Fighting the Dark to Be on Top of the Cloud The affect of mental health , how it is seen and reflected at school By: Jennifer Ayala IMJ written March 30th, 2019

Paso Robles High School holds over 2,000 students, all of different ages, grades, backgrounds and more. However, one thing all students have in common is dealing with school and the normal stresses from completing assignments and receiving grades. Every weekday students have to attend school for almost 8 hours a day, approximately 4o hours a week, this is excluding extracurricular activities, detentions and saturday school.

As a result from these tasks and multiple requirements they face, many students possibly deal with is anxiety and depression.

"Held in Color Comfort"

PRHS student Renelle Willis is shown experiencing a rough start to the day, however is being comforted by Mrs.Barringer, a fellow caring English teacher at Paso Robles High School.

These past years mental disorders and mental illnesses have increased in teens, specifically anxiety and depression, in 2008 psychologists discovered that the average high school student experienced the same level of anxiety as the average psychiatric patient did in the early 1950’s. Based on these statistics, it is only predicted that it has and is increasing in teens.

Anxiety to be clear is an “extreme apprehension and worry, is a normal reaction to stressful situations. In some cases, however, worry becomes excessive or chronic and can cause sufferers to dread everyday situations”, as defined by Psychology Today.

On the other hand, depression is defined as, “a mood or emotional state that is marked by feelings of low self-worth or guilt and a reduced ability to enjoy life” by Britannica School High.

Both anxiety and depression can be common in smaller episodes or moments, such as an upcoming test or the passing away of a family member, but when it for long periods of time (over 2 weeks) those can be diagnosed as clinical disorders. In fact, some factors for either depression or anxiety are romantic distress or academic stress. When interviewing fellow Paso Robles High School freshman Zoey Manninger, she stated the following when she was asked what she presumed were factors of anxiety associated with school,

“i believe school is a major factor of stress and anxiety. With all the pressure and expectation to succeed," Zoey Manninger [April 2nd, 2019]

As Manninger stated, there are many other students who would agree with her belief, as psychologist would as well due to simply the symptoms of depression and anxiety. People with either disorder experience a variety of physical, mental and behavioral symptoms.


People with either disorder deal with poor self image and low self-esteem, they usually despise their appearance or themselves as a person. Leading to a lot of self-deprecation

full image by Jennifer Ayala

Sunny Jenny's Depression Info-graphic

An example with depression would be: head aches, change in weight, feeling of worthlessness, extreme sadness, guily , etc., and/ or angry outburts.

As people experience these symptoms, they see their world changing and morphing into a dark, gloomy feeling and world right before their own eyes.

Sunny Jenny's Anxiety Info-graphic

Whereas with anxiety includes symtpoms such as: hyperventilation, trouble concetrating and becoming involved in self-destructive behavior.

"Stuck in dirt"

- photograph by Jennifer Ayala

In these moments when feeling 'cloudy' and lost in the negative, but there is lots of love, support and positivity around in the environment. Enough to help water you, so you can grow.

Despite how dreadful and challenging mental disorders sound, they are capable of being surpassed. There are many support systems in and out of school, don’t remain silent. It is okay to not be okay, but it will never be okay to not reach out for help. Some sources of help can come from parents or a guardian, a counselor, friends, therapist , psychologist and more. Treatment is available in different ways for each person Reach out. You got this.

"Slow Growth"

- photograph by Jennifer Ayala

"the speed of your growth does not matter as long as you are moving forward, forward for the better in yourself and the better for you"
Created By
Jennifer Ayala

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