• Residential Treatment Center for Teens 14-17

Mental Issues

talk therapy

Alternates to Talk Therapy for Anxious Teens

Alternates to Talk Therapy for Anxious Teens 5184 3456 se_admin

In the middle of a panic attack, teens may experience overwhelming physical sensations that make it difficult to breathe, let alone gather their thoughts and talk about their experiences. Sometimes anxious teens don’t want to talk about how they’re feeling because they worry their fears may sound irrational or their thoughts are racing so fast, it can be difficult to pinpoint what is really going on. Talk therapy is not always effective when teens are experiencing intense emotions or struggle with self-awareness. Mindfulness and movement can be valuable alternatives to talk therapy for anxious teens.

Difficulty Understanding Emotions

Many teens have a difficult time managing their emotions as it is hard to understand what they are feeling. Adolescence is a period of significant changes—physically, emotionally, socially, and neurologically. The brain develops at such a rapid pace that areas responsible for emotions are flooded with activity. When these areas are hyperactive, teens with anxiety often go into fight-or-flight mode, which makes it hard to connect with areas that help with reasoning and decision-making that are still developing.

When teens develop a larger emotional vocabulary, they are better able to articulate what they feel, explore possible causes, and accept their emotional experience for what it is. Accepting their feelings gives them more room to change how they feel than labeling these feelings as “bad” or “wrong.”

Listening to Somatic Experiences 

Often, physical sensations of anxiety are so overwhelming that teens find it easier to name butterflies in their stomach than specific fears they may be worried about. Teens with anxiety may feel sick more often, even if there doesn’t seem to be a medical explanation for their ongoing symptoms. 

Many teens believe that emotions and physical sensations are separate, but they tend to inform each other. Acknowledging this connection allows teens to try self-soothing techniques that take care of their physical body in order to manage anxious thoughts, which can be easier than identifying and challenging anxious beliefs.

The Value of Experiential Learning

Teens learn more from experience than they do from lectures. We believe that teens don’t need to talk about their feelings in order to effectively process them if they’re not ready, if they don’t want to, or if it doesn’t feel right.

Some alternates to Talk Therapy include:

  • Journaling, which allows teens to explore their anxious thoughts without sharing them with others
  • Drawing, which encourages teens to express their emotions without using words
  • Practicing grounding meditation or doing a body scan to check in with physical anxiety
  • Practicing yoga helps teens link movement with their breath
  • Neurophysiological tools, like Brainspotting and Neurofeedback
  • Equine Assisted Therapy helps address social anxiety
  • Adventure activities and other physical activities help teens build confidence

Solstice East Can Help

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for young women ages 14-18 struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, and addictive behaviors. This program focuses on helping young women heal, recover, and integrate healthy habits into their lives. Students will learn to build healthy relationships, cope with emotions, and effectively communicate. Solstice East gives young women the skills and confidence they need to lead happy and healthy lives. We can help your family today!

Contact us at  828-484-9946 to learn more about experiential therapy.

borderline personality disorder

Reframing Borderline Personality Disorder as Childhood Trauma

Reframing Borderline Personality Disorder as Childhood Trauma 4500 3000 se_admin

We need to start talking about borderline personality disorder for what it really is: a complex response to trauma. While traumatic experiences don’t necessarily trigger signs of a borderline personality, up to 60% of people diagnosed with borderline personality disorder have co-occuring PTSD. It is understood as a combination of genetic factors and early childhood experiences that influence attachment styles, coping mechanisms, and interpersonal relationships. Reframing Borderline Personality Disorder as Childhood Trauma helps psychologists understand underlying causes and frees teens from the label of fundamental problems with their personality.

Defining Characteristics of a Borderline Personality:

  • Unstable self-image
  • Instability in relationships
  • Fear of abandonment
  • Intense emotions
  • Impulsive behaviors

Environmental Factors:

One of the reasons Borderline traits are considered a personality issue is that most people diagnosed with the disorder do not respond to medication, which suggests that it is more environmental than biological in nature. While Borderline traits persist over an extended period of time, they tend to intensify when triggered by stress or traumatic events.

The relationship between traumatic events and Borderline is unclear. While Borderline may be a response to trauma, people with these traits are also more vulnerable to abuse. Between 40 and 86 percent of BPD sufferers report sexual abuse, up to 75 percent say they were emotionally abused, up to 73 percent report physical abuse, and between 17 and 25 percent experienced severe emotional neglect. Following these experiences, they have developed belief systems about their self-worth and an unstable view of relationships based on hurt and manipulation.

