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Mental Issues

Importance of Art Education: Classes Help Kids with Autism 

Importance of Art Education: Classes Help Kids with Autism  150 150 se_admin

Experts Are Arguing the Importance of Art Education in Autism

The importance of art education is something that has been continuously debated within our society. Many people believe that there is no need for art education to be included in school curriculum. Children only need to learn the fundamental skills including math, science, English, or history. But others believe that the arts provide a form of education that challenges students who don’t always excel in the fundamental curriculum. If you’re on the edge in what you think, experts today argue the importance of art education for kids with Autism. A recent article by Romper discusses how art education can improve social skills for kids with Autism.

School Integration

Recently, more schools have been integrating students with high-functioning Autism into traditional classrooms. While this provides multiple benefits for Autistic children and their peers, it can have its challenges when it comes to social interactions. Experts argue the importance of art education for this reason. They believe certain art classes like drama, can help kids with autism learn social skills and help them in real-world interactions. Drama class exercises like role-play and improve, provide kids with high-functioning Autism experience and practice at common social interactions.

Theory of The Importance of Art Education

Researchers tested the theory of the importance of art education in Autism on a group of Autistic children studying at the SENSE Theatre program run by Blythe Corbette, an associate professor of psychiatry at Vanderbilt University. In this program Corbette and a group of specially trained “peer models”, taught kids with high-functioning Autism basic drama exercises. They compared the children in her program with a control group. She found that the drama students were better able to recognize faces, understand different perspectives, and regulate anxiety. Brain imaging also revealed that their brains were more similar to those of children without Autism.

The Benefits of Art Education

Corbette explains that these changes occurred because improvisation exercises require the participants to be flexible and rely on the social cues of their partners. Many children with Autism rely on internal scripts to deal with social interactions, which makes acting a language they’re already familiar with. Children with Autism can experience challenges with verbal and non-verbal communication. A child with Autism’s inability to interact in socially acceptable ways can lead to negative experiences and responses from their peers, including bullying and avoidance. This research reveals the importance of art education remaining a part of school curriculum. The importance of art education is not only shown in Autism but also for kids who simply struggle with social skills. Drama therapy teaches social skills in a fun and enjoyable way. Art education can drastically benefit a kid’s life, much more than a basic math equation or fact about history.

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 art education, please call 828-484-9946!

Teen Anxiety: More Common in Young Women

Teen Anxiety: More Common in Young Women 150 150 se_admin

Research Suggests That Women Are More Likely to Experience Teen Anxiety

Teen anxiety disorders can make life extremely difficult for individuals. Typical symptoms of teen anxiety disorder include increased worrying, tension, tiredness, and fear. These symptoms in teens often prevent them from living normal lives and keeping up with their everyday routines. It can be detrimental to their success in school and on their relationships with their peers. Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental disorder present within the general population. The CDC estimates that the lifetime prevalence of teen anxiety and other anxiety disorders is more than 15 percent. A recent article by Medical News Today, states that a review of previous research has found that teen anxiety is more common in young women.

The Research

Researchers led by the University of Cambridge, examined the findings of 48 reviews of anxiety studies. The reviews included content on the development of teen anxiety, anxiety in relation to addiction, and anxiety related to other health conditions like cancer and heart disease. On top of this, the reviews also looked at anxiety in different settings, including clinical, community, and different places around the globe.

Conclusion

According to the reviews, the group of people who were most affected by teen anxiety and other anxiety disorders were young women and people with other health conditions. Around 4 in every 100 people overall are reported to experience a form of anxiety. The United States has one of the highest rates of anxiety in the world. While anxiety disorders are a growing area of interest for research, there are limitations on what existing research is present. Select groups are underrepresented in reviews that the researchers looked at. Even with a reasonably large number of studies of anxiety disorder, data about marginalized groups is hard to find. These are the people who are likely to be at a greater risk than the general population.

By identifying these gaps, future research can be directed towards marginalized groups and include greater understanding of how findings can help reduce individual and population burdens brought on by teen anxiety or other anxiety disorders. It is important to understand how common teen anxiety and other anxiety disorders are and which groups of people are at a greater risk.

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!

