‘COVID-19 suddenly isolated us. The anxiety and sadness that followed were hard to get away from.’

A young woman with medium length hair and nose ring wearing a brown collared shirt smiling for a portrait.
(Photograph by Trevor Jackson / For The Times, Los Angeles Times photo illustration)

Nathalie Miranda, Daniel Pearl Magnet High School


Being a senior in high school is such a strange experience. On the brink of adulthood, we are put into the category of child even though we don’t feel like one. In some ways, this is good — many of our mistakes are excused because we’re still learning.

In other ways, however, this isn’t so good. Our struggles aren’t taken seriously by the adults in our lives. So many teens suffer from anxiety, depression and other mental health issues, yet it’s hard to get help because so many adults think those struggles aren’t real since we don’t pay bills.

My mental health started declining when I was a freshman. Once I moved schools the next year, things got a little better, but then COVID-19 suddenly isolated us. The anxiety and sadness that followed were hard to get away from.


I’m lucky to have a parent and other adults in my life who took my mental health seriously and got me help, but many of my peers are not able to say the same. Parents ignore clear signs of depression. Teachers see those same signs and label them “excessive absences and/or tardies” or “does not complete assignments/tasks.”

How many teens suffer in silence this way? How many more will lose their battle with depression before adults start to understand that our emotions and experiences are very real?

Don’t let one pandemic end only to have another continue.