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  Advice if the war worries you
Updated 31 March 2003, 17.57
Psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos
Psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos

Newsround spoke to top psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos about what you should do if you're worried about the war.

We put some of your questions to her.

I'm worried that bombs will be dropped here - how can I cope?

First of all there are a lot of people who were worried about the war long before it happened, so there are mechanisms in place to make sure that we are all as safe as possible.

Having said that it's always a good idea to take notice of things like suspect packages, letting an adult know if you see one.

Also, it's not a surprise that you're worried because everywhere you turn people are talking about the war - remember that a big part of your worry is because you're being constantly exposed to the concerns of those around you which are bound to be amplified because this is such a big news event.

I'm having nightmares what can I do?

Nightmares are probably occurring because you're thinking about the war and its consequences a little bit too much.

Make a point of switching off negative thoughts before you go to bed.

Read a favourite comic, watch a fave video or speak to a friend about what you'd do if you won the lottery, before you go to bed.

If you find the nightmares go on for longer than a week or are stopping you from feeling okay in the day then speak to an adult. Make time to discuss your worries honestly.

I have family in the Gulf. I'm worried about them, how can I cope?

If you have family involved with the war you're going to have a stronger emotional connection to what's going on.

It's perfectly natural to have lots of different feelings - from guilt about not being there to anger about the injustice, to relief that it isn't you fighting in the war.

As always the best way to cope is to share your concerns with an adult and get clear unbiased information to base your views on.

Secondly, get involved with sending over parcels and letters to your loved ones as this is a good way of maintaining links.

Finally and most importantly remember to take care of yourself and keep things as normal as possible with regard to your routine.

My best friend's dad's in the gulf - what can I do to help her stop worrying?

Get clear about what your friend is anxious about - sometimes worries are made worse because they're unclear. Help your friend to be realistic about their anxieties.

Sometimes their thoughts are a lot worse than the reality of what's going on.

Remember to reassure your friend that you are there to listen to them - sometimes being a good listener means more than having the right thing to say.

My parents keep talking about the war and it's worrying me - should I tell them to stop?

It's important for you to switch off and if your parents aren't then tell them how you feel.

Perhaps watch TV in another room or read a book, but even if they're not switching off make sure that you do.

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