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Mental Health

Unknown Perks of Practicing Mindfulness in Teens

Unknown Perks of Practicing Mindfulness in Teens 150 150 se_admin

In a world that’s constantly going, finding the time to calm down is difficult, especially for teens. The benefits of practicing mindfulness in teens are extensive and often unmentioned in daily life. They should be, though. Teenagers handle an immense amount of stress in day-to-day life. Hormones, drama, homework, exams; the list goes on and on.

Learning to harness the power of mindfulness can significantly affect a teenager’s life. More and more research has been coming out about the health benefits of practicing mindfulness in teens, and it’s plentiful.

A few ways mindfulness can help your teen

Reduces Stress. This should be a top priority for any teenager. Studies show that a daily dose of mindfulness can reduce stress, depression, and anxiety greatly. Even a small amount each day, just 10 minutes, has had this result. 

Emotion Regulation. Teenagers struggle with this significantly because of the wacky amount of hormones wreaking havoc on their bodies. Practicing mindfulness in teens has shown to allow a stronger discipline over emotional spikes.

Memory Improvement. Remembering everything for tests, homework, presentations, etc. can put a strain on the brain, but mindfulness training has proven to improve working memory. This type of improvement makes it easier for someone to absorb and understand information.

Reflection. When you’re constantly working and moving, it can be a challenge to take a step back and understand how you’re actually feeling. A lot of the time, teenagers ignore emotions and don’t tell anyone how they’re feeling, which can eventually lead to worsened conditions such as depression. Research shows that by practicing mindfulness in teens, they learn to really comprehend how they’re feeling, making it easier to communicate when something is wrong. 

Solstice East and mindfulness in teens

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for teen girls (ages 14-18) struggling with issues such as depression, anxiety, and many more. We use multiple therapeutic techniques, like mindfulness in teens, to help the young women in our program work towards a healthy and happy future.

For more information about Solstice East, please contact us at (855) 672-7058.

Not catching enough zzzs: Sleep deprivation in teens

Not catching enough zzzs: Sleep deprivation in teens 150 150 se_admin

Your teen’s morning alarm probably goes off before the crack of dawn. Most high schools start long before most traditional work days and if your teen is involved in extracurriculars, they’re probably staying at school until dinner time or later. This means that they don’t have time to start their homework until 7 or 8pm. A lot of teens stay up past midnight to get their homework done. And then they have to start the day over again…

Sleep deprivation in teens is a serious issue. According to the National Sleep Foundation,  more than 85 percent of teens are getting fewer than the recommended 8.5-9.5 hours of sleep. This sleep deprivation in teens results in a higher risk of obesity, suicide, driving accidents, drug abuse, and depression.

Causes of sleep deprivation in teens

Why is your teen not getting enough sleep? There could be a myriad of reasons. Some of these include:

  • Too much exposure to light before bedtime: Lights from cell phones, laptops and TV screens can prevent enough production of melatonin, the brain chemical we need to sleep.
  • Time shift due to hormones: Your teen’s hormones may be responsible do this lack of sleep. Hormones during puberty shift teen’s bodily clock forward a couple of hours, throwing off the time they get sleepy for a couple of hours past their normal bedtime. Early school time does not allow teens to get the sleep they need, leading to sleep deprivation.
  • Late night distractions: If your teen has a television or computer in their room, they might be playing video games or binge watching their favorite shows at night instead of sleeping.
  • A vicious cycle: If your teen is sleep deprived, their brain will become increasingly more active. An active, over aroused brain is less likely to be able to sleep.

Preventing sleep deprivation in teens

If your teen is struggling with getting enough sleep, it can negatively affect so many aspects of their life. Teens who are sleep deprived suffer emotionally and academically. Preventing sleep deprivation can keep your teen happy and motivated. Here are a few tips to keep your teen on a normal sleep schedule:

  • Decide with your teen on appropriate time limits for stimulating activities like homework, TV, video games and internet surfing. That way, they know when they have to shut off everything and get to bed!
  • Encourage afternoon naps. Having time to recharge is important for your teen to participate effectively in extracurriculars and to complete their homework without struggle.
  • Get your teen to bed early on Sundays. Starting their week with adequate sleep will help them be less sleep deprived overall.
  • Look through your teen’s schedule to see if they have too many things on their plate. Sleep should always take priority over involvement.

