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More teens are struggling to handle their anxiety

Samantha Roberson, News Editor

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Junior Margaret McNellis and millions of teenagers like her experience that same feeling on a day-to-day basis at school.

“I’m constantly worried that something is gonna go wrong; it could be the smallest thing in the world, but I’m still worried about it,” McNellis said.

McNellis says she was diagnosed with severe General Anxiety Disorder just before her sophomore year.
Anxiety is a nervous disorder characterized by a state of excessive uneasiness and apprehension.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, this is a reality for 25.1 percent of teens ages 13 to 18 years old.

“Your brain sends signals to the rest of the body to get ready for an emergency, even though an emergency may not exist,” Psychology teacher Terri Davis said. “Anxiety is definitely subjective. What makes one person anxious doesn’t have to make everyone else anxious.”

A study conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that diagnosed anxiety disorders had increased 2.8 percent from 2005 to 2014.

“The amount of pressure we face as a generation is unbelievable,” McNellis said. “We are supposed to live up to expectations for so many different things…social media, school and family. All of these things cause anxiety. I’m not surprised it has gone up.”

Societal expectations may have contributed to the rise in anxiety among teenagers.
“We make it hard for students not to be anxious because we expect so much from you all,” Davis said. “We do more damage than we help. For an adult, we know how to handle it, but for you all it’s new.”

college has also contributed to the rise in anxiety.

As reported by the Statistic Brain Research Institute, the average price for college institutions was 20,403 dollars. This a huge jump from the average price in 2015, which was 12,910 dollars.

“I think the stress level about college has definitely been ratcheted up quite a few notches,” College Counselor Kevin Coy said. “When I was applying to college, it was a very simple process.”

Anxiety can be chronic and severe. However, there are ways to help ease it.

“Exercise, good quality nutrition, and being involved with friends and family live in person, and not online,” Psychology teacher Lauren Chasey said.

According to the Business Insider, social media is a negative factor in the case of anxiety.

“Humans need social interaction to survive- and social media, even though it has “social” in the title, is one of the most isolating factors that has been introduced in the recent past,” Chasey said.

With avoiding negative factors attributing the anxiety, there are a few tricks to help with it.

“Sometimes when I’m at school and I get hit with it I’ll distract myself by counting out of order. When I’m at school I’ll listen to music and start coloring.”

Senior Andrea Barrera says she suffers from baseline anxiety. She joined Operation Snowball her freshman year, which has helped her learn how to handle her anxiety.

“Being stressed is really difficult, but having anxiety is much less controllable. Snowball taught me I wasn’t alone in my anxiety and gave me tips on how to help,” Barrera said. “Honestly, Snowball saved me from myself. I could NOT be more thankful for everything it’s given me.”

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