A Delicate Balance


Quinn Mahoney and Jacob Martin

See below for different articles and information about anxiety.


A Delicate Balance

Commentary by Quinn Mahoney

The unpleasant sensation of being anxious is an unfortunate pairing for an indispensable motivational system, yet we cannot disregard their interdependence. 


It is part of what makes gradual and deliberate progress essential when managing overwhelming anxiety. The sensation is often consumptive and painful, causing any reduction in these afflictions to appear as irrefutable progress. In this there is risk however …


Total avoidance of this experience can permit its provenance to gain further influence, exacerbating one’s anxiety until it is once again unavoidable. On occasion, this epiphany begins to resonate well after losing the ability to influence such an adversary. I even have a junior year transcript to back this up!


To “deal with” this burden, should be thought of more so as moderation. We need not fervently resist its discomfort, but its weight. By making emphasis upon contending with the origins of our anxiety, which often merely requires redirecting time spent wrought with dread; or acknowledging the need for help when facing more than you should bear. 


Anxiety is a human ubiquity, yet viewed by many as something to eschew. It’s imperative to remember that it must be carried with us, but only of manageable heft.


Q&A with Mrs. Williams, AHS School Psychologist

Interview by Jacob Martin

Q: What is the most common type of anxiety that you see at Arapahoe?

A: There is a lot of anxiety we see throughout students’ lives. Most anxiety is specific to grades and doing well in school, but also friendships and relationships play a big part in anxiety specific to Arapahoe. 

Q: Do you personally have anxiety, if so what do you do to deal with it?

A: I do have stress in my life and I use various coping skills to work through tough times. A lot of students may choose to take medication for anxiety, but talk therapy and Cognitive Behavior Therapy are really great tools to use when anxious. 

Q: How do you know when to see a doctor for a diagnosis?

A: If you feel you have anxiety, you should seek support for a diagnosis when: it is affecting your day to day life activities, or the feelings have been going on for more than a few months. We all get stressed, but anxiety is more severe when you have excessive restlessness, difficulty concentrating, irritability, or symptoms that significantly interfere with your life. You should talk with your doctor if you have concerns about a possible diagnosis.

Q: Do you have any tips on how someone could deal with anxiety?

A: There are many different ways to deal with anxiety, and there is not a one size fits all model. You have to try and see what works for you. A lot of people may try medication or therapy. These can be great long-term solutions. In the moment, it can be helpful to use coping skills or engage in a mindful activity in order to calm your mind and body. 

Q: Are there any programs at Arapahoe or apps that could help people with anxiety?

A: Coming to talk with a counselor is a great way to get strategies on supporting your own mental health including anxiety. There are also apps that students can use that can be helpful throughout the day. Here is AHS’ Virtual Calming room that has a lot of ways to help cope including apps: https://sites.google.com/lps.k12.co.us/virtual-calming-room-ahs/home