Eating Disorder Behaviors

Eating Disorder Behaviors 150 150 se_admin

A General Understanding of Eating Disorder Behaviors

When people envision someone with eating disorder behaviors, the most common image is of a young, thin, Caucasian female. But the reality is that anyone can be struggling with eating disorder behaviors, including your brother, best friend, father, or mother. Eating disorder behaviors do not differentiate based on gender, age, social status, body size, race, or ethnicity. While anyone can have an eating disorder, girls often struggle with stereotypical expectations from their peers to be skinny, voluptuous, and beautiful. They are life-threatening mental illnesses and are often highly misunderstood. An article by Psychology Today discusses how to recognize eating disorder behaviors.

How We Judge the Conditions of an Eating Disorder

Eating disorders are one of the few mental illnesses where we base an individual’s level of suffering on their physical appearance. But what people often forget is that eating disorder behaviors can have drastic mental and physical consequences on individuals who show no physical signs of an eating disorder. Many people with eating disorder behaviors appear to meet our societal standard of healthy or may even be considered overweight. Eating disorder behaviors are considered characteristics of mental illnesses, and should never be determined based on someone’s weight.

The Misconceptions

It the misconceptions and stigmas that are contributing to the lack of understanding about what eating disorder behaviors are. The myth that you can tell someone has an eating disorder based on their appearance can be detrimental to those who don’t fit that stereotypical mold. Individuals with eating disorder behaviors may not seek treatment, receive support, or could remain in denial about their illness because they think there is a specific “look” for having an eating disorder. Eating disorders can appear in people of all sizes. Our society frequently considers skinny individuals who compulsively exercise and have restrictive behaviors to be sick. Yet, when an overweight person does the same they are encouraged for working on their physical well-being. Eating disorder behaviors can be deadly, but with the right treatment options people can gain the support and recovery they need.

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 disordered eating, please call 828-484-9946!

New Study Helps Shed Light on Adult and Teen Depression

New Study Helps Shed Light on Adult and Teen Depression 150 150 se_admin

Adult and teen depression affects many lives and any research clarifying how it works is helpful in treatment. ScienceDaily recently reported on a new University College London (UCL) study concerning a part of the brain labeled the habenula. This tiny part of the brain reacts to unpleasant experiences, making it of interest for understanding adult and teen depression.

What the study found

The results were surprising to the researchers conducting the study. It’s been long thought that the habenula is hyperactive within people with depression, which also helps in driving the symptoms of adult and teen depression. But when they tested this theory, they got the opposite result. Instead, the habenula reacted less in people struggling with depression.

Between the individuals who had never been depressed and those that had, there was no difference in habenula size. Although, they did find that overall–never-depressed and depressed–that those with a smaller habenula had more anhedonia symptoms (a loss of pleasure or interest in life).    

Now researchers understand the habenula’s role in adult and teen depression a little more clearly. They think the habenula may aid us in moving past or avoiding unpleasant memories or thoughts–but when messed with, we may be more prone to focus on negative experiences.

What this means for teen depression

More than 1 in 10 teens, ages 12 to 17, have experienced extreme teen depression at some point. Many effective treatments exist today, but those treatments don’t always work for everyone; this makes it still extremely important to seek out new information concerning teen depression. This study doesn’t solve teen depression, but it helps researchers further understand what causes and drives it to persist.

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 Solstice East, please call 828-484-9946.

More than “Being Difficult”: Oppositional Defiant Disorder in Teens

More than “Being Difficult”: Oppositional Defiant Disorder in Teens 150 150 se_admin

We all know the most common aspect of teenage girls: they’re difficult. Sometimes it is more than the common “difficult”, though. Oppositional defiant disorder in teens is characterized by frequent arguing, irritability, vindictiveness, anger, and defiance toward parents and other authority figures. If this sounds familiar, your daughter may need to be treated for oppositional defiant disorder in teens.

What is oppositional defiant disorder and how common is it?

From the US National Library of Medicine, oppositional defiant disorder in teens is “a pattern of disobedient, hostile, and defiant behavior toward authority figures.” The authority figures can be you–the parent–and teachers, other adults, etc. Consistent excessively hateful or uncooperative behavior is a serious concern that can affect parts of a teen’s academic, social, and family life.

Defiant and oppositional behavior is fairly common among young people, it’s what makes teenagers so difficult, but oppositional defiant disorder in teens is different. Some studies place the statistic at 1 to 20 percent of school age kids being affected by this disorder, but it is hard to pin down because of changing attitudes of what is considered “normal” behavior.  

