When It Comes To Anxiety, You’re Not Alone

Many people do not treat anxiety as something that people can suffer from. Since people cannot see it, often times they do not believe it is there.

To state it simply, the website Bustle explains it as, “...an anxiety disorder isn’t a personality trait — it’s a medical condition”. Mental illnesses like anxiety, depression, etcetera, are overlooked and set to blame for the habits of our generation. If adults paid attention to the teenage perspective of anxiety, a better understanding of the situation could hopefully arise.

Kelsey Down, from the website Verily, wrote about her personal experience with anxiety in one of her recent articles. She spoke of her experience with cognitive behavioral therapy — a type of therapy that challenges negative patterns in a person’s behavior. She wrote, “With the help of cognitive behavioral therapy or other treatment, many people (including me) eventually learn how to regain control of spiraling thoughts”.

Often, these thoughts are what make anxiety worse. All of the different ideas running through someone’s head all at once becomes a lot to handle.

Anxiety can be scary, and it can make you feel very alone. But, you are not alone. 1 in 13 people have some form of anxiety according to the website Futurity. So most likely, you are in the room with someone who has anxiety right now. It is more common than it truly seems..

Of course, symptoms vary from person to person. You know how you feel when you get anxious, but the general symptoms apply to most people. The severity of anxiety also varies per person, as well as the kind of anxiety. There are over six major types of anxiety — and even those break down into subcategories —which makes it even crazier that schools do not take the time to talk about it, or mental health in general.

In this day and age, anxiety is something many people talk about. About 10 percent of students in the United States alone suffer from some type of anxiety, according to DoSomething.org. It makes many people wonder: if this many teens are struggling, why isn’t anxiety talked about more in school?

A junior from Harborfields thinks that mental health should be discussed more in school, and that, “...since it affects so many people, the school should be trying to help people who need it, and for people who don’t understand it, they should be able to learn about it.”

Many kids miss school because of anxiety, or any other mental health disorder. It all becomes too much. But then there is a catch: missing more school could cause more stress, because they have to make up all of the work they missed.

Students in HF also have trouble with anxiety, and it can start to cause issues for these people. In particular, it affects them throughout their school lives. A freshman said their anxiety stems mainly from school, and when they are stressed they tend to worry a lot. The pressures of high school can be overbearing, and for people with anxiety, some two hours of homework, could wind up taking longer, and cause more stress than on average.

A sophomore, spoke up and said, “It makes me unable to take tests and it prevents me from staying calm in stressful situations.” School is an environment where stress is always present, and tests are inevitable. For someone with anxiety, if this “normal stress” as some might call it, is bad, than students with anxiety have it much worse. Test taking is hard on its own, and mixing in someone who is having a rough day and their anxiety is at an all-time high, makes the task much more difficult.

There are always ways to relieve some stress. Depending on how comfortable someone is with talking about their anxiety, other methods of coping with it and dealing with it become available and more accessible.

Talking to friends is one thing many people quickly look over when it comes to anxiety. Bouncing your feelings off of someone to try and figure out how you are actually feeling, can easily help to decrease the amount you are worrying about.

Recent research has even proven the music can affect someone’s overall anxiety. The blog, Nerdic Vikings, wrote an article about how it affects people. The author, Ragnhild, said when she listened to music while she was anxious, “I was transported. I was no longer thinking about my modern worries”. Being able to get away from anxious thoughts, can be one of the best feelings when stress is piling up on top of you.

Anxiety wires your brain so that it is on a loop, stressing over the same things and rethinking them. Something small can turn into something big for a person with anxiety. Not to mention, for some teenagers, anxiety is not the only mental health disorder they deal with.

Juggling mental health on top of school, work, relationships, and family becomes a lot really quickly. These people with anxiety are not thinking about what they have to do during their math class, they are thinking about all of the things they have to do that upcoming weekend. So instead of being relaxed and hanging out with friends, they could be in their room trying to get all of their homework done.

There are always going to be people around you to help you, and people you can talk to. Being alone and having to stay silent should never have to happen. People are out there who want to listen, even if you don't know them too well.

Alexandra Palmieri