The Student News Site of Derby High School

Panther's Tale

The Student News Site of Derby High School

Panther's Tale

The Student News Site of Derby High School

Panther's Tale

Page 1 – Coping with anxiety: More than 10% of kids ages 3-17 experience anxiety

You feel like you’re in a corner and you can’t get out. You feel trapped in a situation and it feels as if there is no solution.

This is anxiety.

But so is struggling to breathe when taking a test, feeling overwhelmed, being scared all day because you’re anxious about …. something. 

Anxiety shows in a variety of ways, and most people experience it in some way or another. Some will easily live their day-to-day lives with it, while anxiety will impact others in a way that could lead to a clinical diagnosis. 

In 2020, 12% of children ages 3-17 were reported as having experienced anxiety or depression. This was a 9% increase from 2016 according to Population Reference – Anxiety and Depression Increase Among U.S Youth, 2022 KIDS COUNTS Data Book Shows

“Anxiety impacts my day-to-day life because it really distracts me from my homework and, just like, work,” freshman Jay Bansemer said. 

Anxiety could affect something as basic as communication. For others it may hold them back from accomplishing their goals and dreams.

“I’ve always wanted to do public speaking, but anxiety makes me feel like there is so much weight on my shoulders it just stops me from wanting to do that,” Bansemer said. 

There are ways to cope with anxiety, though. Distraction is a popular option.

“Obviously I avoid doing anything that can give me more anxiety, but I listen to music, use my phone, text my friends — anything that can keep my mind off it for the most part,” sophomore Noah Coopman said. 

Being distracted from your thoughts is only a temporary solution, though. An ultimate goal is to completely eliminate those thoughts. 

By the gym, there is a room with fogged glass – this is where the counselors are located. They are available to talk to you for whatever reason you may need. 

“It’s all different levels. Some kids will come in here and sit right where you’re sitting and we’ll talk a bit, but after that the rules are usually you sit down in front of me and that means you want to talk,” counselor Joaquin Zapata said. “I have an extra chair and a table and if someone goes straight there to sit I’m not going to talk to them or ask them anything, they just need time to cool off and in about 10-15 to 20 minutes I’ll ask them ‘how are you feeling? You cooled off? Ready to go back to class?’”

Cognitive behavioral therapy is commonly used to help with anxiety and has been shown to be effective for a wide variety of mental health disorders, one including anxiety disorders according to

“CBT, which is cognitive behavioral therapy, and that’s where you learn to challenge your thinking and develop new thinking patterns. So when this thought pops up, you don’t automatically say ‘Oh, wait, this must be true,’ and how do I deal with this,” teacher Abby Belt said.

Trusted friends are an option, but sometimes you need more guidance than what they can provide. 

“Some things you do trust your friends with in high school, but some things you know that your friends can’t handle or they’re not going to understand or have no idea what you are living through. An adult that is trained a little bit can help you through that,” Zapata said. 

In the end, supporting those around you with anxiety can be as simple as offering your time, and listening. Not giving advice, but just listening.

If you need someone to talk to, Youthline is a supervised help center where teens can have a peer-to-peer conversation.

877-968-8491 – Youthline hotline

Or text “teen2teen” to 839863

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