Thoughts pacing; hearts racing


Overthinking, worry, stress, anxiety: the combination of just enough things to create panic attacks and an endless sense of something bad might happen– that something bad could happen. Racing thoughts is just one of the many symptoms anxiety can create. Along with the thoughts racing, spinning, and feeling constantly tired, anxiety can also create depression. More than just being sad, depression can tear a hole in the lives of those who struggle with it. Anxiety and depression go hand in hand. When one gets better, the other may get worse and vice versa. Sometimes the result of present trauma can trigger both anxiety and depression, and in some cases, it just shows up, without any sign. One minute everything is fine, and in the next moment, it can shift to slowly falling down a hole–leaving no idea if there is a way to get out. 

Clique, a student at Edmond North, struggles with anxiety, 

“I wish they cared more about what we’re going through. It’s always, ’Come to school, do your best in class, put everything in and you’ll do great!’ but some of us legitimately can’t. Mental illness/disorders can truly ruin you if you don’t take time to yourself to focus on healing. Sometimes it’s just impossible to cope with so many assignments, so much stress, everything. I was hospitalized last year for mental health reasons, mostly in part to how stressful school was, and while I’m much better now, if I hadn’t had that time to focus on healing, so much worse could’ve happened. I’m extremely appreciative of what the school does do in terms of mental health, for they were accommodating when they knew how severe it was, but if they had been accommodating from the start, with less emphasis on being the perfect student, I feel it could’ve gone much better (and that goes for being accommodating for every student, not just the ones who are visibly struggling)” Clique said.

Anxiety isn’t as uncommon in teens than what it was ten years ago. Generation Z has been a great topic of science: They are known as the most stressed, anxious, as well as the most clinically depressed. There is a lot of unhealthy stigma surrounding mental health, causing individuals who suffer from mental illness to avoid reaching out. However, occasionally talking about uncomfortable topics is a great way to solve problems and find a solution. 

Kaylie Bennett, a college student at Northeastern State University talks about the importance of mental health awareness,

“Talking about mental wellness is important, because millions of lives are affected by some sort of mental health disorder. If more people are aware of mental wellness then maybe more lives will be saved; more people will be able to understand those who (including me) are struggling with some sort of mental disorder everyday” Bennett said.

A small amount of anxiety is known to pop up occasionally: roller coasters, concerts, meeting a celebrity, but what about everyday general anxiety? The anxiety that is invisible to the naked eye, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD),  is one of the anxieties that is not situational, sometimes it is genetic or created by another underlying condition. Social anxiety is a great example of situational anxiety that manifests long term. Being around people or talking on stage can be nerve racking for a lot of students, but social anxiety is different. It is extreme discomfort and panic when surrounded by people, feeling stared at, watched, talked about. Feeling negatively  judged by society constantly. Having such anxiety can create other fears like leaving the house, going into public, avoiding friends, and even family. 

An anonymous student at Edmond North shared valuable information on how society deems people struggling with mental health issues as crazy.  Their pseudonym to remain anonymous is Indigo Smith.

“Because in the 1900’s they correlated mental illness with being ‘crazy’ and most everyone who was deemed ‘mentally ill’ got locked in an asylum for their entire life,” Smith said.

Having good coping skills and positivity can be a great way to overcome or aid anxiety on a daily basis. Talking to someone who understands and wants to help can be really therapeutic as well. Sometimes all it takes is reaching out and having a conversation. Who knows, they might end up finding someone who relates to them and cares, leading to a new sense of profound friendship. 

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about this article, please email Shadow Bennett at [email protected]