Anxiety Disorder Has Lead to Student Struggles

Lily Galnares, Staff Writer

  Anxiety disorder is one of the most common psychological disorders in the United States. The disorder is seen most often in high school students. Students who struggle with these disorders have difficulties talking about their battles.

  Having an anxiety disorder can have serious impacts on students both in their school lives and their personal lives. It can affect the way students maintain relationships as well as having and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

  “It can make it harder to fall asleep and can make sleep less restful which can lead to difficulties at school and at home. Anxiety can even impact things like memory and personality,” social worker Jessie Kilpatrick said.

  Not only can an anxiety disorder affect relationships, it can cloud the person’s mind, which can be extremely damaging to students who rely on their brains to function properly.

  “Students experiencing anxiety will spend a lot of time worrying or overthinking something which takes up a lot of room in their mind. This makes it very difficult for them to focus in class and try to read an assignment or learn a new concept,” new to West STEP advisor Haley Mcdonald, said.

  Students struggling with these factors may suffer even more when they can’t properly express how they are feeling. According to Kilpatrick, a key factor that makes anxiety hard to talk about is how confusing it can be.

  “It can be hard to talk about anxiety because it can be hard to identify it as the actual problem. Anxiety disorders can be really sneaky. They can feel like a dozen other issues or disorders, and that makes it really hard to talk about what’s going on,” Kilpatrick explained.

  Mcdonald believes that anxiety has become difficult for people to express due to the fear of the results of sharing their feelings with others.

  “I think the reason why students still struggle to talk about it is because they are embarrassed or ashamed for having these feelings. I think it is also largely due to a fear of judgment if they do open up about it,” Mcdonald said.

  Both Mcdonald and Kilpatrick said that anxiety disorder is nothing students should be ashamed of. Kilpatrick encourages that people with anxiety disorder should talk to professionals to help them heal.

  “Would you be embarrassed about seeing a doctor about a broken arm? Of course not. Mental health is the same as physical health. It is part of you, one small part of the amazing person that you are, “ Kilpatrick said.