Pressures of school can negatively affect mental health


Infographic by Anna Ludvigsen ’20.

Anna Ludvigsen '20, Staff Writer

Many parents and teachers are disappointed, and some even mad, when their high school students get below a C on their tests. It’s time for parents and teachers to understand the kind of pressure students are under today.  

The mental health of teens has worsened in the past years, and the root of the problem is educational workload.

In fact, depression in youth increased from 5.9 percent in 2012 to 8.2 percent in 2015 according to Mental Health America.

I was diagnosed with ADHD at a young age, and developed anxiety coming into my teen years. Most of my anxiety is tied to the major stress caused by the pressure of school. Constantly learning, studying and testing new material each day is too much for underdeveloped minds. Juggling seven classes is especially difficult at a competitive school like Grosse Pointe South, where I am always being compared to my classmates.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 20 percent of teens ages 13-18 have a mental health condition, 8 percent being an anxiety disorder.

High school has gotten harder and harder over the years. Students are expected by their school, even directed by their counselors, that they should have a good amount of advanced placement classes. College level classes are not the least bit easy, and are said to require two to three hours of work a week, even though it’s much more. Students are pushed to have a good grade point, great scores on ACT and SAT standardized tests, along with extracurricular activities to improve the look of their college applications. There is really not enough time in the week for these expectations.

Untreated children with anxiety disorders are at higher risk to perform poorly in school, miss out on important social experiences, and engage in substance abuse, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

Because colleges have gotten more competitive and difficult to get into, high schools are trying to keep up and prepare students for the extreme workload when the graduate. Is anyone considering the effect of this pressure on students mental health?

Until someone decides to pay more attention to students’ mental health, it will only get worse.