Is the Education System Destroying our Mental Health?

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Is the Education System Destroying our Mental Health?

Gabrielle Contello, Staff Writer

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Often overlooked in today’s society, mental illness is playing a larger role in America’s education System than ever before. Students today are under more pressure as the constant demands of school, social and physical begin weighing on the adolescent psyche.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “It (depression/ anxiety) causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working.” Anxiety and depression are causing adverse effects on Americans as a whole, but especially to the developing minds of young adults who are not yet equipped with the ability to handle the situations that school may throw at them.

Teachers have mandatory rules for projects, whether it’s find a partner or deliver an oral presentation.These simple task throw students with anxiety and depression into an instant paralysis. Anxiety follows a student through every spoken word with the constant fear of messing up.  Whereas depression makes a student vulnerable, with a sense of giving up and irritability.

“I’m always trying to be this happy, social butterfly of a person even when I’m not okay. Like no matter whats going on with me I feel as though I have to be okay for the outside world,” Sophomore Rachelle Johnson said.  “I can go to school as one person who is strong, and come back as someone who is exhausted. School doesn’t really help because through my entire education you’re taught to not let outside things effect your work.” 

When the nerves and stomach churning sadness kicks in they tell our students to not be lazy, since it will be apart of their grade. In these moments and with demanding assignments and deeming them mandatory, educators are telling students to make a choice of their education or their mental health.

“My heart starts to race, I get all nervous, and honestly all I want to do is curl up in a ball and cry,” Sophomore Morgan Huggins said. She feels as though the adolescent should not be forced into presenting in front of a class.

Day in and day out the American education systems sits by and allows students to feel this way with out any hopes of a way out or any form of solution to the problem. Mental illnesses can lead to serious things such as suicide, hopelessness, isolation, and the rate of which has been increasing in adolescence.

“I think sometimes it’s hard for some people to balance their school with how they are actually doing,” Sophomore Mary Schmittler said. “It’s easy said than done to just persevere, but I don’t think teachers know how much stress is on us. It pushes us out of our comfort zone when we have to present because of social anxiety. It’s better when people are laughing with you and not at your mistakes. Also how difficult times at home can get along with all of our responsibilities in school. It’s not only teacher making this impact on the student, other kids can be so hateful.” 

As someone suffering from both anxiety and depression, I want students enduring this contact struggle to know that they are not alone. There are resources available, both in school and outside of school, to help us take charge of this illness and to stop sweeping it under the rug. It’s time that students find their voice and start expressing their concerns and taking more of a proactive role in their mental well-being.