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Kevin Chapman - Youth Mental Health

Renee speaks with Dr. Kevin Chapman, a licensed clinical psychologist from Louisville who specializes in treating anxiety and related disorders, about youth mental health issues.
Season 14 Episode 6 Length 28:47 Premiere: 10/12/18

Treating Anxiety Disorders

Almost everyone has something that can cause him or her to feel anxious. Maybe it’s making a public speech, taking a test, encountering an unfamiliar dog, or riding in a crowded elevator.

For many people, that feeling quickly passes. For others, the fear can become chronic and debilitating.

To make sense of anxieties and obsessive compulsive disorder, KET’s Connections talked with Kevin Chapman, a licensed clinical psychologist in Louisville. He discussed anxiety disorders and therapy options for treating them.

Although it doesn’t feel good to experience anxiety, Chapman says some amount of it is normal.

“Anxiety by definition is supposed to help us meet the demands of our environment,” he says. “It’s supposed to help us prepare for things that may or may not occur.”

If a person has a strong physiological reaction to an uncomfortable experience, such as speaking to a large crowd or having a turbulent airplane flight, then the brain establishes a powerful negative memory around that event. Chapman says the next time that person encounters that situation, or even just thinks about it, they are likely to feel the emotion of anxiety.

But it’s important to note that fear, anxiety, and panic are not the same things.

“Fear is a true alarm – I’m really in danger. Panic, on the other hand, is what we call a false alarm – it’s the fear response out of context,” Chapman says. “When I’m anxious, fear and anxiety can go hand in hand and culminate to having a panic attack… because I’ve convinced my body that that situation is dangerous when in fact it isn’t.”

Chapman says that if there is no external threat, the person can turn their panic inward, causing them to focus even more intently own their own reaction. He says that only intensifies the person’s feelings of anxiety and panic.

Social and Performance Anxieties
Another type of anxiety is social anxiety, or the fear of being negatively judged by others. Chapman says 15 million Americans experience social anxiety, making it the third most common mental health condition in the United States.

“The reason that it is (so common) is because any social situation you find yourself in has the potential of negative evaluation,” he says. “If I’m sensitive to negative evaluations, then social anxiety certainly can be chronic and be a problem.”

Young people are especially prone to social anxiety because they are at an age when they are trying to develop their own identities while they are also navigating intense peer pressures. Chapman says the problem is more pronounced among today’s youth because social media has made negative commenting and online bullying more accessible and widespread.

Students can also be prone to performance anxieties related to taking tests, playing sports, performing on stage, or making speeches before their classmates.

“It makes sense that the fear and pressure to perform is more pronounced in young people because there’s real and perceived pressures with that,” Chapman says, ranging from “being able to maintain grades to being involved in various extracurricular activities that matter early in life to prepare you for college.”

There can also be cultural and socioeconomic components to anxiety. For example, a situation that may be mildly unsettling to a white person, such as an encounter with a police officer, can be very threatening to a person of color. Chapman says people who live in high-crime neighborhoods with frequent exposure to violence can develop emotional problems as well as long-term health consequences like high blood pressure.

Although there isn’t a genetic component to anxiety, Chapman says children can learn anxiousness from behaviors they experience in their parents or other family members. He says children who have an anxious parent are three to seven times more likely to develop an anxiety disorder than a child of a non-anxious parent.

When a young person or adult is able to respond to their feelings in an adaptive way, the anxiety usually dissipates. But if the feeling lingers and becomes chronic, it can lead the person to avoiding the people or situations they deem as threatening. Such avoidance can impact relationships with family and friends and impede school, work, or social activities.

“If I’m withdrawing from those things for an extended period of time, for say a month or more,” Chapman says, “that’s typically a sign that my behavior and my activity level have declined to the point of needing professional help.”

Treating Anxiety
Medications can help those who suffer from an anxiety disorder, but Chapman says the “gold standard” of treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT. That teaches the patient that their emotions have three parts: thoughts (how they think about themselves or other people), physical feelings in the body (increased heart rate or shortness of breath), and behaviors. The combination of those three factors fuels the person’s emotional experience of a situation and their response to it.

By gradually exposing patients to a threatening or stressful scenario, Chapman can help them learn how to appraise those situations in new ways, and to learn how those new thoughts can foster new physical and behavioral responses. As these new actions become more ingrained, patients see that they are capable of handling things once considered scary in more productive, adaptive ways.

With some patients, Chapman uses virtual reality as part of his CBT treatment protocol. The patient wears a special headset that fills their field of vision, and headphones that provide an audio accompaniment to what they are seeing. A computer program manipulates a variety of stimuli so the patient can experience the fearful situation in a carefully controlled manner. Through the immersive nature of VR, the patient can experience flying in an airplane or standing before a crowd to make a speech, all in the comfort and safety of the therapist’s office.

