Anxiety and depression.... what a client told me about their high school
I was checking out my schedule for the day and my usual client lets call him "Ben" who was a super intelligent year 12 student going to a top private school. He is a very quite, softly spoken and reclusive type of guy yet very selective and intelligent with his questions and reply.
I ask him about the increase in depression and anxiety amongst high school student who are sitting the final exams to achieve the best possible ATAR score.
"Hey Ben have you felt any feels of anxiety or depression this year at all? I know for some it can be overwhelming?"
"No, not me but my friends are under some immense pressure to perform"
"What do you mean?"
" They have huge expectations to do well and get into good courses. Some are the first child to get to this stage but for me I'm lucky- I have 3 older brothers who have gone before me so I don't feel any pressure at all"
"wow, ok so out of your friends how many would you say have felt some sort of anxiety?"
"10 out of 11, that's EVERYONE except me, they all feel like it's the highest amount pf pressure that they have faced in their lives. I feel like I have to be a big brother and check in on everyone to make sure they don't do anything silly. It takes a lot of time out of my studies to talk to them but it's worth it. I don't want to see my friends on the news. Some are taking medications to cope, others drink and party to numb themselves for a while"
I'll end it there but as you can see it really was an eye opener about the level of pressure placed on the ATAR score and the lack of resources that these students had to cope with it.
It's a test and one very small part of life yet some people place an overly exaggerated emphasis on being the 'Top Dog'
Let them work hard, focus, enjoy the moment with their friends and just to live life.
Some of the most happiest memories are in High school so let your children experience it.