Don’t Worry, Be Happy

By Alessandra Kelly

Anxiety—an intense, excessive, and persistent worry—may manifest itself in several different manners. Commonly, anxiety results in feelings of anger or sadness; however, the degree of symptoms varies with the severity of the mental disorder. Similarly, severe anxiety may lead to suicidal or heavily depressed thoughts, as well as a disconnect from yourself and your surroundings. In any case, severe anxiety often leads to feeling extremely overwhelmed, therefore, remaining unable to complete tasks in a timely manner. 

Unfortunately, instances of depression and anxiety occur more frequently at the stage of adolescence, resulting in a rise of mental health awareness in today’s youth. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 7.1% of children the ages of 3-17 years have diagnosed anxiety. 

A major source of anxiety comes from the excessive importance parents and staff place on academic studies, resulting in many students feeling unable to balance all their responsibilities in an effective manner. Therefore, due to the constraints on time, lack of sleep, and various extracurriculars, individuals’ deadlines will remain unmet, raising the level of anxiety in high school students. When a student enters a class unable to comprehend simply anything after receiving little to no sleep, the situation occurs due to the absence of sleep, causing a negative effect against cognition. A decrease of appropriate comprehension leads to a decrease in productivity, which often results in bouts of anxiety about uncompleted assignments and lack of understanding.

Others argue that a priority on social media remains the leading factor toward the rise of anxiety. However, a survey conducted by the National Education Association (NEA) states, “61 percent say they face a lot of pressure to get good grades. By comparison, 29 percent say they feel pressure to look good.”

Ultimately, developing the skills to manage new circumstances by disciplining oneself to receive at least 9 hours of sleep, proper nutrition, and exercise, will aid the multitude of stresses experienced daily by some. Nonetheless, each situation remains entirely unique to the individual as other personal matters contribute to stress as well. 

One individual may feel incompetent, unable to focus on anything, resulting in a physical sickness due to hyperventilation, headaches, and hysteria. Others become emotional, and may lead to experiencing an emotion at an extreme level. Most commonly, individuals feel emotionally drained, left with an emptiness holding an unsettling trace. No matter which circumstance, everyone should be treated and noticed the same. Any situation should be considered with care and compassion to find a beneficial solution. 

Listed below are resources intended to aid individuals struggling with mental health: