Battle Creek

Voices of Youth: Battle Creek artist draws on experience to bring expressions of anxiety to life

Editor's note: This project is part of Southwest Michigan Second Wave's Voices of Youth Battle Creek program which is supported by the BINDA foundation, Battle Creek Community Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the City of Battle Creek.
Having anxiety is a condition where you have more anxiety, or feel more afraid about simple things than other people do. A lot of people have anxiety, but it is still something that needs to be brought more to light.

In some cases, anxiety can get really bad, and it can make you want to stop talking, make you feel like everyone is judging you, and such.Anxiety can lead to a severe panicked feeling, and once it gets bad enough, it can cause anxiety attacks. But, we should keep in mind that anxiety isn't all bad, it's just when someone has an extra amount of anxiety that it can become a problem.There are many ways to cope with anxiety, and coping mechanisms vary between people. Some things that can often help are repetitive motions, like finding something to fidget with, medication, and having a safe person to talk to.Everyone experiences anxiety differently. It helps to find a coping mechanism that works for you, as well as having someone there for you when you need them, whether it be a friend, therapist, partner, or whoever works for you. There are ways to helpAthena McCarthy, 15, Voices of Youth Battle Creek ArtistAthena McCarthy, a 15-year-old freshman in high school, has been drawing their entire life. Currently, they have started taking classes as part of Kellogg Community College's high school dual enrollment program, and are happy to learn more about art. Athena likes time to themselves, music, and video games, and they want to take a stand in the world through their artwork. 

Athena McCarthy, 15, Voices of Youth Battle Creek Artist
When Athena was conceiving this project, they decided they wanted to create something related to anxiety. Athena has anxiety, and they want to show part of how it can feel to the world, but if you can find the right people, they can help you manage it. They created these works digitally on ibis paint.

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