Mental health normalization at PV


Ryan McGuire via Pixabay

Samantha Bladel, Social Media Manager

Even though the school year just began, many seniors are rushing to push through applications to colleges. Others are worried about their GPA’s, American Lit quizzes, or simply all the homework given throughout the day. Study after study is published about the negative health effects caused by this kind of workload and little to nothing happens depending on school district.  

While PV has attempted to curb this stress by having readily-available counselors and psychologists, many students do not know about these services or think they do not qualify. This is not the case, as approximately 11 out of 13 students surveyed admitted to having a panic attack due to school. “I’m never not stressed at school. Worrying is the norm. If I’m not stressed about homework, then I’m worrying about tests, grades, service learning, and balancing it all with work and extracurriculars.”, says senior Andy Hammer.

Balancing school is hard enough on its own, but many students at PV also participate in clubs and have jobs. Students do these for fun or to buff up a college application, but it comes at a price to their health. 77% of students surveyed admitted to getting a maximum of 6 hours of sleep a night. Sleep deprivation can cause or worsen anxiety and depression, which in turn affects student in nearly all aspects of their lives. “Honestly, in high school, I felt like ****,” says Melissa Weinert, a recent PV graduate. “I would wake up or have something bad happen and then my depression would multiply that, and then for the rest of the day, I [would] hide in my room and recover. I wouldn’t have the drive or energy to do anything. My depression sucked all my creativity and work ethic away.”

While school alone does not always cause anxiety or depression, it can play a key role in its manifestation. Hearing people casually mention panic attacks as if it is not a problem is extremely concerning. PV is a district with many competitive people who constantly strive to do their best, whether it’s athletics, academics or extracurriculars; however, this should not come at the cost of a student’s health. Students saying they have panic attacks or suicidal thoughts because of class should not be something commonly heard in our hallways.

If you are having panic attacks, depressive episodes, or other mental health issues talk to your counselor or the school’s psychologist.
If you are having suicidal thoughts please call the national suicide hotline at: 1-800-273-8255