Effects of Anxiety

A student’s teenage years are marked by uncertainty and self-doubt which, when combined with the pressing symptoms of anxiety, can dramatically impact their mindset and mental ability.


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High School students are not immune to the stress-filled hardships of life.

Jackie Bond, Staff Writer

Anxiety is a mental disorder marked by nervousness and worry which poisons the minds of countless teenagers. The stress of social cliques, excessive work loads, and burdensome classes provide students with self-doubt and worry that often induces anxiety disorders.
Students develop anxiety as a result of physiological changes in the brain along with the environmental stress a student may experience. The human brain does not fully develop until age 25; therefore, high school students are more susceptible to mental changes and abnormal functioning neurotransmitters which can cause anxiety. When combined with the stress an average high school student faces every day, this neurological malfunctioning can leave students powerless to the horrible effects of anxiety. According to the National Institute of Mental, “about 30% of girls and 20% of boys–totaling 6.3 million teens–have had an anxiety disorder” during their teenage years (Time Magazine). This shockingly high statistic proves that age and school-induced stress correlate with the widespread prevalence of anxiety throughout the US.
As students enter high school, the social pressure of starting at a new school and the expectation of success creates a stress-filled environment for students. But this stress does not fade over time; as homework loads increase and friendships continue to strain, teenagers inevitably face anxiety which breeds a serious mental disorder. This epidemic often causes teenagers to shut down and even give up on their academic endeavors. According to Psychology Today, anxiety among high school students “has steadily risen over the past 30 years” as a result of gradually increasing school difficulty and consistent pressure to fit in among classmates.
Anxiety drastically affects students’ ability to succeed in school by slowing down mental processes, increasing the likelihood of depression, and inducing sleep-preventing stress. As explained by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “about half of people diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder”. Clearly, the recession and dejection caused by depression relates to the constant self doubt and apprehension of anxiety. Not only does anxiety hinder student’s mental abilities, it also leads to extreme stress which is “the most common cause of insomnia” (kidshealth.org). Insomnia, or the inability to fall or stay asleep, stems from constant worrying and nervousness that persists even at night. Insomnia and depression also lower teenager’s self-perception and ability to function which can increase the effects of anxiety, spurring a vicious cycle.
Although high school is a vital and necessary step in a student’s path to the future, it is obvious that the social pressures and homework-fueled stress of high school hinders students’ mental and physical health, inhibiting teenagers’ potential for success.