Deconstructing Borderline

The similarities between complex PTSD and BPD are numerous. Patients with both conditions have difficulty regulating their emotions; they experience persistent feelings of emptiness, shame, and guilt; and they have a significantly elevated risk of suicide. In some ways, some signs of borderline mimic signs of autism in relation to inconsistent social skills and reactions to an intense world.

When you take away judgments of character associated with a borderline personality, the disorder is characterized by:

  • History of developmental trauma or reactive attachment
  • Rigid processing
  • Sensory sensitivity
  • Slower nonverbal processing

Problems with a Personality Disorder Label

Labeling people with BPD as having a personality disorder can escalate their poor self-esteem. “Personality disorder” translates in many people’s minds as a personality flaw, and this can lead to or intensify an ingrained sense of worthlessness and self-loathing.

This means people with BPD may view themselves more negatively, but can also lead other people – including those closest to them – to do the same. 

Taking a Trauma-Informed Approach

When reframed as childhood trauma, psychologists are better prepared to address underlying issues and come up with concrete solutions. The “personality label” reinforces learned helplessness and treatment-resistance. Using a trauma-informed approach, psychologists look at teens’ individual strengths and needs to find a way to connect with them. The goal of treatment becomes learning how to establish healthy relationships based on personal values and fears.

Solstice East Can Help

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for teen girls ages 14-18 struggling with depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, trauma, and addictive behaviors. Many of the girls we work with have been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and have internalized hopelessness in relationships based on this diagnosis. Our relationship-based program focuses on helping young women heal unhealthy relationships, cope with emotions, and effectively communicate. Solstice East gives young women the skills and confidence they need to lead happy and healthy lives.

Contact us at (855) 672-7058 to learn more about borderline personality disorder. We can help your family today!

teen mindfulness program

Breathe In, Breathe Out: How Mindfulness Helps Teens who Struggle with Depression and Anxiety

Breathe In, Breathe Out: How Mindfulness Helps Teens who Struggle with Depression and Anxiety 640 426 se_admin

Teen suicide. Substance abuse. Bullying and fights. Although seemingly unrelated, these all too frequent epidemics are plaguing today’s schools; and, frequently, they seem to spring from a single common source.

Kids are finding it tough to cope these days; the challenging, sometimes stifling demands of peer pressure and academic performance placing undue stress on their sensitive psyche.

In order to combat these issues—and, for that matter, the feelings of anger, frustration, and sometimes out and out hopelessness that accompany them—many school districts are offering mindfulness sessions in school.

Mindfulness involves the teaching of techniques like breathing and meditation to help people calm themselves and control their emotions.

Here is how you and your teen’s teacher can put mindfulness to work for them:

  1. Guide the teen in the commission of deliberate deep breathing exercises. The phrase “Stop and take a good deep breath,” never has been more applicable. The simple act of stopping, falling silent, and taking a good, deep breath can do much to center and calm a frenetic teen; especially if they happen to be in the throes of an anxiety attack, when the simple process of breathing becomes strained and difficult.
  2. Learn more about yoga and meditation. These sacred, time-honored arts have been utilized for centuries to bring peace, balance and happiness to people of all ages. Through instructional classes, books and videos, you can learn the principles and practices of yoga and meditation; passing this information on to your troubled teen. Teachers can lead meditative sessions in the classroom, and physical education teachers might integrate yoga into daily fitness regimens. Parents can morph a good yoga or meditation session into an enjoyable family activity.
  3. Encourage self-reflection. Train your teen to reflect on and contemplate their problems and stressors; also to discuss these issues with parents and teachers, so that you can work together to find healthy and workable solutions.
  4. Teach and encourage your teen to express themselves. When teens are empowered to release their tensions and frustrations in constructive and highly creative manners, then they no doubt will feel calmer, more centered, and more in control of their emotions. If they can sing a song instead of scream, draw a picture instead of take a drug, write instead of cut, etc., then they will develop a positive and intensely constructive outlet for their emotions.

