The Panther Perspective

Hysteria in School

Kayla Wells

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There will always be a stereotype when “the best four years of your life” are mentioned. Most movies don’t cover the inside scoop of high school; the stress, the struggle of time management, and balance between a social life, school work, and extracurriculars. In reality, the high school experience is a roller coaster and can cause emotions to be heightened. Due to this, symptoms, physical or mental, can be hard to diagnose and treat. A term for this is hysteria. Outbreaks of this indisposition in school districts have happened numerous times in the past and have even made national news. As Ms. Gabrielle, a new English teacher at WPHS said, “There was an article about a school in Africa, only a few years ago, where all the students were out of school for a month, because of a laughing outbreak, which sounds ridiculous and fake, but it’s a real thing. Laughing that hard was actually causing them physical issues”. Not all cases are this extreme, but it’s something that needs to be addressed.

Hysteria can be caused by the stress of an upcoming test, the thought of future plans, home life or anything in between. This is not to say mild cases of stress and worry are anything to get worked up over, but more awareness needs to surface. Coming from stress within school or panic from social events, are varying symptoms. According to Mr. Brown, a Woodland Park High School teacher, “I’ve seen cases where students have broken out in hives… often I’ve seen it come out in terms of people almost being physically violent with each other, not because they hate each other, but because the panic and stress levels are high”. Majorly, symptoms begin mentally, then progress to physical and can last only a short duration, or can be long term. Depending on the intensity and time period, anyone experiencing hysteria can either learn their own coping mechanisms or reach out and find help. Another example of something that can result from a high-stress situation are symptoms that can resemble tourettes syndrome. This is an advanced sign, but has recently been found among teens on the East Coast. This includes uncontrollable speech and movements, which can lessen over time with attention.

The best steps of action that we can do to prevent and treat hysteria within a community is to pay attention to warning signs, have a comfortable home life, and have a net of people to reach out to. In the Woodland Park School District, we are blessed with many resources to help with difficult times. Whether it be a counselor, teacher, or friend, there are a myriad of ways to cope with existing stress or prevent future worry. There will never be perfect opinions of high school, but when we work with what we have, incorporate balance and communication into our everyday lives, outbursts will decrease drastically.

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