Self help vs. Self destruction

Green Ribbons are used to help raise mental health awareness.

Green Ribbons are used to help raise mental health awareness.

Ian Wilger, Photo Project Manager

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As the school year trudges along, the will to do work for many high school students slowly fades away. With the lack of drive to succeed in school, states of unhappiness can creep into people’s lives and seem to overtake many students. 

According to, depression affects around 20% of teens in the United States. With depression, anxiety often is present at the same time. While there is not one definitive source of depression and anxiety in every case, there are a few reasons it could be a rising statistic. 

Teenage anxiety and depression is likely to stem from issues at home. says 20-50% of teens with depression are in a family that has a history of mental illness. Another possibility for the rise in teen depression and anxiety can be linked to the amount of schoolwork students receive. 

With the increase of importance on the pursuance of higher education in America, teens are pushed harder and harder to sign up for more grueling classes that stack on hours of homework each night. A junior student said, “Schoolwork overpowers me most nights, it really makes it hard to focus in school the next day when I have to stay up until 11 each night doing homework.” Often times, the work limits the amount of time a student gets to oneself or to spend with their friends. .

Athletic success is also stressed in teenagers for a chance at an athletic scholarship, making college more affordable. A PV student said, “Each night, I have hockey practice for a few hours, then I get home around nine and have to do homework. It’s hard to complete schoolwork with so much extra things.” When a student has two hours of practice immediately following school each day, and then goes home to three hours of homework, the enjoyment of the day fades away after time.

The hardest part for a teen who is going through periods of depression and anxiety is figuring out how to cope with it. With two main courses of action, it is often hard to choose the best way of relief. There is the choice to keep it quiet and not tell anyone, and there is the choice to tell someone and get the help that one needs.

Teens often are mistaken by the term “self help”. They believe keeping quiet is the best choice, when in fact, it is the wrong choice. Keeping quiet leads to isolation, which is never a good idea. In reality, this way of self help leads to self destruction. 

True self help is finding a person that is trustworthy, and talking about it. Talking to someone is the key in getting the help you need and finding happiness in life more often. Regardless of what  teachers say, it is okay to miss an assignment and to not study one night, and get out of the house with friends. A person’s well being is more important than a chapter in your science book.