Form a mindfulness team with your teen. When you meditate, breathe or draw/write/sing with the troubled teen, then you will bring the divine circle of mindfulness to its completion—to the benefit of both of you

Avoiding Anxiety in Teens

Avoiding Anxiety in Teens 150 150 se_admin
anxiety in teens

Photo Credit: flickr user – amenclinicsphotos

With anxiety being one of the most common mental health issues found in the general population, avoiding anxiety in teens can be challenging. While medication, therapy, and the support of loved ones can help, anxiety in teens is often something that will follow them throughout life. As a result, worry and irrational fear are a constant part of their lives. A recent article by Bustle discusses 3 situations that should be avoided when dealing with anxiety in teens.

It’s extremely important that individuals suffering from anxiety in teens not avoid every situation that gives them anxiety—doing so can actually make anxiety in teens worse, and cause them to miss out on important opportunities. However, it’s important that teens not push themselves to a breaking point.

Anxiety in Teens: 3 Situations That Should Be Avoided

  1. Toxic Environments. Teens spend 40 hours a week at school, so it’s incredibly difficult when the environment is toxic. Bullying or social issues among peers can especially cause anxiety in teens. Many teens who suffer from this report having symptoms including sleep problems, trouble concentrating, and anxiety. If teens are experiencing a toxic environment, they should discuss with their teachers or advisors about switching seats in class or avoiding people that are causing them distress.
  2. Triggering Living Situations. When anxiety in teens is present, teens often have to face fears on a daily basis. Triggers like public speaking, driving, or meeting new people are things that individuals with anxiety need to push themselves to do, otherwise they let the disorder win. Living with anxiety in teens is often incredibly exhausting, because normal activities that are east for most teens require significantly more effort from those with anxiety. Ensuring that the home environment is a safe space is essential. Of course, no living situation is perfect, but eliminating potential anxiety triggers in the home can help reduce anxiety on a daily basis.
  3. Spending Too Much Time Alone. While there’s a lot of value in alone time, it’s important to be maintain social relationships. Anxiety in teens can cause individuals to feel the need to hide from the world. This is often due to an excess in negative thoughts. When people with anxiety are left alone with these negative thoughts, it ca be harder for them to control them and maintain a healthy life. When symptoms of anxiety are high, teens should consider spending more time with loved ones or peers, instead of hiding out.

If your teen is struggling with anxiety, there are programs that can help.

Solstice East can help

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18, grappling with teen depression, anxiety, trauma, and other emotional or behavioral issues. We strive to help our girls lead themselves back onto a path of health and happiness.

For more information about how Solstice East handles social media addiction, please call 828-484-9946!

Overwhelming Bad News: The Effect of Social Media on Youth

Overwhelming Bad News: The Effect of Social Media on Youth 150 150 se_admin

We’re being bombarded by disturbing news: the attacks in France, Orlando, San Bernardino, Brussels, and so many more. If you think you–the parent–are the only one reading about these events, you’re probably wrong. If your teen has any form of social media, they’ve probably heard about these awful events, too. CNN recently published an article discussing the harmful effect of social media on youth because of the relentless circulation of negative news.

The effect of social media on youth due to negative news

effect of social media on youthIt’s difficult to avoid the effect of social media on youth nowadays. Basically every child over the age of 14 has access to some type of social media, whether it’s through a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or other technology. Now, with this flow of bad news on all social media, vicarious trauma is becoming a very possible effect of social media on youth. Experts disagree on the levels of severity caused by violent news, but it’s still possible and dangerous.

Vicarious trauma a real possibility

CNN interviewed Dr. Pam Ramsden, a psychology lecturer at the University of Bradford in the UK, who has had immense experience with the effects of negative news. She says, though not a specific diagnosis, vicarious trauma can escalate to issues like post-traumatic stress. It may sound ridiculous at first, but you can probably bring to mind a piece of footage or a picture from the media that’s stuck in your head. It’s just that amplified.

The individuals that really struggle with this often engage in obsessive consumption, like re-watching a traumatic piece of video. This may cause extreme fear, making an individual act much differently. So how do you combat this type of trauma and anxiety as an effect of social media on youth? You limit it.

One of the only ways to help quell this anxiety and trauma surrounding bad news through social media is to limit yourself. I know, you’re thinking, “How do I get my teen to limit themselves?” Well, first sit them down and explain it to them, especially if they have been vocally expressing their fears due to recent negative events on the news. Next, there are ways you can shut off your teen’s phone after a certain time. Maybe no screens after 8PM would be a good rule. The important thing to do is to communicate with your teen and figure out the best schedule for the whole family.

Solstice East can help

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18, grappling with depression, anxiety, trauma, and other emotional or behavioral problems. We strive to help our girls develop healthy habits and lead themselves back onto a path of success and happiness.

