March 15, 2023 Life

How Academic Pressure Takes a Toll on Mental Health

Children are encouraged to constantly plan their future and academically get ready for upcoming educational goals from a very young age. This cycle of always looking ahead in academic life can be pretty harmful.

Young adults are under lots of academic stress to get into a prestigious college, get good grades, and prepare for a successful career. A young person can experience academic pressure due to the competitive educational environment at school, parents’ expectations, and wanting to fit in with peers.

Teens feel that they must prioritize academic achievement when their teachers, parents, and coaches push them to succeed. Academic stress can lead to depression, anxiety disorders, and other mental health issues.

For mental health treatment, reach out to Indiana Center for Recovery. We offer personalized treatment plans, and counselors will help young clients throughout the recovery journey.
Kids can experience academic pressure due to the competitive environment at school, parents' expectations, and wanting to fit in with peers.

Key Takeaways

Students’ time at school is essential to shape their future and help them learn new things. However, academic pressure can make students feel burdened and not excel at school. Learn about the reasons, effects, and ways to overcome academic stress.

  • Parental pressure, challenging coursework, and poor organization are some causes of academic pressure.
  • Academic stress can lead to anxiety, sleep deprivation, and other physical problems.
  • It can cause teenagers to use illicit drugs or alcohol to manage stress.
  • Exercising regularly, eating healthy food, and meditating can help you to perform well at school.
  • Asking for help can aid you in coping with academic pressure.

Indiana Center for Recovery offers treatment for mental health disorders. Call us at (844) 650-0064.

Roots of Academic Pressure Among Students

Academic pressure, in simple words, can be defined as the stress experienced by students because they cannot perform well in school.

The pressure of studying and performing exceptionally well in each exam can drive students to experience suicidal thoughts. Knowing the cause of academic stress is vital to help your child struggling in high school or college.

Family and Parental Pressure

Parents often keep track of their child’s performance during their school years and encourage them to do well in class and take part in sports or other extracurricular activities. However, too much burden on them and only appreciating them when they gain outstanding results can affect their mental well-being.

The family needs to understand that each kid has their capability and has their way of performing tasks at school. Parents put pressure on their children when they worry about their future employment.

Another reason is the parent’s past goals that they failed to achieve, and now they want their child to achieve them. Families do not consider what their young ones wish in such conditions, increasing teen mental illness.

Heavy Coursework

High school students aim to get into prestigious colleges, so they select advanced courses and take extra classes. They do not have time to care for themselves, leading to anxiety.

Students use laptops, smartphones, or other digital devices to study well. Long hours in front of bright screens can lead to sleep deprivation. They will struggle to maintain their grades and may perform poorly due to anxiety.

Poor Organization and Time Management

A college student with poor organization and time management skills can struggle to complete school tasks. They usually procrastinate and do not manage time to complete their assignments or prepare for exams.

Such behavior can also occur when students set unrealistic goals for themselves and fail to achieve them. They think negatively about themselves and self-sabotage.

Exam Stress

For students, test anxiety is a common aspect of attending school. As students prepare for exams, tension and anxiety are frequently present because of concerns about academic performance. While some stress is normal, too much can disrupt daily living and lead to poor exam performance.

According to the National Institutes of Health, stress levels may increase to dangerous levels for some high school students during examination periods. Cause of exam stress can be:

  • Poor experience with exams previously
  • Anxiety about failure
  • High expectations from elders to perform well
  • Poor preparation for exams

Adverse Effects: Academic Challenges and Mental Health

Every student has experienced academic stress at some point in school. Sometimes it is like agitation before an exam or a presentation. Most of the time, individuals experiencing stress do not know how to deal with it. Poor mental health can impact their academic performance and disrupt their daily life.

Let’s find out the effects of academic stress on adolescents’ mental health:

Anxiety and Depression

Academic stress can cause or worsen the symptoms of mental health disorders like anxiety or depression. These disorders affect students’ energy and concentration levels.

They may not pay attention during lectures and show less interest in note-taking during the course. Depression can lead to lower grades among students and cause them to drop out.

College students sometimes adopt unhealthy ways to deal with academic stress, like using drugs or alcohol.

Indiana Center for Recovery is here for your loved ones and offers mental health services, including cognitive behavioral therapy. CBT is a type of talk therapy that not only treats depression or anxiety but also helps clients overcome substance abuse.

Sleep Problems

A person with stress can have imbalanced chemicals in the brain that can disrupt their sleep cycle. Poor sleep quality can produce hormones like cortisol, affecting memory and metabolic rates.

A teenager is stuck in a cycle where he or she tries to deal with academic stress with poor health, leading to deprived academic performance.

Nausea, Head and Stomach Aches

We often think that a headache is caused due to dehydration or exhaustion, but that is not the only reason. When stressed, your muscles are tense for an extended period leading to body aches.

Academic stress can also cause digestive issues like diarrhea or constipation. High school students may experience nausea and vomiting before exams or going to school.

Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Students with stress are vulnerable to trying substances that make them feel calm and relaxed for a while. Mental health issues due to academia can cause them emotional problems, and they are unaware of healthy coping skills.

They do not know how to deal with stress, leading them to engage with people who can give them access to drugs or alcohol. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that teens with poor academic achievement are at high-risk for substance use.

Individuals with addiction need a secure place to detox, where medical professionals offer support and quality treatment. Indiana Center for Recovery is here to provide such facilities. Our detox treatment alleviates withdrawal symptoms for smooth recovery.

Restore Life Balance: Tips to Deal with Academic Stress

If you are a student feeling pressure or know someone dealing with academic stress, the following tips can help ease the tension. They can learn to balance their school and personal life.

Exercise Regularly

Exercise is the best way to battle mental health problems. It can be difficult to exercise when you are following a busy schedule. However, some of the most straightforward exercises that can become part of your life are:

  • Yoga
  • Walking or biking to school
  • Meditation
  • Breathing exercises

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness helps you stay aware of your surroundings and is a healthy way to keep calm. You can perform mindfulness during showering or eating your favorite meal. The key is to stay focused, and this will improve your concentration during class.

Take a break and close your eyes when you feel stressed, like typing an assignment. Breathe slowly through your nose and out through your mouth. This will boost your energy levels.

Eat Healthy Foods

A healthy diet plays a crucial role in improving your mental health. Consuming fruits, vegetables, and high-fiber foods can boost your energy levels. Avoid eating pizza or drinking alcoholic drinks, as it can make you feel tired and unable to complete your work.

Sleep Well

It can be challenging to fall asleep when you feel jittery about the due research paper or upcoming final exams. However, a good night’s sleep can improve physical and mental health.

To sleep well, do homework that does not require you to use a laptop or phone. Less exposure to screens before bedtime can improve the quality of sleep.

Make a to Do List

A to-do list will help you to stay organized. You can use colored pencils to make it engaging and add motivational quotes to help you stay on track. To make a list, write down the tasks you need to complete.

Write the number of hours each task may take. Once you have a list of tasks you need to do, it won’t be daunting and will be easily manageable.

Give Yourself a Reward

Reward yourself whenever you achieve a goal, like reading ten pages of a book. This can boost your confidence and help you progress with your assignments. It will also improve your self-esteem. Reward yourself with some chocolates or take a short break.

Ask for Help

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. Your parents or school counselor can help you to find the solution to your problem. You can receive treatment from a professional therapist who will teach you coping skills.

Teens who face trouble getting good grades have troubled relationships with their parents. They may abuse substances and involve themselves in illegal activities. They distance themselves from their parents.

Teens with their families can join family programs that help clients overcome addiction and mental problems and rebuild relationships with their loved ones. Parents can become part of their child’s recovery journey and support them.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How does academic pressure cause depression?

School-related stress can cause depression in students of all ages. They try to perform well in exams and extracurricular activities. The reason it leads to depression is that parents and teachers demand high grades, and students receive excessive homework.
They worry about performing well and develop a fear of exams. Stress leads them to have a poor quality of sleep and worsens their school performance. The signs of depression among students due to academic stress include mood swings, headaches, fatigue, and changes in sleeping habits.

What are the harmful effects of academic pressure on students?

Academic pressure can cause various detrimental effects on young students’ lives. They may experience emotional and physical symptoms of anxiety. The following are the effects of academic pressure on students:
Obsession with getting high grades
Lack of interest in studies
Troubling in falling asleep
Poor memory
Extreme competitiveness
Changes in appetites
Drug or alcohol abuse
Low self-esteem
Academic pressure does not make students strive for better results. Instead, it creates physical and psychological problems. Family needs to improve their relationship with their child and help them get treatment.

What are the reasons for academic pressure?

Students go through academic stress for various reasons. They get excessive homework and little or no time to relax when they return home. Moreover, the competitive environment in class makes it difficult for students to learn something.
They spend more time in front of their screens, affecting their sleep quality. Poor diet and lack of sleep worsen their mental health as they prioritize grades and take less care of themselves.
Teens need help managing their studies and need support. Lack of support and guidance will make them anxious, leading to academic pressure.