Solstice East can help

If your teen is struggling with depression and anxiety, Solstice East can help. Solstice East is a residential treatment center for teen girls ages 14-18 struggling with emotional and behavioral issues.

For more information about Solstice East, please call (855) 672-7058.


Is your daughter dealing with trauma? Four ways to work through trauma in teens

Is your daughter dealing with trauma? Four ways to work through trauma in teens 150 150 se_admin

Every parent wishes their child could go through life never experiencing an event that will cause them pain or stress. However, everyday children and teens all over the world experience events that could potentially be traumatic. Natural disasters, car accidents, crime, and abuse can leave young people feeling traumatized for years after the event occurred. Trauma in teens can dramatically affect your teen’s emotional wellness, sometimes leading them to turn to drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with their trauma. If your teen has experienced a traumatic event, it’s important to look out for the signs of trauma in teens.

What symptoms of trauma in teens should parents look out for?

Sometimes in the aftermath of a traumatic event, teens show very few problems at all. However, for many teens dealing with trauma, they may experience emotional and behavioral responses that can drastically affect their quality of life. If your teen is experiencing the following symptoms, please look into getting the help they need. Here are some symptoms your teen might be experiencing if they have experienced a traumatic event:

  • an overwhelming sense of terror
  • pounding heart
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • difficulty sleeping
  • dry mouth
  • withdrawal and isolation
  • academic decline
  • school avoidance

Helping your teen deal with trauma

Your teen needs your support and care, even if they’re attempting to isolate themselves from you. Here are a few tips for helping your teen deal with aftermath of trauma in teens:

  1. Encourage your teen to talk about the event and express their thoughts and feelings. Talk to your teen about the ways in which their life has been affected by the event, as well as the ways their life has remained the same since the event. This helps avoid any pent up thoughts about the event that may lead to further emotional struggles.
  2. Be aware of any reminders (or triggers) of the event. You should help your teen avoid these reminders in case of an emotional reaction.
  3. Recognize that your teen may be acting out or behaving self destructively in an attempt to express what they are truly feeling inside. Help your teen work through negative feelings like guilt, anger, and revenge in order to come up with alternatives that can lessen these feelings.
  4. Encourage your teens to express their feelings to you. Don’t criticize or judge them based on their feelings. They may feel afraid to express their true emotions for fear of embarrassing themselves in front of peers.

Solstice East can help

If your teen is struggling with trauma related difficulties, consider sending her to Solstice East. Solstice East is a residential treatment center for teen girls ages 14-18 struggling with emotional and behavioral difficulties such as depression, anxiety, and substance use issues.

For more information about Solstice East, please call (855) 672-7058

Are Your Daughter’s Grades Suffering? She Might Be Struggling With ADHD In Teen Girls

Are Your Daughter’s Grades Suffering? She Might Be Struggling With ADHD In Teen Girls 150 150 se_admin

The teenage years are chock full of awkward, difficult moments. It’s kind of like a hurdle everyone has to jump over to reach adulthood. It’s not a happy time for many teens. If you add ADHD into the mix, that can just makes things worse.

Diagnosis of ADHD in teen girls

ADHD in teen girls oftentimes gets overlooked. Why? Because ADHD in teen girls often looks different than it does for males. For girls, ADHD oftentimes coincides with depression, anxiety, and self esteem issues. In fact, girls with ADHD are at a higher risk for self-injury, eating disorders, and suicide. Being able to tell whether or not your daughter has ADHD is essential to getting her the treatment she needs. Symptoms of ADHD in teen girls include:

  • Distractibility
  • Hyperactivity
  • Can’t concentrate
  • Impulsivity
  • Irritability

Throughout the teen years, these symptoms may get worse as hormones begin to rage.

Damaging effects of ADHD in teen girls

Not only do teen girls have to worry about normal teen things, like grades and social relationships, they also have to worry about the effects ADHD will have on their lives. With ADHD, comes distractibility and poor concentration. This doesn’t bode well for teens trying to get through school with decent grades.

Often, teens with ADHD forget assignments, lose textbooks, and become bored and distracted during class. If your teen is not getting the treatment they need, their grades could drastically fall because of this.