For more information about how Solstice East handles issues related to the effect of social media on youth, please call 828-484-9946.

Depression & Teen Self Harm More Likely in Social Media-Using Girls

Depression & Teen Self Harm More Likely in Social Media-Using Girls 150 150 se_admin

teen self harmWe live in an era where nearly every teen has a smartphone in their hand. They can communicate with each other within seconds through various platforms, find information with a few clicks of a finger, and–for girls especially–possibly increase their risk for developing depression, anxiety, or teen self harm.

You may be thinking, “What? Because they use social media? No way.” Many recent studies have found a link between these mental health issues and a higher use of social media in girls–so this is very real and very important. Teen self harm, depression, and anxiety are all serious struggles, which means this issue needs to be looked at with a more serious tone. Daily Mail recently reported on this increasing issue.

Social media & mental health issues in girls

It’s been discovered that more than 25 percent of girls, ages 16 to 24, are struggling with symptoms of depression. How is that compared to the rate for males? It’s 3 times as much. Teen self harm is also becoming a worrying issue–anywhere from 20 to 25 percent of girls have engaged in teen self harm (cutting is the most common method). A report conducted by NHS found that young women are experiencing symptoms of mental health issues at a much faster rate than boys.

Stephen Buckley, the head of information at the mental health charity Mind, explains that the increase is likely due to a combination of things. He stated:

“Young people are coming of working age in times of economic uncertainty, they’re more likely to experience issues associated with debt, unemployment and poverty, and they are up against increasing social and environmental pressures, all of which affect well-being. Since the last data was released in 2009, we’ve seen a surge in the use of social media.”

Buckley says that social media can be a powerful tool for positivity and support for those that have a struggle finding elsewhere. He also says that it can be a bringer of negativity, too. Quite often, social media can lead to negative feelings and behaviors because of the “instantaneous and anonymous nature” of it. It’s not unheard of for teens to target one another online–cyberbullying is an increasing issue and it happens to girls a lot.

If you believe your daughter is struggling with depression, anxiety, or teen self harm, it’s important to seek out a professional for further guidance on how to best help her.

Solstice East helps with teen self harm in girls

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18, grappling with depression, anxiety, trauma, teen self harm, and other emotional or behavioral problems. In our residential treatment for teens, we strive to help our girls develop healthy habits and lead themselves back onto a path of success and happiness.

For more information about how Solstice East treats teen self harm, please contact us at  828-484-9946.

What’s Causing the Increased Need for Anxiety Treatment for Teens?

What’s Causing the Increased Need for Anxiety Treatment for Teens? 150 150 se_admin

There’s a looming question for professionals and parents: why is the need for anxiety treatment for teens increasing? Can we just better identify it now and that’s why there are “more” teens with anxiety, or is it a deeper issue that has to do with school and society? Psychology Today recently published an article discussing the different possibilities for the increase in anxiety treatment for teens and why it’s needed. anxiety treatment for teens

Why are teens more anxious?

The level of anxiety in teens today is much higher than what it used to be, anxiety treatment for teens has increased exponentially. Researchers are extremely interested in why and how it got to be this way. There’s a load of theories and it’s likely there’s no easy answer out there. In the article, two main outlooks are discussed, over-diagnosing or a more stressful environment.

One explanation could be over-diagnosing or doctors being too quick to slap “anxiety” on something that may just be healthy worry. But before we feed into that theory, there’s large evidence that it’s more the environment around our teens that’s fueling this new need for anxiety treatment for teens. Take a moment to think about it.

On average, teens don’t get 8 hours of sleep–they don’t get even close to it actually. So, first off, they’re sleep deprived. Next, they have a lot more weight on their shoulders to do well in school so they can get into college–which they need scholarships, too, because college is insanely expensive. Then, on top of that, colleges want you to not just have good grades, but they also want you to be active in the community and sports life. With the workload that teens have nowadays, that’s really difficult to do. And to just make the anxiety worse, about half of teens have a part-time job and about 5 percent work over 20 hours a week at that job.

Oh, but there’s more. Today, we’re more connected than ever to what’s happening around the world; the beauty, the culture, the politics–and also the violence. Teens spend more time on their devices than they do sleeping, which means they’re most definitely getting exposed to this violence that’s happening all over the world. With all the stress of daily school life, a fear of violence can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

So, as I said, there’s no right or perfect answer–it’s probably a mix of the theories above and even more. If you believe someone your know could benefit from anxiety treatment for teens, it’s important to seek out a professional for further guidance.