Signs of oppositional defiant disorder

Figuring out the difference between regular behavior and behavior related to oppositional defiant disorder in teens can be a hard task for parents. From the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, common signals of oppositional defiant disorder in teens include:

  • Excessive arguing with adults
  • Questions rules often
  • Frequent temper tantrums and outbursts
  • Actively defies or refuses to comply with adult rules and requests
  • Blames others for mistakes
  • Deliberately tries to upset or annoy others
  • Easily annoyed by others
  • Persistent anger and resentment
  • Revenge seeking and spiteful
  • Hateful or mean speech when upset

If you believe your child may be struggling with oppositional defiant disorder, it’s imperative to reach out for professional guidance. Ignored ODD can lead to many future complications in your child’s life and treating it as soon as possible will have the best effects.

Solstice East can help

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

For more info about how Solstice East treats oppositional defiant disorder in teens, please call 828-484-9946!

 

Bullying in Teen Girls and Boys a “Public Health Problem”

Bullying in Teen Girls and Boys a “Public Health Problem” 150 150 se_admin

In a recent article by CNN, the dangerous effects of bullying on young minds is examined. The prevalence of bullying in teen girls hasn’t changed much, but part of it has transferred to online instead of taking place in the schoolyard. Bullying has the power to turn a young girl’s world upside down. It has the ability to affect academic performance and seriously damage health–mentally and physically. In a report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; it was stated that bullying needs to be perceived as a “serious public health problem” because of the immense damage it can inflict on young people.

The effects of bullying in teen girls

Bullying takes its toll on a child mentally and physically. Not only can it cause depression, anxiety, and lead to substance abuse, it can physically manifest itself by causing headaches, sleep deprivation, and gastrointestinal issues. Researchers in the report noted that bullying can affect the part of the brain associated with the stress response system; it messes with regulating emotions and cognitive functions.

The bullied are not the only ones who experience harsh effects; the bullies also suffer. Both children who are bullied and bully others have a higher chance of attempting or thinking about suicide. Bullies are more likely to struggle with depression, engage in risky behaviors (ex. drug use), and have a greater chance of lower social and psychological futures.

Bullying is on the rise

The prevalence of bullying was discussed in the article. It was found that around 18 to 31 percent of children experience effects from bullying; while cyberbullying was only around 7 to 15 percent, but was considered rising. Kids who identify as LGBT, have less friends of the same ethnicity, are obese, or disabled are at a higher risk for being bullied.

How to deal with bullying

Schools are actively working to combat bullying, but they can only do so much. Parents have a duty to educate their children about the dangers of bullying in teen girls and boys. Make sure your child knows they have your support if they do experience bullying. Emphasize the importance of not bullying others and alerting an adult if they witness bullying.

Solstice East can help

Solstice East is a residential treatment center that treats young women, ages 14 to 18, experiencing anxiety, depression, trauma, other emotional or behavioral issues, and handles issues that have arisen due to bullying in teen girls. We strive to help our girls work towards a successful future.

For more information about how Solstice East handles bullying in teen girls, please call 828-484-9946.

A Depression Residential Treatment Center Could Help Your Child

A Depression Residential Treatment Center Could Help Your Child 150 150 se_admin

Finding help for your daughter with depression is a difficult task when there are so many options available. Usually, the first step is traditional therapy; when that doesn’t work, parents struggle to know what to do next. A depression residential treatment center may be the next step forward.

What is a depression residential treatment center?

Most residential treatment centers for adolescents can act as a depression residential treatment center. Depression is a common issue among teens, making it a priority for residential treatment centers to be able to cater to those suffering from it. A residential treatment center is an inpatient medical program that provides treatment for issues such as behavioral issues, substance abuse, and mental illnesses.

How traditional therapy and residential treatment centers differ

  1. Chance to Apply Therapy: In traditional therapy, your child gets through the session and then goes out into a world that doesn’t encourage her to try it out. In a depression residential treatment center (or residential treatment centers in general), your child is in a therapeutic environment that emboldens young women to try out the lessons they just learned in therapy.
  2. Learning Transferable Skills: The skills your daughter will learn in a depression residential treatment center are meant to be transferred back home. That way, they’re not only getting a helpful therapeutic experience, but also something they can apply when they return to their life back at home.
  3. Immersed in a Therapeutic Experience: Sometimes traditional therapy doesn’t provide the level of therapy a troubled teen needs, that’s where residential treatment centers come in. A depression residential treatment center gives a larger intervention than traditional therapy. It provides a constant therapeutic experience that includes caring, trained staff; licensed, clinical professionals; and a program designed to give the best individualized care.

