Supporting Someone’s Silent Screams

Caitlin Wanichek

SPASH student overwhelmed with school.

Approximately 8 million people die every year due to mental health issues. We can reduce this number by catching the warning signs shown long before this outcome. There are well over 200 different forms of mental illness, along with these comes many different warning signs. We tend to miss these warning signs, as they can be very subtle. Although these signs are subtle, they’re still there, we just need to dig a little deeper. 

Plummeting Grades

A major warning sign to people battling anxiety, depression, or ADHD may be their plummeting grades. According to Calm Clinic “Feeling overwhelmed easily is often one of the most common anxiety symptoms.” Students with anxiety can become overwhelmed very easily, and school can be a main cause. If they’re overwhelmed about something, such as school they will often put it aside and not face the issue. Due to the fact school is ignored, missing assignments will start to pile up. As these assignments pile up, anxiety becomes worse, school becomes more overwhelming, and the student may give up because they now feel like they’re too behind, and there’s no point to even trying anymore. 

Anxiety can be a cause of academic performance declining as well as ADHD. People with adhd tend to have a hard time concentrating. This might lead to not finishing a certain project or assignment, and having things pile up. Without proper treatment such as meds, you may have problems managing time because of your problems with staying focused.

Another mental health disorder that affects school performance is depression. When people deal with depression, they will often lack motivation. It’s not that these students want to get behind, but they don’t have energy to complete homework when they can’t even keep up with everyday tasks. People who battle depression aren’t lazy, even though many parents like to use that excuse. They simply just do not have the motivation or energy to do everyday things such as shower or eat, let alone spend hours on homework. 

They also may not see themselves even graduating or living much longer so they don’t see a point to doing school work and trying in life. School performance is a very huge warning sign that is often missed as someone being lazy. When in reality they may believe their life is pointless, and are planning on giving up soon.


Another major warning sign is withdrawing from friends and family. People who experience depression often distance themselves or push people away because they feel as if it’s easier to be alone rather than let people know how they feel. Nora, a junior at SPASH explained, “It’s not that I want to push people away, but I don’t want to burden anyone else.” Many people with depression feel the same exact way. They don’t want to be alone, but they don’t want to burden anyone with their problems. 

Sleeping excessively

A major warning sign we often miss in people with depression is when they sleep a long amount of time. This is typically done because sleep acts as an escape from their thoughts. If you’re sad or stressed, sleeping stops that, even if it’s just for a while. Another reason is because many times people with depression want to die, but they don’t want to commit because they don’t want to hurt their loved ones. Sleeping acts as “death” because you get to leave, and you get a break without actually hurting yourself, or the others around you. 

You are loved

There are hundreds of warning signs we tend to miss. By checking in on people around you, and digging a little deeper, we can save hundreds of lives. Life is hard, and we need to let others around us know that they are loved and cared for. If you are dealing with any of these mental health issues and need help, reach out to someone. You are NOT a burden. People love and care about you. If school has been overwhelming, and you need to, take a mental health day. Your mental health is important. If you need a break, don’t feel bad to take one.