Solstice East offers anxiety treatment for teens

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18, grappling with depression, anxiety, trauma, and other emotional or behavioral problems. In our residential treatment for teens, we strive to help our girls develop healthy habits and lead themselves back onto a path of success and happiness.

For more information about anxiety treatment for teens at Solstice East, please contact us at  828-484-9946.

People Can Change: New Research on Ways To Cope With Stress In Teenagers

People Can Change: New Research on Ways To Cope With Stress In Teenagers 150 150 se_admin

Teens nowadays are under mounting pressure to do well in school, to have a vibrant social life, and to take part in extracurricular activities. Sometimes juggling all of those elements can lead to a huge amount of stress in teenagers.

Stress is known to have a variety of negative side effects which is why it’s really important to do everything we can to decrease that stress. That’s where some really interesting research, described recently in the New York Times, comes into play.

What’s this new research about?

The research, conducted by David S. Yeager who is an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, discovered a surprisingly effective technique to lower stress levels in teens. stress in teenagers

In two of the studies Yeager conducted, 60 students at a high school in Rochester, NY and 205 freshmen at a high school in Austin, TX participated in reading and writing exercises intended to promote one, specific message: people can change.

Students were told to read a science article which detailed the ways in which an individual’s personality can evolve over time.

In addition to the science articles, students read stories written by high school seniors about their experiences with change during their time in school. One student’s retelling detailed their feeling of exclusion and loneliness earlier on in high school. This student later got involved in extracurriculars and made friends, displaying that people can change their situations.

Students were then asked to take part in a writing assignment which prompted teens to give advice about change to younger students.

Following that, participants took part in exercised intended to induce stress. They were told to give a speech about what makes some teens popular and were then asked to count back from 996 by sevens.

After being put through the ringer with these exercises, students experienced lower levels of stress and were able to better cope with stress in teenagers overall. They were shown to have half the cardiovascular reaction from their control counterparts and their levels of cortisol dropped by 10 percent.  

Meanwhile, teens in the control group had cortisol levels rise by 45 percent. The evidence was clear: by creating a framework of the idea that people can change over time, participants could develop better coping mechanisms.

The second study Yeager conducted involved 205 freshmen, half of whom who had received the aforementioned intervention (reading and writing exercises about change). They were all told to fill out an online diary each day describing stressful events that occurred throughout the day.

For those students who had received the intervention, they showed a 10 percent decrease in cortisol and said they could handle the stress in their diary. Those who hadn’t experienced an 18 percent increase in cortisol and noted that they had trouble handling the stress.

In addition, participants earned higher grades than students in the control group by the end of the semester.

Lowering stress, happier teens

So what does this research tell us? According to Laurence Steinberg, professor of adolescent psychology at Temple University, this research “boost[s] kids’ self-confidence by changing their belief in their own ability to change.”

By feeling like they had the capability to change over time, students felt less stressed out about their current situation. Is this a sustainable intervention? Only time will tell.

Solstice East can help teens struggling with anxiety

Solstice East, a residential treatment center for teen girls ages 14-18, helps girls struggling with anxiety, trauma, depression, and other emotional or behavioral issues.

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

From Generation to Generation: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms in Teenagers

From Generation to Generation: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms in Teenagers 150 150 se_admin

post traumatic stress disorder symptoms in teenagers https://www.flickr.com/photos/ashleyboldaslove/1872850540/in/photolist-3RuRdy-agooV2-7UHRqw-pCZbdV-dNmorf-qmkpY9-b9VJCK-gNb21p-o8nYeK-bjVMbD-62g8Sj-s7K8gk-5fMcNN-8eswZj-jzEJaD-dxoegr-9QcZbU-7Gpzxm-6jusa1-cXzRWS-agBZzc-C4fwE-d1P1nS-4pKZSq-dWJEZ6-aq2yTE-6i6apd-dyuhPJ-VirTZ-ovnBGs-2C3DjZ-4rUgMG-eYKHd7-9uxBe8-dyPFbQ-hiC11p-7dAVGW-91gQk4-nTHqr7-5BdLJg-j3Q6wH-59XrWC-p3YN4g-7Ta1iw-837GAE-rbb1Nw-g9kSie-r9UurX-pgm5Jd-ra2Rgh

According to a recent article by Psych Central, a recent study has found that post traumatic stress disorder symptoms in teenagers may be transmitted to children of holocaust survivors. New research has found that both Holocaust survivors and their offspring show similar genetic changes at the same site, a stress-related gene that has been linked to post traumatic stress disorder symptoms in teenagers.

