War and Mental Health


D. Khan

The Buzz of WWIII

D. Khan, Staff Writer

As the conflict with Iran escalated in the weeks after the start of the new year, teens like us got more and more restless. From the moment the news broke out, Twitter and Tik Tok were overrun with news and memes to cope with fear. But the US has had conflicts with Iran in the past – what made this one send everyone to hysterics? Nobody’s getting drafted, and this was just one new blip, right? It’s no different than before, so what made it so big in the first place?

Spoiler alert: It’s the stress. Everyone’s anxious – a continent is on fire, the ice caps are melting, and every day there’s more horrific news on TV. The possibility of a war was just the icing on a very disastrous cake. We asked students about their opinions. Jamie Lanzen said, “I enjoy seeing the memes because I feel like it’s adding a light to the situation, and the use of humor is making me less scared about it.” Other students like Elise Hill felt that “They’re funny and show that the new generation enjoys dark humor.” While Olivia Catron said that “It’s funny to see that this generation truly doesn’t care about what happens.” 

In times like this, when even the smallest things can turn into giant anxieties, mental health is more important than ever. We talked with Mr. McAuliffe and  Ms. Simpson to get a counselor’s opinion on the effects of news on mental health. “Our anxiety and stress can really snowball when we start to imagine things that will happen versus things that have happened – this can happen in our day to day lives or when we think about things like WWIII,” said Mr. McAuliffe. When asked how to cope with these stressors, Ms. Simpson said “Grounding activities as well, like grounding you back in the moment and reminding yourself about things you can control. You can’t necessarily control the outside community or the outside world but you can what’s happening to you.” Both Mr. McAuliffe and Ms. Simpson said that taking a mental health break from your phone is a good idea for your mental health. 

In the end, all we can do is to keep level heads and stay strong through the conflicts our world faces. Not everything you see is true, and not everything you read is accurate. Learn the facts and take care of yourself. The situation may be out of your control, but you can control your mental state – so take care of yourself.