The rise in mental diseases affects the average teen

Stress is becoming too common among the teenage mind


Photo courtesy of Pixabay via Creative Commons

Emma Swain and Valiyah Henry

The pre SATs have passed and midterms are on the horizon which means stress levels are rising. Research has proven that high levels of stress have been known to cause mental diseases, such as depression and anxiety, and also kill brain cells. The body releases cortisol and adrenaline hormones that increases pounding of the heart, muscle tension, and blood pressure. Stress and mental diseases are becoming more common to a teenager’s life.  

Freshmen Olivia Skinner explains how stress impacts her daily routine, “Stress is a daily struggle for me because it prohibits me from doing many activities. I am constantly under pressure due to my stress and it is emotionally draining. School makes me stress 24/7 and thoughts of school take up the majority of my mind.”

Increase levels of the cortisol hormone have been found to kill brain cells. It can also lead to chronic stress which ages the undeveloped brains of children. Many teenagers who deal with constant stress experience anxiety and/or depression throughout their daily lives. Depression and/or anxiety affects more than 3 million people a year and those are just the people who turn towards help.

Studies have been showing an increase in mental diseases over the years. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association, teenagers are experiencing more anxiety than a child mental patient in the 1950’s. Research from Nuffield Foundation also concludes that in the last 30-40 years there has been a considerably great amount of increase in anxiety. They report that the amount of boys ages 15 to 16 who feel anxious or depressed rises from 1 in 30 to 2 in 30 as well as the number of girls ages 15 to 16 rising from 1 in 10 to 2 in 10.

Another effect of mental diseases is suicide. Not all who are dealing with mental illnesses resort to suicide, but it has been a common action among teens. National Center for Health and Statistics reports that suicide rates for girls ages 15 to 19 has doubled between 2007 and 2015.

Tom Simon, an associate director for science in the division of violence protection at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said, “This data shows that between 2007 and 2015, there is a substantial increase for both young males and young females.” He further concludes that, “For young males, there was a 31% increase in suicide rates, and for young females, the suicide rate doubled.”

For many seniors, it is difficult to remain calm with SATs lurking around them. Their college careers depend on if they get a good enough score on a single test. For other students, it is the stress of midterms that seems to be making the anxiety levels rise. They worry about getting a good grade to maintain a perfect GPA.

Senior Angel Raines talks about her constant anxiety about her future, “I am stressing about getting a high enough SAT score and getting accepted into a college.”

For teens these days, it seems that they are not only use to the constant stress and pressure, but the feeling of anxiety and depression as well. The major increase in suicide rates and mental disorders over the years is not normal. If the stress among teens does not decrease, then there may be a new rise of health problems for this generation.