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Brandon Weborg 11/19/13 Ms. Lonsdale.


Anxiety research paper Every college student will at some point undergo periods of minor stress and possible anxiety. However for many students stress and major anxiety is a major part of life as a student and is something that affects them negatively every day. Stress is defined as fear or nervousness about what might happen(Webster). Minor stress for the most part is unavoidable. There will always be an assignment or test that on occasion will cause you to stress, its normal. What is not normal is when stress becomes anxiety. Anxiety is defined as a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. While these two may seem very similar in definition anxiety has a much more serious connotation. While anxiety can be a occasional occurrence it can also describe a multitude of Anxiety or stress related disorders. Stress and anxiety are major issues simply due to the fact that they are so common and can lead to severe physical and mental health risks. The main difference between stress and anxiety is that stress is caused by an existing stress-causing factor or stressor(Larzelere, Lemkau) Whereas anxiety is different in that Anxiety is stress that continues after the stressor is gone.(Larzelere, Lemkau) Stress is a very normal feeling when encountered in small doses. Stress can help drive you to get things done. It also does not affect everyone in the same ways.

(Larzelere, Lemkau) A constant feeling of stress that linger for long periods of time would be consider a Generalized Stress disorder. This can lead to even more mental disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder, Panic disorder, and PTSD and even some more advanced cases depression. (Larzelere, Lemkau) Some physical symptoms can include faster and skipped heart beats, rapid breathing, sweating, trembling, dizziness, dry mouth and problems swallowing. (Larzelere, Lemkau) Stress and anxiety are also not necessarily limited to the classroom and homework. Social anxiety is also a huge factor in student life and more often than not can be even more severe than stress related to actual school work. Its hard to truly say that everyone experiences anxiety or stress in the same ways. Every person is different on how it affects them, where it comes from, or how they deal with it. This is one major reason that stress and anxiety are such an issue, theres no real way to solve it. For some people they have outlets, whet her it be sports and video games like me, or it could be a quiet room to read in, everyone is different. Another major issue is the ability to simply diagnose anxiety. Its not a clear cut disorder as compared to others. It can be caused by many things and show many symptoms. Like I said its different for everyone. Anxiety doesnt get a whole lot of attention for college students in my opinion because it can seem like just normal everyday stress at times. College students are constantly working therefore there is always something that needs to be done. It can also be due to the fact that anxiety is simply never talked about. Its hard to figure out why your always freaking out and always worried when almost no one ever talks about stress and how it can lead to an anxiety disorder. Another factor that I see is that there is sort of a social stigma around anxiety. I have experienced this first hand, many people with anxiety disorders due t stress usually get

labeled as being Overdramatic or shy depending on how they react to it. In this way it makes you feel different from everyone else and kind of afraid to seek out help. For me personally stress wasnt a huge issue until I got to high school. Social anxiety became a huge part of my life during my freshman and sophomore year. That coupled with a below average GPA leading to stress over school work put me in a minor depression through most of my sophomore and junior year at high school. Coming from middle school all my friends had gone to a different high school leaving me pretty much by myself. I was fortunate enough to have some friends in the football team but that didnt help much. I found that I was nervous almost all the time. Mostly it was out of a desire to fit in. I felt left out in almost everything whether it be a group project in science class or simply finding a table to sit at lunch. To a lot of people these things may seem trivial but to someone like me who had major social anxiety it was torture. All day at school all I could think about was how people judged me, or whether or not they liked me. It stressed me out to the point that I stopped really paying attention in class. Thusly my grades began to slip. And with that came the new found stress of trying to constantly do better in school. By then middle of my sophomore year in high school I slowly started entering a mild depression. Due to all the stress and anxiety I had I found it difficult to enjoy basically anything. I had stopped talking to almost all of the friends I had made freshman year and for the most part kept to myself wherever I went. It was an extremely lonely time in my life. It also didnt help that the simple fact of being alone caused me even more stress. I remember constantly thinking to myself Why do I have issues talking to people, why cant I make friends and these