Solstice East can help

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for young women, ages 14-18, grappling with trauma, depression, anxiety, and other behavioral or mental issues. Through our nurturing and structured program, families heal and young women move towards a brighter future.

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

Overcrowded, Overwhelmed: Social Anxiety in Teen Girls

Overcrowded, Overwhelmed: Social Anxiety in Teen Girls 150 150 se_admin

Shyness is natural. Shyness can be dealt with easily. Social anxiety in teen girls is not shyness. Untreated social anxiety puts life on hold, makes it hard to go to class, and keeps kids from reaching their full potential. It can be hard to see the differences between regular timidness and social anxiety in teen girls, but parents need to be able to recognize them in order to help.

What is social anxiety?

According to Mayo Clinic, social anxiety is an intense fear of being embarrassed or judged by others in social interactions and public places. Social anxiety in teen girls is slightly more prevalent than in boys. It typically develops in the adolescent years, but sometimes can begin earlier. This type of anxiety disorder has the power to disrupt daily life and make even routine activities problematic. Shyness or introverted behavior is sometimes confused with social anxiety, but it’s very different. While introvertedness can be handled, social anxiety often cannot.

Characteristics of social anxiety in teens

Catching social anxiety early-on guarantees a greater chance of successfully controlling and treating it. Ignoring the signs and hoping your daughter is just a diehard introvert will probably end in a worsened social anxiety disorder. Some of the typical signs of social anxiety in teen girls include:

  • Strong fear of criticism
  • Intense worry over social interactions
  • Extremely self-aware and critical
  • Frequent tantrums/episodes when faced with a social situation
  • Frequent sweating, shaking, or hyperventilating
  • School/social situation avoidance

Solstice East and social anxiety in teen girls

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for struggling teen girls, ages 14-18. Our girls commonly deal with issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma, and more. With our caring environment and comprehensive therapeutic programming, our girls get the best individual treatment we can give.

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.

Winter is Coming: Helping teens with Seasonal Affective Disorder

Winter is Coming: Helping teens with Seasonal Affective Disorder 150 150 se_admin

As the leaves begin to change, and the air takes on a crispness that you may or may not have missed, one thing is for certain: winter is coming. Post Thanksgiving, if your teen daughter begins to feel sad or detached, it’s probably not because of the turkey. She may have seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

What is SAD?

Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is a type of depression that only appears at a certain time of the year. The most common form of seasonal affective disorder is the one that appears around winter time. It’s more than just the “winter blues”; it’s something that should be taken as seriously as depression normally is. Teens with seasonal affective disorder experience a shift in mood for at least two weeks out of the year. Your daughter may feel a sense of hopelessness and worthlessness, and may be overly self-critical.

Another symptom of seasonal affective disorder is excessive sleep. If, during the winter months, your daughter begins feeling extremely tired and sleeping for much longer than eight hours a day, that may be a sign she has seasonal affective disorder. Additionally, if your teen begins to become unfocused and suffer academically during the winter months, it may be a sign of seasonal affective disorder.

Treating SAD

When seasonal affective disorder strikes, it may feel like your daughter is spiralling into a dark place. But there are a few ways you can bring her back into the light. These include:

  1. Light therapy: Light therapy can be used to treat stronger symptoms of seasonal affective disorder. Treatment is thought to be more effective during the morning, and almost 80 percent of patients with SAD repeat a reduction in symptoms after light therapy.
  2. Get her outside: For some people with seasonal affective disorder, going outside can really help reduce symptoms. Just being out in the sun is important for people with SAD because seasonal affective disorder is thought to be caused by a decreased exposure to sunlight.
  3. Get her active: Just like other forms of depression, symptoms of seasonal affective disorder can be reduced by exercise. Get your daughter active during the winter months, even if it’s super cold out.
  4. Help her develop a sleep routine: Getting eight hours of sleep is important to reduce symptoms. This may be hard for her, because she may feel overly tired all the time. However, this is an important step to treating her depression.

Solstice East can help

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for teen girls ages 14-18. With a caring, experienced staff and a clinically intensive program, Solstice East can help your daughter with depression.

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