How you can help

If your daughter is struggling with ADHD, it’s important to be as supportive as possible. ADHD affects every aspect of a teen’s life, and it’s important to talk about this with your teen. Other things you can do to provide support for your teen include:

  • Providing clear expectations and limits for your teen
  • Helping your teen with scheduling and organization
  • Supporting your teen in activities that they feel successful doing (sports, arts, music, etc.)
  • Rewarding positive behavior
  • Making sure your teen gets enough sleep

Consider Solstice East

If your teen is struggling with behavior or emotional issues do to ADHD, consider Solstice East. Solstice East is a residential treatment center for young girls ages 14-18 struggling with difficulties such as trauma-related struggles, depression, and anxiety. 

For more information about Solstice East, please call 828-484-9946.

Working through the aftershock: Recognizing trauma in teens

Working through the aftershock: Recognizing trauma in teens 150 150 se_admin

If your teen has experienced a devastating event and you suspect they have developed some form of trauma because of it, it’s important to get help fast. Recognizing the signs of trauma is crucial to getting your teen the help they need. Teens often hide their emotions, but when they have experienced trauma, they may hide away even more.

Identifying trauma in teens

Children and teens could have forms of trauma if they have lived through an event that could have caused them or someone else to be injured. These experiences may induce overwhelming feelings of terror or helplessness. The most common causes of trauma in teens can be any of the following:

  • Violence
  • Accidents
  • Physical assault
  • Sexual assault
  • Natural disasters
  • Loss of a loved one or grief

These incidents can occur once or multiple times.They generate feelings of guilt, anxiety, or shame.  Trauma in teens needs to be identified and handled appropriately so that the teen can get help as soon as possible. The reactions teens feel is called traumatic stress. This can last a long time after the initial event is over.

When trauma in teens occurs it is likely that they will not be able to understand or process the overwhelming amounts of feelings that are occurring internally. As a parent, or loved one, it is imperative to offer and provide a safe space for your teen to explore their emotions.

If a traumatic event has occurred in your teens life recently look for the common reactions to trauma in teens:

  • strong emotions such as sadness, anger, anxiety, and guilt
  • overreacting to minor irritations
  • repetitively thinking about the traumatic event and talking about it often
  • disturbed sleeping patterns
  • withdrawing from family and friends
  • wanting to spend more time alone
  • returning to younger ways of behaving (including giving up responsibilities or a sudden return to rebellious behavior)
  • depression and feelings of hopelessness

Solstice East can help

These experiences are disorienting for all parties involved and can leave parents feeling scared. If you believe that your teen is experiencing the after effects of a traumatic experience, call (800) 264-8709. The expert team at Solstice East are readily prepared to provide help and support to your teen and family.

Things Fall Apart: How to help your teen dealing with loss

Things Fall Apart: How to help your teen dealing with loss 150 150 se_admin

When a loved one dies, it may feel like the world is falling apart. This is true for all people, but especially true for teens. Teens are already dealing with so much emotional and physical growth and distress, dealing with loss can be extremely harmful to their development. Teens dealing with loss need all the help they can get.

Why it’s so tough

Although teens may begin to look like adults, they still need the same consistent emotional support they’ve needed their whole lives. Physical maturity does not always mean that teens are emotionally mature enough to handle dealing with loss.

Teens oftentimes experience sudden, unexpected losses. Parents may have heart attacks or strokes, friends may commit suicide, or siblings may die in car accidents. The suddenness of these kinds of deaths make it harder for teens dealing with loss.

Teens oftentimes experience a lack of support when someone close to them dies. Their younger siblings may get more attention because teens are expected to act like adults. If their parent dies, they are sometimes told that they must take care of the family. That means they have to stay strong for their family and not mourn properly. It’s important to not let this happen. Teens need to deal with loss just as much as anyone else.

When teens need your help

Knowing when a teen needs your help dealing with loss is important in helping them work through their grief. Signs that a grieving teen needs additional help include:

  • Relationships with friends and family falling apart
  • Doing poorly in school
  • Taking part in risky behavior such as alcohol and drug experimentation, fighting, or sexual promiscuity
  • Pretending to not be in pain and acting unnaturally mature
  • Depressed
  • Restless
  • Low self esteem

What you can do

When teens are dealing with loss, they need the support of adults. Make them know that you care by asking them if they would like to talk with you about what they’re currently feeling. Let them know that they’re pain won’t last forever and that a piece of their loved one will stay with them forever in their memories.

