A chronic issue

Looking into how students deal with stress versus anxiety

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The infamous "leg bounce" is often gauged as an indicator of anxiety and has become synonymous with anxious students (Photo by Bogdanov).

Philip Bogdanov, Reporter

Anxiety is a common issue across high schools around the world. According to professional psychotherapists,  25% of 13-18 year olds have an anxiety disorder, whilst others suffer from severe nervousness and stress. Managing these issues can be simple and effective; however, many students have problems recognizing, identifying, and accepting these signs.  

“Anxiety is a natural response that you can’t shake that interrupts your day to day activity,” said junior Mary Nazarian.  

Anxiety and stress are very similar, but differ on levels of intensity. Stress is a natural feeling that everyone experiences on a common basis. While stress is a natural feeling and is very common, anxiety is on an extreme stage. Nevertheless, the two go hand in hand when discussing their impact on student health.  

“There is a correlation between anxiety and stress, but correlation does not equal causation,” said Kimiya Afsharnia. 

Many students described anxiety as a worrisome and fearful feeling that interrupts their daily routine; typically caused by being overwhelmed with schoolwork and extracurriculars, as well as struggling to keep up with peers and siblings.  

“It feels like I’m drowning myself in problems,” Nazarian said.  

In some cases, students at Langley resort to unhealthy solutions such as overusing of social media or even turn to illicit substances in extreme cases with the hope of coping with stress and anxiety. Other students prefer solitude.

Despite theHealthier coping mechanisms include pursuing self- interests such as painting, writing, or reading. According to WebMD, numerous studies have proven that it is beneficial to spend time with friends, family, or even pets when in these uncomfortable periods. 

“Physical exercise is another great way to relieve anxiety,” freshman Sasha Pasmanik.

Synthesizing a potential solution to the burden of over-stressing in school could potentially save students from unhealthy coping mechanisms in FCPS; therefore making it an issue which should be discussed and talked about in order to overcome.  Additionally, many argue that explaining the difference between stress and anxiety to students may help alleviate worries regarding both.