Sketch by Angelina Oliveira Courtesy of Google Images
Sketch by Angelina Oliveira Courtesy of Google Images

The Mental Struggle Of Teens

How Students Have Been Affected At BHS

April 5, 2022

This article contains potentially triggering topics: suicide and depression.

Please be aware of your mental state before reading and reach out to the appropriate source linked below the article.

“I’m okay,”—the generic answer that people give all the time when asked if they need help.  When was the last time someone asked how you were and you answered honestly? There’s a lot that goes into that question and response but we don’t take the time to answer.  This is common practice but maybe that should change since times are changing–post-pandemic, more isolation, rising rates in anxiety, depression, and stress. But what good does sharing those statistics like 31% of people have anxiety and 11% of young adults suffer from depression, do in response? What is that going to change?  How is that going to help? How can one get better? First off teens/young adults have so much stress on them to fix the world that seems broken.

School is—well let’s be honest—the entire educational system is so messed up. Society has politicians making educational legislature out of personal preferences over real school experiences. Students are behind from virtual instruction.  There are longer class times than the average attention span. The average attention span is between 39 and 65 minutes. Teens have earlier wake up times than necessary for their suggestive sleep amount (fellow Engineer, Ellie’s Bailey’s “Importance Of Sleep” article in January).  Teens are forced to complete extensive deadlines, etc.

Social media has turned into an escape for the ones that are stressed and broken—a way to numb the pain of everyday life or hide and not confront or solve problems. Social media just stresses teens out and gets them out of their real world. That is just a combination of disasters. Speaking as someone that has struggled with being sucked into the social media wormhole. It is comfortable, safe, an oasis, a way to get away from the pain of the world. What is there to do other than continue the painless scroll? It’s more painful to face the issue right ahead than sitting and scrolling for hours.  

Mental disorders, death, and lack of health care are just normal now: 937,000 deaths between March 2020—2022.  Teens are dying left and right the death rate for teens has gone up drastically, teenage emergency room visits for suicide attempts increased significantly during the pandemic, with a 50% rise in cases in females and almost 4% increase in males. “Anything is better than this pain, this world,” people normalize this thought so much, why? Who is doing anything to help this pain we all go through? How can anyone understand what we are trying to say—without an inside look into the minds of teens today? Here is an inside look done by a sophomore from Brunswick High School—Cadence Avey. 

What is your mental health like post-pandemic? 

Cadence Avey: “My mental health is a lot worse than pre-pandemic, I have started dealing with anxiety and depression from post-pandemic due to the world changing and school and the stress of being a young adult in America today.”

How does school affect your mental health? 

Cadence Avey: School adds a lot of stress to my everyday life and makes it so that I am unable to take mental health breaks and focus on being healthy mentally. I am given unnecessary stress and standards in an unfair educational society. The education system says they care about our mental health but have yet to change anything to actually help us with our issues. They do not listen when we tell them our problems, they do not allow grace when something is wrong, they judge when an assignment is not done up to the standard they want. Then do not bother to ask why? Students are assumed dumb then move on.” 

How did being isolated from others change the way you grow and change or act at school? 

Cadence Avey:I changed my ability to enjoy life and find joy in the little things. It hinders my outlook on life and creates fear in everyday life of judgment and what could happen with the sickness and hurt that is currently in the world.”

Students have changed through the pandemic differently because they were alone. They had time to grow as their own person, yet they have suffered so greatly. Does this contribute to anxiety? According to the Implications of COVID for mental health: “COVID has negatively affected people’s mental health creating new barriers for people already suffering from mental illnesses and substance disorders.” And this interview shows the mental effect on a student. The youth of our population faces more stress than they need and this should be stopped and helped.

Crisis Services: Dial 211 – Help when you feel really anxious or really depressed and need someone to talk with so that you can stay safe.
Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741
Maryland Anonymous Tip Line: 1-833-632-7233 Report threats or situations that put your safety, or others’ safety, at risk.
Suicide Prevention Hotline:  1-800-273-8255 – Help if you are thinking about suicide.

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    Nana & PappyApr 9, 2022 at 8:27 am

    Wow! This is amazing! Thank you so much for opening our eyes to a great concern in our society today.
    Now we need to work on the solution….

    Reply