Student Voices: Staying sane in crazy times

A large problem in today’s society is anxiety and depression, especially among teens. The constant stress of school, exams, social media and the unreal expectations that come with them are looming worries in almost every young person’s mind. We are not only being pressured to get good grades by our families, we are also subconsciously comparing ourselves to the fraction of a percent that gets internet fame. 

Since 1985, the rates of anxiety and clinical depression have skyrocketed, along with the rise of various online platforms. People talk less, and way over half of the cases of both disorders go undiagnosed and untreated. Especially now, during the pandemic, when the rates are highest, but the availability of professionals is limited to extremes. 

Honestly, mental health was possibly better when people had to chop wood and sleep on a dead animal pelt to stay warm. Though we’ll never know for sure, because, to be fair, most of them didn’t exactly live long enough to develop these issues in the first place, and the ones that did probably didn’t have regular visits with the neighborhood psychologist. 

Some of the symptoms of anxiety and depression involve, but are not limited to: 

  • Loss of appetite
  • Paranoia
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • Anger issues
  • Isolation
  • (And, in the extreme cases) suicide

Thus… the Million Dollar Question!!!!!! 

What can I do to stave off of all these rather unpleasant symptoms of mental health disorders???

Well, the first thing you can do is call your friends as often as possible. Preferably the nice ones that don’t judge everything you do and talk behind your back. Having someone to be with who you don’t resent for living with you is a seriously good thing to have right now, if you aren’t already texting your buddies at 2am in the morning.

The second thing you could do is stay off social media *GASP*. No, just kidding. Although, it is a good idea to stay off of sites that make you feel like less, such as workout/dieting channels, and those people who post photoshopped bikini pictures. Most of the time, they look like everyone else without their makeup on. 

Another thing you could do is visit more uplifting news platforms from time to time. Staying informed is important, but the occasional reminder that the world is NOT going to end tomorrow is essential to being able to step outside every once in a while. (A great platform is https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org)

Finally, if you’re having a bad day, make sure you do something you love when you’re ready. Nothing big, but sometimes gummy bears or an hour of mindless entertainment are all you need to get back into a good mood. You matter, and being happy is contagious. Life may be crazy right now, but make sure to live as fully as you can.

Anya F-G. In collaboration with BlogAdo, an online program offered by Melissa Migueis, Marjorie Paquette & Connie Rotella. This program’s mission is to share teen voices through writing in hopes of providing comfort to other teens around the world. It's a movement from teens to teens!

To learn more, visit https://blogadomtl.wixsite.com/blogado

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