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Mental Issues

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.

The Dark Passenger: Symptoms of Depression in Teens

The Dark Passenger: Symptoms of Depression in Teens 150 150 se_admin

Teen depression comes with many faces. The picture you might have of a sad, unkempt teen alone in a dark room playing loud screamo music is not what depression usually looks like. In fact, teen depression may take the face of a peppy cheerleader or a hard working bookworm. Because of this, it’s important to recognize the symptoms of depression in teens.

Light in the darkness

By knowing what the symptoms of depression in teens are, you can ensure that your teen finds the help they need as quickly as possible. Symptoms of depression in teens are displayed through emotional and behavioral changes. These include: 

Emotional Changes

  • Loss of interest in one loved activities 
  • Difficulties thinking, making decisions, recalling things, and concentrating 
  • Feelings of anger over small, insignificant matters
  • Irritable and frustrated
  • Feeling guilty and worthless
  • Blaming self for past failures, excessive self criticism
  • Feeling sad all the time
  • Frequent crying spells for no reason at all
  • Thoughts of death, suicide, and dying.
  • Need be reassured constantly that they’re doing well
  • Have a bleak outlook on life, such as “life is worthless”
  • Extreme sensitivity to failure and rejection

Behavioral Changes

  • Complaints of unexplained headaches and body aches
  • Self harm, including cutting, burning, excessive piercing and tattooing.
  • Poor school performance
  • Cutting or skipping class
  • Changes in eating and sleep patterns
  • Substance abuse
  • Slowed speech and movements
  • Agitation, unable to sit still
  • Risky behavior such as reckless driving, unsafe sex, and shoplifting

Symptoms of depression in teens vary from person to person, but it’s important to spot the signs before it’s too late. Teen depression sometimes coincides with other emotional and behavioral issues like anxiety, ADHD and OCD. Because of this, it’s important to get your teen help as soon as possible.

Solstice East can help

If your daughter is experiencing symptoms of depression, consider sending her to a residential program to get the help she needs. Solstice East is a residential treatment center for teen girls ages 14-18 struggling with depression, anxiety, self esteem issues, and other emotional and behavioral issues. With a caring, experienced staff, Solstice East can guide your daughter along a path towards healing.

Solstice East takes a holistic approach to therapy, treating the entire individual rather than a specific “problem area”. Solstice East helps teens build healthy relationships, develop principle driven internal motivations, and learn through experiential therapy.

For more information about how Solstice East can help your teen displaying symptoms of depression, 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.


Suicidal Ideation is Still a Big Issue for Teenagers

Suicidal Ideation is Still a Big Issue for Teenagers 150 150 se_admin

According to the CDC, suicide is the third leading cause of death for those between the ages of 10 to 24. Along with this, in a survey of teens in grades 9 to 12, 16 percent reported “seriously considering suicide.” That’s four out of every 25 teens that you know.

Out of the number of teens that commit suicide, 90 percent of them suffer from a mental health issue. This emphasizes the need to be aware of the danger of suicidal ideation and how to identify if your teen is at risk.

What exactly is suicidal ideation?

Suicidal ideation can vary from being a fleeting thought of suicide to obsession and eventual intent to commit suicide. This is usually associated with mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety. However, studies show that life changing events and other stressful factors can also contribute to suicidal ideation.

Some are more at risk than others

The teen years are already an emotional, physical and social roller coaster, but there are certain aspects that make a teen more susceptible to suicidal thoughts than others. These can vary from having a recent loss in the family to having a mental illness. A few things that increase the risk of suicidal ideation include: anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, lost a friend/family member recently, family history of suicide, trauma or a recent life changing experience (i.e. moving).

Catching the signs

No one is immune to suicidal thoughts. Of course some are more at risk to turn to suicidal ideation than others, but it can happen to anyone; your child is not exempted. This is why it’s important to recognize the signs that your teen is struggling with suicidal ideation.

A few signs that your teen might be battling suicidal thoughts include: 

  • Issues focusing/thinking clearly
  • Lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Low self-esteem
  • Reckless behavior
  • Substance abuse
  • Uncontrolled emotions
  • Varied eating/sleeping patterns
  • Withdrawal from friends, family, school, etc.

Getting help for your teen

If you think your teen might be struggling with suicidal ideation, seek help immediately. Many programs, therapies and treatments exist in order to help your child. Traditional therapeutic methods are not always a large enough intervention, though. That’s where Solstice East can help.

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for struggling teen girls, ages 14 to 18. We help girls with issues such as depression, suicidal ideation, anxiety, and many more. We’re here to help your family repair and reconnect.

For more information about how Solstice can help your family, contact us today at 828-484-9946.