Anxiety takes its toll on the mind and body


Nick Meacham

Sophomore Jessica Coleman stands in the main hallway of SHS fiddling with her sweater, a habit she started when she first began to experience severe stress.

Ximena Sarinana, Reporter

Sophomore Jessica Coleman was only 14 when idiopathic neuropathy affected her health. Instead of her body mentally dealing with the stress and anxiety she accumulated via general family trials,  she was bombarded with a severe physical ailment.

“Imagine a box with all your emotions inside of it and all of the stress just overflowing that box and into my legs,” Coleman said when describing what idiopathic neuropathy was.

Coleman is one of the 20 percent of people in America that deals with emotional stress. With anxiety being the most common mental illness in America, it is not very uncommon to hear that the normal high schooler has the same amount of angst as an average psychiatric patient in the 1950’s according to   

Because Coleman’s body was unable to handle everyday trials, she says her legs were the recipients of years worth of bottled up stress.

When having stress and anxiety,  the body produces more white cells in order to help  the body relax. When one produces  an excess of  white cells for an extended period of time, the body could be affected negatively.

According to stress and anxiety are a regular part of life.  Worrying  too much and not relaxing  can affect the body in a negative manner and cause it to distress.  When one’s body distresses, stomach and chest pains may ensue.  

Even though these are short term effects of the body, tension can cause long term effects also . According to, If a person continues to worry for a long period of time, the immune system starts to have difficulty with fighting off diseases like hypothyroidism and rare tumors.

Many Americans take medication to help with their anxiety and stress even if it does not cure the panic but just helps them out in that moment of worry. Other Americans decide to take the matter into their own hands . Both Coleman and senior Lindsay Fraley  don’t  take medication, but instead, they attempt to relax by listening to music. Coleman also enjoys drawing during her free time which helps her calm down and not be so strained.

“If I have a lot of homework or assignments that need to be done for various classes, I’ll try to get all the homework done for one class,” Fraley said, “And then I’ll give myself half an hour break like to listen to music that I like or write fanfictions that I write for my blog.”

According to, 25 percent of teens have an anxiety disorder and will have this disorder at least once during their lifetime. The number of teenagers that experience disquiet are rising every century according to studies done in the past.

Fraley has never visited the doctor to confirm if she has anxiety but feels like she has had it since 7th grade when she  began competitive dancing. She says she had apprehension to do as good as the other dancer and this concern just increased when she entered high school.

According to Fraley,  junior and senior year really stressed her out since the school put so much pressure to do well in all the classes and to take as many advanced placement classes.

“It’s not in any real way beneficial to try to push these kids that far because it’s not going to help them… if you are going to overload them right off the bat ,then where is the motivation to keep going forward when after that load you could of done better?” Fraley said.