Spotlight on stress: crunching the numbers

Tori Bland, Staff Writer

TRIGGER WARNING: This article contains content that may be triggering or too much for some readers. Triggers include depression, eating disorders, anxiety, and suicide.


There is no doubt that being a teenager is stressful. It can be irritating, even maddening, at times. But how stressful? How do youth balance everything? How are young adults expected to have time for school, work, sports, homework, friendships, families, housework, college applications, and all the other stuff? How does sleep, eating healthy, and exercise fit into a schedule like that? More importantly, how does being a ‘teenybopper’ in 2016 affect your mental health?

Mental illnesses are frequently overlooked despite being so prevalent. One in five teenagers have some sort of mental disorder. 50 percent of teeangers who live with a mental illness 14 and older will drop out of school. 90 percent of suicides were people who had some sort of mental illness. (

Somewhere between 50 percent through 75 percent of teenagers have an anxiety disorder or impulse control disorders. Even though anxiety disorders are easily treatable, only one third actually seek and receive treatment. Half a million to a million people aged 15 through 24 attempt suicide each year. 70 percent of young adults do not receive the mental health care they need because their insurance fails to cover it. What is being done about this? (

Five in every one hundred females between the ages of 10 and 20 have an eating disorder. 10 percent of everyone who suffers from an eating disorder are male. (

20 percent of all teens live with clinical depression. 30 percent of those teens will start abusing drugs before they reach adulthood. Teens who struggle with depression are 12 times more likely to attempt suicide than those who do not. Suicide is the third leading cause of death in teenagers. (

“When I was in junior high, my parents went through a really rough divorce,” said clinical psychologist Dr. Antigone Means, from the Southeast Kansas Mental Health Center. “One day, I broke out into these horrible hives all over the trunk of my body. My mom took me to the doctor. My doctor asked me what was going on in my life that might be stressful, so I told her and let it all out. She told me that the hives were stress related. She explained to my mom that  I needed to be able to talk about how I felt about things that were stressing me out. The next day, the hives were gone. It totally fascinated me that holding your feelings in could make you physically ill. It made me interested in learning more about how the mind and body connect,” added Dr. Means.

Mental illness affect more people than you would think. You actually know at least one person with a mental irregularity of some kind. It could be depression, anxiety disorder, an eating disorder… it could be anything.

Mental and emotional pain are not always obvious , like with a physical injury. Not everyone is delighted to talk about their mental issues. It typically takes a long time for people to expose that side of themselves. If you or someone you know feels as though they need help visit the IHS counseling center or check out the following sites:


Other alternatives for you or someone you know to seek help includes hotlines. Here are a few of the basics, though you can find any online:

Adolescent Suicide Hotline: 800-621-4000
Domestic Violence Hotline/Child Abuse: 1-800-4-A-CHILD (800 422 4453)
Help Finding a Therapist: 1-800-THERAPIST (1-800-843-7274)
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): 1-800-950-NAMI (6264)
Runaway Hotline: 800-621-4000
Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673
Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK
Suicide & Crisis Hotline: 1-800-999-9999

SEK Mental Health Center Iola: 620-365-5717


An awesome text hotline, if you are worried about speaking, is 741-741. Text “Go, and you will be connected to someone. It is free, open 24/7, and one hundred percent confidential.