2015 Archives

In Prosper, Students Tackle Tough Topics: Teen Depression And Anxiety

Excerpt

The following is from the Sept. 29, 2015, edition of KERA public radio. Sarah Feuerbacher, director of SMU's Center for Family Counseling in the Simmons School of Education and Human Development, provided expertise for this story.

October 8, 2015

By Stella M. Chávez

Twenty-five percent of teens will struggle with an anxiety disorder at some point in their life. And about 20 percent of teens will experience depression before they become an adult. North Texas students and a teacher talk about the factors that fuel these symptoms and what they’re doing about it. . . 

Sarah Feuerbacher is the director of SMU’s Center for Family Counseling in Plano. She says she's been seeing more teens.

“Whether it’s internal or external motivators, no matter what, our young people today are very, very high-stressed, high-strung, Feuerbacher says. "They are demonstrating that in just an overwhelming amount of anxiety and depression.” . . . 

Feuerbacher at SMU’s counseling center recalls the story of one teen who was obsessed with checking her grades online. The sophomore checked after every single class.

“We have created a society where our children now are watching us do everything that we can to get to the biggest and best and next thing and pressure ourselves, and we’re also expecting our kids to do the same and we’re pushing them into a lot things,” she says.

Teacher and counselor, however, see at least one promising sign: the teen’s TV show itself. Kids talked openly about some tough topics – anxiety, depression, even suicide. And that, Feuerbacher says, is a crucial first step.

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