“They would actually learn how to process that [situation] differently, so therefore when it’s time to do the real thing, they’re able to manage that a whole lot more effectively,” Chapman says.

CBT treatments can be brief and intensive, or more gradual, but Chapman says most patients find success in as few as eight sessions.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Another chronic condition that can be addressed using CBT is obsessive-compulsive disorder. Chapman describes OCD as a cycle: A person develops a fear that if they do x, then y will happen. That creates anxiety, which leads to a certain behavior they hope will alleviate the obsession.

“The next time I get triggered by the fear,” he says, “I engage in that same response or compulsion to make me feel better. But that distress always returns and I have to continue this vicious cycle.”

For example, if someone fears contamination from touching a stair rail, they may compulsively wash their hand afterwards to prevent themselves from contracting a disease. In therapy, Chapman says he would have the patient touch a railing but then not let them wash their hands. When the patient doesn’t contract a disease, they learn that the action doesn’t lead to the reaction they expect, and the hand washing becomes unnecessary.

“Teaching the person how to confront the stimuli that they deem as distressing in a way that forms a new learning experience in their brain – and therefore eliminating rituals or responses – is the way that you treat OCD,” he says.

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Season 14 Episodes

The 'I Was Here' Project

S14 E36 Length 27:42 Premiere Date 08/04/19

Mike Runyon and Sherita Miller; Wendy Kobler

S14 E35 Length 26:57 Premiere Date 07/28/19

Filmmaker Lynn Novick

S14 E33 Length 28:27 Premiere Date 07/14/19

Brent Hutchinson; Christine Thompson - Education

S14 E32 Length 27:37 Premiere Date 07/07/19

Lieutenant Governor Jenean Hampton - Youth Mental Health

S14 E31 Length 26:32 Premiere Date 06/02/19

Julie Cerel - Youth Suicide Prevention

S14 E29 Length 26:32 Premiere Date 05/19/19

Dale Suttles - Sunrise Children's Services

S14 E28 Length 27:33 Premiere Date 05/12/19

Education in Rural Eastern Kentucky

S14 E27 Length 28:13 Premiere Date 05/05/19

Joshua A. Douglas - Voting Rights Reform

S14 E25 Length 26:32 Premiere Date 04/21/19

Jay Box - Ky. Community & Technical College System

S14 E24 Length 26:32 Premiere Date 04/14/19

Author and Life Coach Colene Elridge

S14 E23 Length 26:19 Premiere Date 04/07/19

FIRST STEP Act - Criminal Justice Reform

S14 E22 Length 27:44 Premiere Date 03/31/19

Cheryl A. Oldham

S14 E21 Length 26:38 Premiere Date 02/22/19

Linda Hampton - Early Childhood

S14 E20 Length 29:47 Premiere Date 02/15/19

Donald Mason

S14 E19 Length 26:34 Premiere Date 02/08/19

Community Action Council; First 5 Lex

S14 E18 Length 28:53 Premiere Date 02/01/19

Seamus Carey

S14 E17 Length 26:57 Premiere Date 01/25/19

Michael Benson

S14 E16 Length 27:32 Premiere Date 01/18/19

Dr. Aaron Thompson

S14 E14 Length 28:13 Premiere Date 01/11/19

Mary Todd Lincoln and Lincoln Lexington Walking Tour

S14 E13 Length 28:55 Premiere Date 12/14/18

Youth Suicide

S14 E12 Length 29:22 Premiere Date 12/07/18

Jean Schumm and Amanda Gale

S14 E11 Length 28:22 Premiere Date 11/16/18

M. Christopher Brown II

S14 E10 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 11/09/18

Frank Harris

S14 E9 Length 25:17 Premiere Date 11/02/18

U.S. Rep. Andy Barr

S14 E8 Length 29:16 Premiere Date 10/26/18

Amy McGrath

S14 E7 Length 29:02 Premiere Date 10/19/18

Kevin Chapman - Youth Mental Health

S14 E6 Length 28:47 Premiere Date 10/12/18

Carol Cecil; Resa Gonzalez - Youth Mental Health

S14 E5 Length 26:03 Premiere Date 10/05/18

Joe Bargione - Youth Mental Health

S14 E4 Length 28:57 Premiere Date 09/28/18

WKU President Timothy Caboni

S14 E3 Length 28:40 Premiere Date 09/21/18

Dr. Neeli Bendapudi

S14 E1 Length 28:47 Premiere Date 09/14/18

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Crystal Wilkinson

Premiered On: 04/22/2016

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  • Sunday October 2, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday October 2, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday October 2, 2022 12:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday October 2, 2022 11:00 am CT on KET