You can also make them aware of peer support groups. Speaking with other peers going through the same emotional trauma they are can help teens on their path towards healing.

Solstice East can help

Solstice East is a residential treatment center that helps teen girls ages 14-18 struggling with emotional and behavioral issues. With a caring, experienced staff who know exactly how to help teens dealing with loss, Solstice East helps teens get through their grief and the behavioral and emotional repercussions that sometimes come with it.

For more information about Solstice East, please call 828-484-9946.


A dangerous sadness: Symptoms of teen depression

A dangerous sadness: Symptoms of teen depression 150 150 se_admin

When teens lock themselves away in their rooms, it can be hard to tell if they’re just expressing teen angst or something far more serious. When it is something serious, it’s important to take immediate action. Teen depression occurs in about 20 percent of the teen population before they become adults. Knowing the signs and symptoms of teen depression could save your teen’s life. 1.8 million teens have thought about committing suicide at their worst or most recent period of depression. By helping your teen now, you could potentially save their life.

Signs and symptoms of teen depression

Symptoms of teen depression may be difficult to perceive in teens because of their naturally changing moods. However, here are a few clear emotional and behavioral signs of teen depression to watch out for:

Emotional symptoms:

  • Sadness, including frequent unexplained crying spells
  • Not interested in pleasurable activities
  • Feeling that life and the future is grim and bleak
  • Irritability and anger over small issues
  • Conflict with family and friends
  • Not interested in the lives of others
  • Often thinks about death and suicide

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Fatigue, or low energy
  • Increased cravings for food and weight gain
  • Decreased appetite and weight loss
  • Unable to sit still, or generally agitated
  • Poor school performance
  • Risky, dangerous behavior
  • Slowed thinking, body movements or speaking
  • Self harm
  • Sleeping too much or insomnia
  • Not caring about appearance- messy hair, clothes

Reaching out

Talk to your teen about what’s going on in their lives. They may just need someone to talk to. From there, you can determine whether or not this is a serious issue or something they can overcome with time. Either way, it’s best to seek professional help for teen depression. You’re really better safe than sorry when it comes to teen depression.

Solstice East can help

If teen depression is consuming your teen’s life, it may be time to consider other options for them. Solstice East is a residential treatment center for teen girls ages 14-18 with a comprehensive, individualized clinical program designed to help your girl’s specific needs. Solstice East seeks to treat the whole person rather than a specific “problem area”, like teen depression.

For more information about Solstice East, please call 828-484-9946.


Healers who neigh: The benefits of equine therapy

Healers who neigh: The benefits of equine therapy 150 150 se_admin

Furry friends are always good to have around. Not only can they comfort you when you’re down, they can also help you work through emotional and behavioral issues. The healing benefits of horses are well documented and are a great way to help struggling teens.

Benefits of equine therapy

Equine therapy, can help teen girls work through emotional and behavioral struggles. Horses are large, seemingly intimidating animals. They have distinct personalities, much like humans, and can sense when someone is uncomfortable around them. 

If a horse is stubborn or unfriendly towards an individual, it is usually because that individual is emitting negative energy. Because of this, horses make excellent therapeutic tools. They reflect what we are feeling. That means if teens are undergoing emotional or behavioral issues, horses can sense that.

Equine therapy can help teens show a marked improvement in:

  • Self esteem
  • Empathy
  • Impulse control
  • Independence
  • Problem-solving skills

A personal experience

For equine therapy to work, teens must establish a presence for the horse. By creating a presence, teens take the first step in building a bond with the horse. Experiences with horses occur frequently in group settings, but each individual forms a personal bond with the horse.

Horses are honest creatures. This honesty helps teens develop non-verbal communication skills which allows teens to remove their anxieties and respond to the horse with affection and their utmost attention.

Solstice East helps teens using equine therapy

At Solstice East, a residential treatment center for teen girls ages 14-18, equine therapy helps girls move forward on their journey towards healing. With an integrated, comprehensive clinical program, Solstice East helps girls struggling with emotional and behavioral issues by creating a safe, comfortable space for teens to grow as individuals. At the program, teens build healthy relationships, develop a strong sense of self, and utilize experiential therapy like equine therapy to grow through their experience.

For more information about Solstice East, please call 828-484-9946.