In recent years, I have had more and more students come to me telling me that, “School makes me depressed.” Student depression is becoming a national crisis.
Watch any movie or TV show, and the stereotypical representation of a teenager will likely be moody, angry, and argumentative. While teenagers can exhibit some of these characteristics, studies show that what they’re going through can be attributed to much more than “teen angst.”
Up to 20% of teens suffer from depression, while anxiety can be found in 32% of young people.
School accounts for approximately 25% of a teenager’s day (depending on where they go to school) and requires arduous hours of concentration and continuous social interactions. Going to school isn’t optional, which can be stressful itself, but attending an educational institution while suffering from depression or anxiety (or both) is immensely challenging.
Why School Makes Me Depressed?
While school is often a wonderful place for learning and growth, it can also be a source of immense stress for young minds.
Many students feel the pressure of meeting expectations and handing in assignments on time; it can be challenging to cope mentally with goals set for you by others.
Though a school’s primary function is academic learning, it’s also where many teenagers develop their social skills. Keeping up with current trends, ‘fitting in,’ and working out who you are, are all mentally taxing day-to-day interactions and can negatively impact the mental well-being of young people.
There are so many factors that children continuously deal with on a daily basis that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Feelings of depression and anxiety are widespread among teenagers and are nothing to be ashamed of. It is normal to feel stressed or sad and to tell somebody, “School makes me depressed.”We may receive compensation if you sign up for online counseling services we recommend.
Signs of Student Depression
It’s essential to keep a mental check on yourself so you can seek help if you need to. Listed below are some indicators of student depression to watch out for.
Anger & Irritability
Feeling angry or irritable can cause you to lash out at teachers or fellow students. It can be difficult to deal with school situations at the best of times, but having a short temper thanks to depression and anxiety can compound the problem.
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School, by its very nature, is performance-based and a place where you’re continuously assessed and evaluated. Being persistently self-critical of your academic, sporting, and social performance is an indicator of mental health issues.
Lack Of Motivation
It’s easy to spiral when you’re suffering from low motivation. The challenge of performing to the best of your ability when you aren’t motivated can cause performance issues.
Disturbed Sleep Patterns
A lack of sleep is common in depression and anxiety sufferers of all ages. Reduced sleep can lead to impaired cognitive function and a lack of clarity and focus. Poor sleep can also contribute to anger and irritability, and decreased motivation.
When you’re in a setting that scrutinizes every facet of your performance, it’s easy to become fixated on being perfect. However, teens suffering from anxiety and depression can become too self-critical as they strive for perfection.
Drug Or Alcohol Abuse
Teenagers commonly experiment with alcohol and drugs. While it’s not recommended, this in itself is not an indicator of mental health issues. However, if experimentation leads to dependence and abuse as an escape from your daily emotions, it could signify depression or anxiety.
Anxiety and depression can make social interactions exceedingly difficult. When you’re suffering from these mental health issues, you’ll be more likely to avoid social situations and isolate yourself through the worry of rejection and self-consciousness.
What To Do When School Makes Me Depressed?
If you have been thinking a lot lately, “school makes me depressed”, then it’s time to try to fix it. It’s crucial to ask for help as soon as you can if you believe you’re suffering from depression or anxiety (or similar mental health issues) so you can avoid spiraling. Tackling the problem early on is much easier than dealing with deep-seated issues.
Still, there are coping mechanisms you can perform on your own that can help you deal with everyday life at school.
Take a Break
While there are aspects of your school life that are compulsory, there may be classes, clubs, or teams that aren’t essential to your education. Consider taking a few weeks off these activities to quieten your mind and give yourself a break. Talk to your parents and teachers about the best way to proceed.
Identify Positive & Negative Influences
Take a sincere look at your social circles to identify those people who are truly a good influence on your life and mindset. Spend more time with people who have a positive impact on your school life and let go of those toxic and distracting people.
Participate Where Necessary
In stark contradiction to my first tip, you should show up and take part where necessary. Skipping out on your essential responsibilities may help you relax at the time, but avoiding them is a temporary measure that could cause stress and anxiety down the line.
Do Things You Enjoy
Blowing off steam or participating in activities you enjoy is an excellent way to unwind and quieten your mind. Though you initially may not feel like partaking in your favorite hobby, the release of endorphins you’ll experience can help improve your mindset and overall mood.
Professional Help For When School Makes Me Depressed
Feelings of depression and anxiety can occur in people of any age, but suffering from mental health issues at a young age can impact your life for years to come if you don’t seek help as soon as possible.
There’s also the potential for these issues to develop into other unwanted scenarios such as substance abuse, social isolation, and self-harm. In these cases, you must contact your doctor immediately.
I highly recommend that you speak to a therapist near you or online when struggling with school stress. Online counseling can be tremendously beneficial. I have referred many students to seek help with BetterHelp and have received positive feedback once they have completed treatment.
If you’re unable to speak to a doctor or therapist (or would like additional support), it would be beneficial to talk to a parent or close family member. School guidance counselors are trained specifically to help young people deal with the rigors of everyday school life.We may receive compensation if you sign up for online counseling services we recommend.