The Edge

Analyzing Anxiety

One out of every eight teenagers struggle with anxiety.

A student anxiously does his homework.
 Credit: LD School

A student anxiously does his homework. Credit: LD School

Jaden Foster, Staff Writer

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High school can be a stressful part of life. Waking up at the crack of dawn and attending school five days a week is emotionally and physically draining. You would think that when the last bell rings school would be over, but it’s not.

After the 2:12 bell rings, the stress of school doesn’t end as students have many dreadful hours of homework yet to complete. Many students are sleep deprived and overwhelmed with all the requirements that must be met. Living off energy drinks and staying up to see the sunrise is a normal routine for a high school student. Anxiety has become a prominent issue within students on a daily basis.

A little stress and in moderation can be helpful to high schoolers. It motivates students to study and give school their all. But, the social controversy is how much stress is to much? Stress over long periods of time causes severe anxiety. This can lead to elevated levels of stress hormones which can impair the immune system, cause heart problems, exacerbate respiratory and gastrointestinal issues, and bring on chronic depression. That’s bad for anyone, but it can be especially bad for high schoolers.

“Colleges are complaining that kids are disengaged, they’re dropping out, taking a long time to graduate. It’s not developmentally appropriate for them to work so hard,” says Gwadz, author of a recent anxiety study.

Each person has a different limit of stress that their brain can handle, it can be hard to know when a student is being pushed too much where it can degrade their health. Anxiety can also immensely affect academic performance as it makes it difficult to learn, remember and focus. Anxiety makes it challenging for students to show their full potential and be successful. It can deflect future education and careers.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 50% of teenagers–6.3 million teens–have had an anxiety disorder.

The overlapping question here is how can we limit anxiety in students? The biggest thing we can do is educate people about anxiety and provide an open communication classroom. We can teach positive coping skills students can apply when feeling anxious such as using a stress ball, listening to calming music before a test and teach positive self-talk. If we can find ways to minimize anxiety in students, it can lead them to live a happier and stress free life. Without anxiety, test scores will go up and the idea of coming to school won`t be as dreadful or degrading.

Each student has a bright future, if we all work together we can make sure a mental illness won`t get in the way of showing our full potential and living our life to the fullest.

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