Josh Nadzam and Tanya Torp - S10 E37

  • Friday September 30, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 30, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday September 30, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 30, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday September 30, 2022 5:29 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 30, 2022 4:29 am CT on KETKY

Susan and Morgan Guess - S10 E34

  • Thursday September 29, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 29, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday September 29, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 29, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Jay Williams - S10 E33

  • Wednesday September 28, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 28, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 28, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 28, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Pellom McDaniels - S10 E30

  • Tuesday September 27, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 27, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 27, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 27, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Kiley Lane Parker - S10 E29

  • Monday September 26, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 26, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday September 26, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 26, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday September 26, 2022 5:29 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 26, 2022 4:29 am CT on KETKY

David Adkins - The Council of State Governments - S18 E3

  • Saturday October 1, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday October 1, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday September 25, 2022 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday September 25, 2022 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday September 25, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday September 25, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday September 25, 2022 11:59 am ET on KET
  • Sunday September 25, 2022 10:59 am CT on KET

Kevin Chapman - S10 E28

  • Friday September 23, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 23, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday September 23, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 23, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday September 23, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 23, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Kendell Nash - ECHO - S10 E27

  • Thursday September 22, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 22, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday September 22, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 22, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Dorothy Edwards and Diane Fleet - S10 E26

  • Wednesday September 21, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 21, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 21, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 21, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Elaine Chao - S10 E23

  • Tuesday September 20, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 20, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 20, 2022 2:06 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 20, 2022 1:06 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 20, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 20, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Diabetes Epidemic - S10 E20

  • Monday September 19, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 19, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday September 19, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 19, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday September 19, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 19, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Melynda Jamison - CASA of Lexington - S18 E2

  • Sunday September 25, 2022 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday September 25, 2022 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday September 24, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday September 24, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday September 18, 2022 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday September 18, 2022 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday September 18, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday September 18, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday September 18, 2022 12:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday September 18, 2022 11:00 am CT on KET

Mary Gwen Wheeler, 55,000 Degrees - S10 E16

  • Friday September 16, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 16, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday September 16, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 16, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday September 16, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 16, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

15K Degrees Initiative - S10 E13

  • Thursday September 15, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 15, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday September 15, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 15, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Sister Helen Prejean - S10 E12

  • Wednesday September 14, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 14, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 14, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 14, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Jefferson County Veterans Treatment Court - S10 E11

  • Tuesday September 13, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 13, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 13, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 13, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 13, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 13, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Bill Farmer - S10 E8

  • Monday September 12, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 12, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday September 12, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 12, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday September 12, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 12, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

State Treasurer Allison Ball - S18 E1

  • Sunday September 11, 2022 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday September 11, 2022 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday September 11, 2022 12:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday September 11, 2022 11:00 am CT on KET

Reporter Jonathan Bullington - S17 E23

  • Sunday September 18, 2022 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday September 18, 2022 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday September 17, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday September 17, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday September 11, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday September 11, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY

Diane Follingstad - UK Women's Circle Endowment Chair - S10 E6

  • Friday September 9, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 9, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday September 9, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 9, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday September 9, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 9, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Kevin Chapman - S10 E5

  • Thursday September 8, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 8, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday September 8, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 8, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday September 8, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 8, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Soreyda Benedit Begley and Chris Begley - S10 E3

  • Wednesday September 7, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 7, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 7, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 7, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 7, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday September 7, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Bloggers on Personal Development - S10 E2

  • Tuesday September 6, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 6, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 6, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 6, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 6, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday September 6, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Chris Rabb - S10 E1

  • Monday September 5, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 5, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday September 5, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 5, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday September 5, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday September 5, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Nikki Lanier - Harper Slade - S17 E22

  • Sunday September 11, 2022 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday September 11, 2022 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday September 10, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday September 10, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday September 4, 2022 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday September 4, 2022 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday September 4, 2022 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday September 4, 2022 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday September 4, 2022 12:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday September 4, 2022 11:00 am CT on KET

Delanor Manson - Kentucky Nurses Association - S17 E36

  • Sunday September 4, 2022 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday September 4, 2022 7:00 am CT on KETKY

Tanya Torp and Holly Houston - S9 E46

  • Friday September 2, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 2, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday September 2, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 2, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday September 2, 2022 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday September 2, 2022 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Frontier Nursing University - S9 E45

  • Thursday September 1, 2022 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 1, 2022 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday September 1, 2022 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday September 1, 2022 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
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