A fight worth fighting

Many adolescents are struggling with mental illnesses, and seeking help may be one of the best ways to combat this hardship.


Ava Brokate

Depression along with other mental illnesses are creating a burden for many teens.

When most people think about high school, their thoughts instantly go to all of the amazing memories they made in the four, short years they were given. Sadly, this isn’t the case for everybody. Some people encounter much harder obstacles than just the simple thought of looking good enough at a school dance. Other teens are faced with the fear of losing the battle against their own minds. Anxiety and depression play a gruesome part in some high school students’ lives, and while some can’t seem to find their way around these mental illnesses, others have decided to fight their way back into the driver’s seat of their thoughts.

Anxiety and depression play a gruesome part in some high school students’ lives, and while some can’t seem to find their way around these mental illnesses, others have decided to fight their way back into the driver’s seat of their thoughts.

— Marguerite Holes

High school students are constantly expected to have top-notch grades and perfect attitudes all while handling the problems life throws at them. With angry parents and uptight teachers breathing down kids’ necks, the pressure for teens to be flawless increases by the day. Most students are frowned upon if they do not maintain a solid A in every class; however, most adults can not even begin to comprehend the stress that comes along with achieving these amazing grades. Staying up past midnight, skipping meals, and never letting their eyes wander from their computer screens are just a few things teens must do in order to complete their homework before their deadlines, and make their parents proud. Not only can the constant worrying of not having a grade-point average that measures up to college standards lead to an abundant amount of stress, but in some cases, it may even lead to anxiety. The four years that teens are cooped up in their bustling high schools can be hard enough as it is, but when mental illness is thrown into the mix of popularity contests and never-ending drama, students soon lose any motivation they once had. This loss of motivation can be caused by another extremely serious mental illness–depression.

Depression can not only affect one’s performance in classes, but it can also cause students to lose interest in the activities they once enjoyed. By no longer wanting to participate in their formerly loved clubs and athletics, students may eventually end up quitting, and pushing themselves deeper into a downward spiral of life-threatening emotions. Without the presence of an activity in their lives, teens are left alone with their dangerous thoughts and feelings. This increasing amount of loneliness can take quite a toll on a child’s mental health. A common sign of depression is the feeling of unworthiness. This protruding thought keeps depressed teens from reaching out to people who can potentially help them. Although kids may hesitate at first to seek help, there are many different ways and resources available to help struggling students cope with these two mental illnesses.

Contrary to popular belief, confiding in a therapist is not the only way to begin the healing process of depression and anxiety. Although interest in old hobbies may have been lost, sparking up an old activity that once brought joy is a good way of letting loose and taking a break from the harsh reality of life. Creating art through pencil marks or paint strokes can let one portray emotions much easier than attempting to construct a sentence with a crippled mind. Constructing a piece of art is not for everyone, though. 

The title that a therapist or counselor holds can appear discouraging to some, so a simple one-on-one talk with a trusted friend or family member is the furthest step that some may be willing to take. As long as someone is willing to listen, people may be more compelled to talk. In some cases, the individual that one chooses to confide in may suggest seeking professional help, but no shame should be held in the proposal, for they may have that person’s best interest in mind. Although finding ways to cope may be difficult, bottling up emotions can lead to lethal thoughts and actions, whether that is self-harm or even suicide. In order to avoid this daunting reality, the signs of anxiety and depression should be taken seriously and addressed immediately.

Every day students are pushed to their limits, and sometimes their still-developing minds are unable to handle the overwhelming pressure. Trying to achieve college worthy grades while still maintaining a positive attitude, although it may seem quite simple, is actually quite a struggle for some kids. Although these sicknesses may not be taken too seriously in today’s society, they can be the root of many harmful ideas that cross a mentally ill child’s mind. Without seeking proper care, students may not be able to handle their broken and overwhelmed minds for much longer. Whether they decide to go about healing themselves in their own way or find help in the medical field, teens should not hold in their emotions. There is always a way to get better, no matter how far one may have to look.