you can contact friends and family if needed. Knowing that you have prepared even a little bit can help with your anxiety, but it can still be hard to manage. But we can help. You can find out more about managing your anxiety with our guides or contact one of our Childline counsellors.

When you are facing a fear it can be good to distract yourself. Taking books, music, downloaded TV shows or movies and magazines with you when you fly will give you something to focus on. You might also want to take something that you find familiar and calming - a familiar object or favourite photo can be comforting when you're stressed.

Terrorism is a serious thing and something we should all be aware of.  Some people will have been affected by it - I answered letters from young people who were at the terrorist attack on Ariana Grande's concert in Manchester in 2017, for example. Their experiences are real and they are still feeling the impact of that terrorist attack. This doesn't change the fact that the chances of being in a future attack are very low and reminding yourself of that can help with your anxiety about terrorism.

I hope this has helped. Thanks for writing to me, if you want to talk to someone about how your feeling, our Childline counsellors are always available to listen.

Take care,

Sam

Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small.

Write me a letter