The Science and Personal Experiences on How a Teenager Deals With The Struggles of Their Mental Health.

The Science and Personal Experiences on How a Teenager Deals With The Struggles of Their Mental Health.

By Emma Dowell, Reporter

There is one thing in life that will always seem to be a roadblock…life. For example, every day you encounter talking to someone. Whether that be your friends, family, that one lady who checked you out at the grocery store, the police officer directing traffic, or your neighbor getting the mail. However, you never know what that person has gone through. As humans we tend to do a pretty good job at hiding our deep and darkest emotions and keeping them built up inside. A lot of people seem to have it going for them but really they are just wearing a mask and hiding their emotions behind it. Teenagers do a pretty good job at this. As teenagers we go through a lot of mental ups and downs. However, we are told that we can’t worry as much because we don’t deal with the experiences our parents do everyday. This includes things like taxes, paying the bills, and providing food for the family. To be honest, teenagers go through an immense amount of stress, anxiety, depression, and grief in their daily lives. We deal with the stressors such as trying to fit in, getting good grades, wanting to change the way we look to impress others, trying to make our parents proud, and struggling to realize who your true friends are. Many teens struggle with their mental health, I mean I do!


Now, as a teen a lot of questions come to mind when it comes to worrying and having anxiety such as, “Am I the only one?” or, “Do people worry about the same things I do?” The answer is yes!! Teens all over the world deal with the struggles of mental health. According to The World Health Organization, “Adolescence is a crucial period for developing and maintaining social and emotional habits important for mental well-being. These include adopting healthy sleep patterns; taking regular exercise; developing coping, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills; and learning to manage emotions. Supportive environments in the family, at school and in the wider community are also important. An estimated 10-20% of adolescents globally experience mental health conditions, yet these remain underdiagnosed and undertreated.” As much as we try almost every teen has had to go through the struggles of their mental health. During the years one is a teenager they go through changes both physically and mentally. Our bodies are raging with all different types of hormones. Sometimes these hormones affect the way we think, act, and do. Another piece from The World Health Organization states, “Teen hormones affect teenagers’ moods, emotions, and impulses as well as their body. The mood swings that teens experience are caused by fluctuations in estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.” As a result, this gives a logical explanation as to why teenagers struggle with their mental health. Not only do we deal with the daily stressors, but the emotions we are feeling are heightened due to our growing bodies and hormones. 


My name is Emma Dowell and I am a Sophomore in High School. As a student I have dealt with the struggles of my mental health but I have also dealt with it just as a teen. I am a very dedicated student who struggles with the fear of failure. I am a teenager that deals with the struggles of being left out. I am a student who has anxiety attacks when I don’t understand the criteria. I am a teenager that deals with grief and depression that the past has brought on me. I am human. This is what most teenagers don’t realize. We are human and we make mistakes and we stress, cry, get angry, and any of the other hundred emotions one feels. However, in the years I have been in school it never seems to get easy. I have wondered over the past couple of years that maybe the reason teens’ emotions are so much more heightened than everyone else’s is to prepare us for life to come. To elaborate, let’s say that we have a teen who is a perfectionist and they are in high school and they make a bad grade on a test. Their perfectionist side is going to come out and it is going to cause them to stress. Although this is a bad thing now, in the future it will make them twice as strong because that student overcame their struggle and learned how to cope with it. 


Sometimes the things that are brought in our life are for an intended purpose. For example, when I was nine I lost my mother to a heart attack. At the age of nine I had to deal with what depression was. This for a nine year old about to experience changes was not a very good thing. I had to deal with challenges you wouldn’t even think of. Now looking back on it, depression is a serious issue in adolescents. Depression brought on struggles like not being able to get out of bed, trying to smile in public places, crying myself to sleep every night, and honestly trying to find that one ounce of strength you have to carry on. Through all of the bad I had gone through it did bring out some good. I am now not afraid to express my feelings, I help those who struggle with depression, and I had to become mature at a very young age.  I get a lot of questions that ask, “How do you keep such a positive mindset?” or “Do you ever just want to give up?” I just tell them that this is one of life’s many challenges and I am not letting it win. 


To conclude, teenagers deal with the struggles of their mental health daily. However, we learn new ways and techniques of dealing with our stressors. Sometimes we notice that we are changing and other times it just happens with time. Although we face the inevitable like puberty and body changes we still find new ways to relive our anxiety and stress. We just have to remember that mental health is real and we need to focus on it, but not let it define us. Now come on let’s go enjoy our teenage years!