Mental Health at Cedar Ridge


Photo by Elianna Lopez

On average, teen girls have a higher risk of being depressed then teen boys. 19.4% teen girls are depressed, while 6.4% of teen boys are depressed, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Dante Motley, Print Editor in Chief

This generation of students has seen an increase in mental health problems unlike ever before. Some people claim it is due to the gauntlett of high stress challenges students are exposed to, while others believe it is due to more accurate mental health diagnoses techniques.

Either way, we can all agree that maintaining mental health is one of the hardest feats to accomplish in high school.

In 2017, one in five adolescents had had a serious mental health disorder at least one point in their life, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Let’s explore three of the greatest struggles students face throughout high school.


Depression, Anxiety, and Stress:

Nearly one in eight adolescents and young adults will have a major depressive episode this year. From 2005 to 2014, the number of adolescents affected by depression has increased by a third.

“Experts suspect that these statistics are on the low end of what’s really happening, since many people do not seek help for anxiety and depression.” Susanna Schrobsdorff said in Time Magazine.

We live in a time of high stress.

We are pressured to get good grades and go to colleges that have lower acceptance rates than ever.

Bullying runs rampant in schools and online.

Everyone, from Great Grandma Hilda to your dog, Spike, is pressuring you to be perfect.

It is hard not to experience some form of stress, anxiety, or depression throughout your high school career.

“The workload of high school pushes me over the edge. I have to do a lot of work and I have to do it well. It stresses me out,” Denai Joy (11) said.

The intense pressure of our lives can lead students to do worse and school and pressure students to find relief through other means, like drugs and alcohol.


Drugs and addiction:

Last year, use of drugs, other than marijuana, and binge drinking by high school students dropped to the lowest levels they had been at in two decades, according to a survey by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Although the rates may be going down, 9.4% of sophomores and 13.3% of seniors reported having used drugs during the survey.

The survey also reported a decrease in the perceived risk of harm drugs do, meaning while drug use has gone down, the general understanding of drugs and their addictive nature has also gone down.

Drugs are addictive and detrimental to people’s health, so how can we help prevent drug use?

Dr. Jeremy Frank, a leading psychologist and drug and alcohol counselor, said, ”Education and honest discussions about mental health addiction and treatment. We all need to be open and willing to talk about the role that drugs or alcohol play in our lives.

Talk to our children, friends and parents about it. Talk about it in school.”

Drug epidemics often appear in places with high availability of drugs and low education about drugs.

The education of people on the dangers of drug use can severely decrease drug use and prevent further drug epidemics.


Getting Help:

An important step in maintaining mental health and preventing addiction is getting help.

“Getting help is important because it is hard to go through your problems alone. It’s scary that these problems are affecting us, but just talking to someone can help,” Sharaz Bhatty (12)

While many students may understand this, many others find it hard to get help. They fear it means they are weak.

However, talking to someone and getting help can only help set you on a path to improve the quality of your life.

While it is hard to beat depression, anxiety, and addiction, getting help makes it easier to deal with your stressful and unique environments.

“People need to explain how we can use addictive behaviors to cope with feelings and how important it is to find ways of coping with our thoughts, feelings and stress in our lives,” Dr. Frank said.

If you are struggling with any mental health issues, please reach to an adult who can help. They can help you find ways to cope to cope with your individual struggles.