Drexal the Alien is worried he might be sick—and in this episode of Galaxy Brain, his fears become all he can think about. When our fears stop us from enjoying our regular life, it’s time o talk to someone who can help! Watch the cartoon video on health anxiety above.
Even though he lives on a moonbase far away in the galaxy, Drexal is exposed to viruses much like we are on earth. His computer sidekick offers a health check function to keep him safe, but he starts using it a little too much.
Drexal spends so much time worrying about being sick that he can’t even enjoy his new hoverbike, something he was really looking forward to trying out! His health anxiety starts to take over, until his friendly and helpful computer steps in. The computer helps Drexal realize that getting sick is a normal part of life for everyone—even computers get viruses!
Once Drexal stops focusing only on his fears, he can start doing fun activities again. When Drexal is having fun, he’s not as worried about getting sick! If your anxiety is all you can think about, try to focus on the activities you’d be doing if you weren’t so worried. This can help you see things differently and not let anxiety win — we fight our fears by facing them.
You are not alone in your struggle. Remember that it’s normal to feel anxiety, especially as the world around us changes. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from someone you trust or find a friend to talk to about your feelings, just like Drexal the Alien does.
Keep the conversation going! Let kids know that it’s ok to talk about their feelings and give them a safe space to express themselves. It can help if you also discuss your own anxieties so they know they are not alone in how they feel. Share Drexal’s video series with people you know and see if they feel the same way. It’s a fun way to share your feelings and may help your friends out, too! It’s important and helpful to talk about how you feel.
► Have you ever been scared you might be sick, or that someone you love or care about might get sick?
► Are you worried about what would happen if you were sick?
► Can you think of anyone else who may feel the same way you do?
► Who is someone you trust that you could talk to about your feelings?
Helping Kids Cope with Health Anxiety
Galaxy Brain is an animated series for pre-teens and teens, focusing social anxiety, health anxiety, contamination OCD, and more. With humour and heart, Galaxy Brain normalizes anxiety in an entertaining way and encourages seeking help from a trusted parent, teacher, or friend.
As a parent, educator, or healthcare provider, it can be difficult to talk to pre-teens and teens about mental health, especially during the ever-changing pandemic. Anxiety Canada created Caretoons to open the door for helpful communication on youth anxiety. The entertaining, accessible episodes show youth that they aren’t alone in their feelings and talking about their fears can be helpful.
Many youngsters don’t realize that what they’re feeling is anxiety, though they face new anxiety-inducing situations during the pandemic and beyond. Being able to name their anxieties, recognize symptoms of anxiety, and understand the impact it has on their lives is important for their overall health.
For specific ideas on using two of our Caretoons series episodes to talk to kids about health anxiety, see our blog.
For more on helping children and teens with anxiety, check out our helpful links for teens, parents, educators, and healthcare providers below.
Anxiety 101 – Learn to recognize anxiety and how it affects your thoughts, your body, and your life as a teenager
ABC’s of Anxiety – Read about the basics of anxiety in your child or teen and the six ways it affects their life.
Educator Resources on Health Anxiety – How to recognize health anxiety and help students.
Caretoons, the animated series, was created with the support of British Columbia’s Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions by Point Blank Creative and Anxiety Canada. Voiced by acclaimed comedian and author, Charlie Demers.