Walking on Different Paths We decode the depths of depression, anxiety, and stress as we put ourselves in the shoes of fellow students here on the PRHS campus. By: Maicah Cabello, IMJ Student reporter

As Brissia Jimenez falls into the deep chasm there is nothing to grab, nothing to pull her from this endless chaos that she herself conceived. Down the rabbit hole once again, as Jimenez continuously fall into this prolonged dreamy state that you can never escape.

This feeling is what people across the world feel every single day, as nearly 350 million people struggle with depression every year and 40 million people just in the United States struggle with anxiety. On the Paso Robles High School campus, these are issues students face in their everyday lives, each one on a different scale.

We put our spotlight on ourselves when in reality there are many individuals struggling with a similar problem.

Four year veteran counselor at PRHS Alexandra Thompson, states that there are positive and negative stresses here on campus. The positive stress is motivational, as it pushes students to study more and be more productive. When the students turn to “non-productive ways” such as not doing the homework, or giving up on studying because it is a “lost cause,” these habits become negative outlets for stress.

Even on a personal level, Thompson has learned that “self-care is important, as are developing strong support systems and healthy coping strategies.”

As we each have our own definitions of stress, anxiety, and depression, we each have our own experiences with each one.

“I think that stress is when you get really like upset about things because you have so much going on and you just can’t handle it,” stated freshman at PRHS, Faith Gaudi.

Gaudi faces stress in her everyday life, about “two times a day,” as an effect of the many sports she has along with her bundle of advanced classes. She states that when she is stressed it makes her more quiet and irritable as she is very angry with her built-up conflictions.

"[Anxiety is] an emotion you cant explain, a feeling when you feel like you are trapped in a room" - Brissia Jimenez
“My definitions of anxiety and depression are feeling sad, like no motivation, lost interest [in] things you liked doing. For anxiety I think personally [ ] you feel really anxious and [its] feeling that you can’t really express,” freshman Brissia Jimenez shared.

Jimenez has admitted to anxiety, depression, and stress in the past. She described these feelings as outlets of making herself “feel worthless,” and as though she has “no reason to be here,”and she Jimenez reported that on average she is stressed at least “three times each day.” Jimenez illustrated the picture of her endless spiral of stress caused by her depression and anxiety.

Internal disorders, depression and anxiety, are the nationwide “leading cause of disabilities” where “almost 75% of people with mental disorders remain untreated,” stated the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). The ADAA also stated “only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment,” although these disorders are very treatable.

The ADAA states that simple things such as “eating well-balanced meals, talking to someone, setting small daily goals, and finding forms of exercise,” are very useful coping strategies. Jimenez also said that her go to coping strategies are listening to music, crying it out, taking showers, talking to her friends and family, and taking deep breaths. As Thompson has said, “There’s no one solution to stress because some kinds of stress are normal. However, there’s coping strategies to deal with it.”

Tunnel vision envelops us in a world that is much wider than it appears to be.

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