LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — In this LEX 18 Things That Count, we’re looking at an increase of teens seeking treatment for anxiety and depression.
In this second part to the story, LEX 18’s Angie Bevin sat down with a group of students from Dunbar High School’s news program. They say they are taking an interest in mental health among their classmates.
“Most of my friends have talked about feeling like symptoms of depression and anxiety and things like that,” said Victoria Bravo.
Bravo is a freshman at Dunbar High School. She said that even early in high school, the pressures to get good grades, prepare for college and be involved in extracurricular activities are piling up.
Junior Emily Hacker said that the stress only builds.
“A lot of us struggle with our new jobs, because we’re at the age where we can start working part-time,” said Hacker.
The teens say that the pressures they face are nothing new, but they face an added component.
“I feel like, in this generation, now that social media is more popular, that could probably contribute to stress,” said freshman Ella Turner.
“Social media is very important to us, and it’s become, like, our other arm, you know, it’s part of us,” said Bravo.
They are dealing with a constant stream of information, comparison, and criticism. The teens told LEX 18 that they even lose sleep checking their screens.
“You just can’t sleep on top of using your phone and having a lot of work for the night, which just makes you stay up way too late,” said sophomore Wenbo Fan.
Many teens may lose some sleep but are otherwise mentally OK, but in some cases, everything adds up, leading to more anxiety and depression.
“It makes me feel really concerned and sad, but at the same time, not really surprised,” Hacker said.
Mental health disorders may be more diagnosed presently because we are more aware of them and there is more of a willingness to talk about them.
In part one of this ‘The Things That Count’ story, psychologist Kellie Jones said that more and more teens and their families are taking mental illness seriously, and more teens are seeking treatment.
“There’s a lot more awareness going on now, and people are being more accepting about mental health and getting people the treatment that they need,” said Hacker.