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Anxiety and Depression Among Teens On the Rise

Anxiety and Depression Among Teens On the Rise
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(File) Mother and Daughter Talking
Canopy Children's Solutions

Anxiety and depression are on the rise among teenagers in the U.S. according to a report from Pew Research Center. MPB's Jasmine Ellis reports on what parents in Mississippi can do to help their children.

Experts in Mississippi say they are seeing an increase in teenagers who have anxiety and depression. Dr. John Damon is with Canopy Children's Solutions. The nonprofit offers behavioral health, educational, and social service solutions for children and families. Dr. Damon says social media is one of the reasons why there are higher rates of youth affected by these illnesses.

"They've got this constant feedback loop that they have of themselves where they're waiting on someone else's approval," said Damon. "So if you take a kid for example who may have an underlying genetic predisposition to anxiety already because of family history that is just amplifying an already existing angst."

According to a report from Pew Research Center, 70 percent of adolescents say that anxiety and depression are a major problem among their peers.

Se'Lah Norwood of Jackson is a freshman biology major at Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama. The 18-year-old says a lot of her anxiety comes from stress with school and her personal life -- including her relationship with her biological father.

"We used to have a good relationship when I was younger but overtime I felt that it has deteriorated a lot," said Norwood. "And I barely do speak to him now as a result of that. It's not that I do not want him in my life. It's just... I feel as if it's better for me to just isolate him in a way."

Canopy Children's Solutions says creating a safe environment for youth to express themselves might help stop the increase of anxiety and depression.