Impact of School on Students Mental Health How stressed are students really feeling?

With the daily routine of school, homework, and extracurriculars, sometimes teens don’t realize the strain that is put onto their mental health; this strain can eventually lead to anxiety, stress, and in extreme cases, depression in young teens that can follow them for the rest of their lives. The most common symptoms of depression according to the ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America), include but aren’t limited to: loss of interest in hobbies and activities, restlessness or irritability, and difficulty concentrating or focusing. These indications aren’t uncommon either, out of 165 teens at Paso Robles High School, 122 (74%) found that they received some sort of negative pressure whether by adults, friends or themselves, due to their GPA or grades.

Going along those lines, adult and adolescent therapist, Laurel Olvera says, that she would define stress and anxiety as, “the environment that teens are in and how well they can perceive and how they are doing in that environment.” She says that a main problem that teens face is that they have, “a harder time communicating that they need help in whatever they’re doing,” whether this would be school, clinical health problems, or anything else in life. Freshman Ava Brabenec says that she mostly feels stressed when she is overwhelmed by the amount of work that she has to do and sometimes she breaks down and says that “whether that means taking a long break or crying or whatever it is.”This goes along with what Dr. Olvera was saying, “..teens nowadays face way more pressure to isn’t just about a 4.0 GPA, now its a 4.0 GPA plus volunteering, sports, clubs, and AP classes and be better academically than say 10 years ago.”

She goes on to say that now getting into college this constant toil can eventually lead to mental health issues that last longer than the four years at high school. Dr. Olvera as says that most people when they have stress in their teens will usually never Stress is actually a trigger that releases a hormone which causes excessive cortisone to secrete into the memory part of the brain called the hippocampus. According to Dr. Olvera The hippocampus’ main purpose relates directly to memory and how well we can recall information and create thoughts; there are chronic changes that the mind can go through when affected by stress or anxiety: chronic changes mostly occur in the brain areas and cause higher blood pressure, worsened memory, and hard time relaxing.

Dr.Olvera continued on to say that most people will also never grow out of stress or anxiety and will eventually adapt to the symptoms, meaning that the stress that schools place on teens doesn’t ever in most cases go away and with time can develop into something even worse. Stress in some forms can manifest into both physical and mental problems that can cause a person's mood, body, and behavior to negatively change. This includes getting headaches, chest pains, more anxiety, irritability and anger, and angry outbursts. Meaning that stress is a life long thing that all humans deal with but school only helps to add on and increase the rate in which stress develops.

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