It has not been unknown that the children of traumatized people are at increased risk for post traumatic stress disorder symptoms in teenagers, as well as mood and anxiety disorders. This new research suggests that paternal trauma is a relevant contributor to offspring biology.

The Research

One of the most intensively studied groups to be studied in regards to post traumatic stress disorder symptoms in teenagers caused by parent trauma, is the group of children of survivors of the Nazi concentration camps. From this work, researchers have been growing evidence and their data by evaluating other studies that have been done.

The researchers examined blood samples of 32 Holocaust survivors and 22 of their adult children for methylation of intron 7, a specific region within the FKBP5 gene. The researchers also studied Jewish parent-offspring pairs as a control group.

The analysis revealed that both Holocaust survivors and their offspring show genetic changes at the same site of FKBP5 intron 7, but in the opposite direction: Holocaust survivors had 10 percent higher methylation than the control parents, while the Holocaust offspring had 7.7 percent lower methylation than the control offspring.

The Meaning of this Research

Researchers state:

“The observation that the changes in parent and child are in opposing directions suggests that children of traumatized parents are not simply born with a PTSD-like biology [post traumatic stress disorder symptoms in teenagers]. They may inherit traits that promote resilience as well as vulnerability.”

This research highlights the need for parents to be more aware of their children’s mental health if they, as parents, have suffered a traumatic experience in their lifetime. If you or your child are dealing with post traumatic stress disorder symptoms in teenagers, there are programs available that can help.

Solstice East can help

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18, grappling with teen depression, anxiety, trauma, and other emotional or behavioral issues. We strive to help our girls lead themselves back onto a path of health and happiness.

For more information about how Solstice East can help your teen, please call 828-484-9946.

Wellbeing in Teens: It’s Okay to Not Be Okay

Wellbeing in Teens: It’s Okay to Not Be Okay 150 150 se_admin
wellbeing in teens

Photo Credit: flickr user – Kleinefotografie, wellbeing in teens

According to a recent article by CNN, maintaining wellbeing in teens can be difficult and that’s okay. In a previous study, researchers studied human happiness and wellbeing in teens. They found that maintaining wellbeing in teens and human happiness isn’t always possible. They found that the saying “You can’t have it all,” is quite true for individuals overall wellbeing.

Happiness Comes in Different Forms

Part of the reasoning is that happiness isn’t just one thing. Jennifer Hecht is a philosopher who studies the history of happiness. Hecht proposes that we all experience different types of happiness, but these aren’t necessarily complementary. She believes that some types of happiness, may actually conflict with one another. Basically, that having too much of one type of happiness may undermine our ability to have enough of the others, making it impossible to “have it all.”

How Our Brains Process Happiness

Maintaining wellbeing in teens is also confounded by the way our brains process the experience of happiness. We’ve all started a sentence with the phrase “Won’t it be great when…” (I go to college, fall in love, have kids, etc.).  We hardly hear people saying “Isn’t this great, right now?” Our past and future aren’t always better than the present, yet our brains continue to process it this way. These are the elements that limit our happiness and wellbeing in teens.

We as a society, work extremely hard to reach a goal, anticipating the happiness it will bring. Unfortunately, according to this research, after a brief fix we quickly slide back to our baseline, ordinary way-of-being and start chasing the next thing we believe will “finally” make us happy. While this may seem depressing, the reality is that dissatisfaction with the present and dreams of the future are what keep us motivated, while warm fuzzy memories of the past reassure us that the feeling we seek can be had. According to the researchers, perpetual bliss would completely undermine our will to accomplish anything at all.

Realistic Happiness

Researchers hope that this news won’t be depressing, but will provide more of a realistic mindset. Understanding that it’s impossible to have happiness in all aspects of life will hopefully help individuals enjoy and better appreciate the happiness that has touched them.

If you have a child who is struggling to achieve wellbeing in teens, there are programs that can help.

Solstice East can help

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18, grappling with teen depression, anxiety, trauma, and other emotional or behavioral issues. We strive to help our girls lead themselves back onto a path of health and happiness.

For more information about how Solstice East handles social media addiction, please call 828-484-9946.