thoughts by themselves would stress me out and make me more anxious. I am very thankful however that I never got bad enough to the point where I would have panic attacks. For me the worst that would happen is I would get kind of short of breath, sweat profusely and just have an overwhelming sense of sadness for an hour or two at a time. For me there wasnt really a stress reliever outside of video games, and even that wasnt a great way to relieve stress. I didnt really find a good way to relieve stress until I got my first cellphone. Now actually getting the cellphone didnt relieve stress but rather the ability to more easily to get in to uch with people did. Through this I was able to reconnect with my old friends from middle school. To me this was a huge deal, having friends and people I could talk was one of the best things for me at the time. I was also able to get out of the house more once I had my drivers permit. This was also a huge stress reliever and still is for me to this day. Nothing quite calms me down as much as being able to take a nice long drive with my favorite music being played at incredibly loud levels. For me this pretty much ended my major issues with anxiety. However for a lot of people its not as simple as my story. To many mine may even seem a very mild version of anxiety, And for many of these people there isnt any way for them to relive stress or any kind of sup port group to help them. They have no support group and little to no stress relievers this can lead to more severe physical problems and mental health issues making it a huge deal. For a better look into the experiences of someone with a much more severe case of social anxiety than me I decided to interview my very close friend Sam. Sam is a 17 year old high school student currently attending Walled Lake Northern High school. According to Sam she has dealt with severe anxiety problems all her life. These include a fear of social interactions, increased stress, and even panic attacks. I decided to start off by asking her what

she would define as anxiety, Its kind of like one awful event after another that keeps going and keeps building up till I break. (Franklin) I asked her what kinds of things cause this buildup of stress and anxiety, Sometimes I over think what will happen in the future. Tests I havent studied for or other school. Or when I think of my grandpa dying. Etc .(Franklin) These in my opinion are a bit more specific to each person what exactly causes it but everyone usually has their own set of stress causes. My next question to her was what exactly happens during one of her anxiety triggered panic attacks . I hyperventilate, cry, shake really badly, get nauseous, my skin will flush and Ill get hot and cold flashes.(Franklin) After this I asked her what some of her stress relievers are and what she would do to calm down. Ill take long showers and naps, just about anything that will take my mind off things will work. (Franklin) My next question was how does her anxiety make her feel knowing shes going into college in the next year. It makes me very nervous, I just dont know what to expect. (Franklin) After getting to know more about her personal story my last question to her was if she felt as though stress and anxiety got enough attention from schools and society and how schools can help students deal with these issues. Stress and anxiety do not get nearly enough attention, and quite honestly Im not sure how they CAN help but they need to try something.(Franklin) While this was a very short interview I felt it does show that there is a need to for schools to help students with these problems. There are hundreds of stories just like mine and Sams, its not exactly a small issue. Its needless to say that to me I feel like this is easily one of the biggest issues facing students today. I also feel that there is not enough awareness about this issue nor is there enough done to help promote awareness. Stress and anxiety are more or less just kind of swept under the rug when it comes to how it affects students. On the other hand I do feel that we

here as EMU students are given more than adequate resources to help deal with stress and anxiety. One of the first resources I was able to find on campus was the counseling and psychological services or CAPS on campus. With this service student can schedule one on one or group meetings with counselors to talk about any issues they have whether they be stress and anxiety related or any other mental issue a student is having at the time. Also on campus is the very similar Counseling Clinic. Here you schedule a meeting with a counselor who will help talk you through any problems you may be having whether it be issues with Family, work, or academics. These resources on campus make me personally feel a lot better as someone who has gone through anxiety related problems in the past. I was never before offered resources like this and can only imagine how much it must help those that need it. I am very happy that our school offers these services.

Sources: Larzelere, Jones, and Lemkau Ahmed. "Stress and Anxiety." NCBI. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 16 June 2011. Web. 24 Nov. 2013. Franklin, Samantha. Personal interview Nov.24 2013 "Anxiety." Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2013. <>