Mental Health and Dropping out of High School
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Amber Hawkes, News Writter

Mental health in teenagers in the last 10 years has had a drastic increase in how many
people are diagnosed with mental disorders each year. Many teens are being
diagnosed with depression, anxiety, borderline personality disorder, and many more
mental health disorders. Adolescents with anxiety and depression tend to have a hard
time in social situations, which is where schools comes into play. For some students, it
can be difficult to present in classes or do group work due to anxiety, however in many
classes these tasks are required. When entering high school the peer pressure is very
apparent and can give off a negative aura.
When the topic of dropping out of high school is brought up most people are quick to
assume this is due to bad behavior, or substance abuse. However, they aren't always
looking at the underlying issue, rather they are looking at other side effects of the
problem. The main problem is mental health, especially in school, mental health is not
the prime focus. With little to no attention placed on mental health students' mental
health can go unnoticed for long periods of time. When a person suffers from a mental

health issue a common side effect or coping mechanism for them is substance abuse.
This is why substance abuse is commonly looked at as the main factor for dropouts.
There are many different kinds of mental and personality disorders that affect teens
such as ADHD, Depression, Schizophrenia, Anxiety, Borderline Personality Disorder
(BPD), Bipolar disorder, and many others. Any personality or mental disorder can affect
a person differently with some more severe cases than others. Borderline Personality
Disorder (BPD) can negatively affect many social situations like school when some sort
of change or separation occurs. It is common for people with BPD to lash out in anger
when they have a feeling of abandonment. This can be challenging in school due to a
lot of change of people and teachers. “Many borderline students may start off doing well
in school, but at some point, their performance may take a turn for the worst. The
student may suddenly lose interest in school or become paralyzed with anxiety by the
possibility that they will not succeed. Some students even begin to believe that teachers
and classmates do not like them or want them in class, making it unbearable for them to
continue showing up.” says Erin Johnston, in an article on Very Well Mind and the
Health On Net Foundation. Another disorder that makes the school challenging is
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that changes your view of reality. A study was done
on school performance and behavioral development by the American Psychological
Association. Where 49 pairs of twins where at least one twin suffered from
schizophrenia and for 43 pairs of healthy control twins. The study shows, that school
performance in the uncontrolled group went down 7 and a half years earlier than it did
with the controlled group. This could be a big issue with school, especially with kids who
may have the disorder and not be diagnosed. Without any treatment for schizophrenia
people suffering from the disorder tend to start slipping in school, which is discouraging
to students and in some cases can lead to dropping out.
In an article on the USA Mental Health First Aid webpage, Erica Hoffman writes “Older
teens living with depression are twice as likely to drop out of high school as their peers
without depression, Canadian researchers report.” In this article it talks about how
mental health and school performance are connected with both affecting each other

greatly. However, not enough studies have been done for science to make this
evidence conclusive. Overall it is a big issue that needs more attention brought to it.