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A Barrier to Success: Teen Jealousy and Judgment

A Barrier to Success: Teen Jealousy and Judgment 150 150 se_admin

Teen jealousy and judgment–they may seem like a normal part of teen life, but they can actually act as a major barrier for future success. When I think of teen jealousy, the movie Mean Girls comes to mind. The “burn book” and constant castigation of others, it’s complete jealousy and judgment. If you haven’t seen this movie, it doesn’t end well for the “mean girls.” Karma for their treatment of others comes back to bite them, but once they move past their judgmental ways, they move towards success. Psychology Today recently published an article discussing ways you can help your teen work past judgment and towards more acceptance.

Fighting teen jealousy and judgment

Jealousy is a common emotion for most people, not just teens. We see a co-worker receive the promotion we were working towards or a friend posts pictures of their new kitchen remodel on social media. It’s easy to see those things and find yourself thinking, “I wish that was me”. It is natural to have those feelings, but what makes a difference is that most adults have enough personal awareness to think “I wish that was me”, but still be able to reflect and be thankful for the things they do have in their life. Adults know that just because someone else is succeeding, that doesn’t mean that there is somehow less success left for everyone else. Teens often have not yet developed these skills. When a friend gets a new iPad or they see a lavish trip a celebrity took on Instagram, they do not understand why they are not having those same experiences. This can lead to spiraling feelings of disappointment and being unfulfilled. This jealousy can also be detrimental to teens’ mental health if they are constantly comparing their lives or themselves to others, and always find themselves lacking. 

As humans, we don’t like being judged–we feel like it’s a threat to us. Yet we often do it to others. That fear of judgement can also lead to feelings of anxiety in social situations. When someone speaks out against what we believe, we feel like it’s an attack on who we are; when someone gets something we want, we feel like it’s unfair. While a strong sense of self is critical for success, it’s also extremely important to be open to others’ opinions. Teen jealousy and judgment can easily become adult jealousy and judgment, which is why parents need to help their teens get past this barrier.

Teen jealousy and judgment will stand in the way of being open to others’ views and perspectives, which will form into a future blockade against further success. To succeed, you often need to listen to other people’s ideas, but with an extreme bias against anything that doesn’t align with your views, it’s hard to do that.

Tips for getting past judgment and conscious bias

We consciously judge others all the time–it may seem innate, but it’s often not. If you look at someone’s hair, for example, and think it’s ridiculous, you may deem the person ridiculous. In reality, that person is probably much more than their hairstyle. Learning how to move past teen jealousy and judgment can be largely beneficial for your child.

Here are some tips on how to do it:

    • Catch Yourself and Think. When you find yourself judging someone, take a moment to second guess yourself. How do you know what you’re thinking about them is true? A lot of the time, our judgements tend to be more of a reflection on our feelings about ourselves rather than the other person. If your reasoning seems flawed at all, it’s probably in your best interest to be more open to that person.
    • Don’t Assume, Assess Your Views. Positive or negative, when you’re acting a certain way, take a moment to question why you’re doing it. We all see a situation through our own lens based on our life experiences. Know that your lens may color the situation from your perspective. If you’re choosing a side without significant reason or evidence, maybe it’s time to take a more flexible perspective on things until you have more information.
    • Ask More Questions. Hear people out, listen to both sides, try to widen your view. You may end up being right, but this way you’re opening yourself up to the possibility that you may be wrong. This is an important skill for you to have beyond just personal relationships, but also romantic and professional relationships as well. You may actually learn something new in the process! 
    • Practice Empathy. For example, if you find yourself making a snap judgement about a friend who has been flaking on you, once you’ve asked some more questions to understand where they are coming from, think about how you would feel in their shoes. Maybe they’re feeling pressure from school or their family and they’re feeling overwhelmed and unable to spend energy on anything else. Maybe they’ve experienced a personal loss and their sadness is making it difficult to reach out. Whatever the reason, try to empathize rather than judge them for not showing up. 
    • Unfollow and Unsubscribe. This may be social media language, but it can apply to real world relationships. Are there relationships that you have or accounts that you follow on social media that always leave you feeling worse? If those hyper aspirational influencers or superficial friends are doing damage to your mental health, know that you can always unfollow or give yourself some space from those people. Surround yourself with supportive friends and follow social media accounts that are honest about the ups and downs of life. 
    • An Attitude of Gratitude. Studies have found that giving thanks and counting blessings can help people sleep better, lower stress and improve interpersonal relationships. Earlier this year, a study found that keeping a gratitude journal decreased materialism and bolstered generosity among adolescents. The simple act of writing down things you are thankful for, whether that’s a particularly tasty coffee at the drive-through, or a friend’s generous support can help remind you of all the things in your life that you have to be thankful for. 

Building community through residential treatment

No matter your age, building a supportive community can be challenging, especially if you are working through years of patterns of jealousy and judgement. Residential treatment centers can help you process the reasons behind those feelings and help young women build confidence and social skills so that they are ready to build healthy peer relationships. 

Cutting-edge neuroscientific research has identified regulation as the key element found in healthy, healing relationships. When regulated, our neurological functions can be centralized in the pre-frontal cortex– the part of the brain involved in rational decision-making.  When dysregulated, our neurological functions are more likely found in the limbic system, the midbrain, or even all the way back in the brain stem.

When stuck in these less rational parts of the brain we tend to display poor emotional boundaries, higher levels of emotional reactivity, and are unable to attune to our own needs—let alone the needs of others. Moments of relational interaction that lack attunement are much more likely to cause damage in a relationship. 

At Solstice East, we help our students and families learn to regulate their emotions through the modalities of mindfulness, relationship therapy, equine-assisted psychotherapy, adventure therapies and art-based therapies. We emphasize this teaching by training every member of our staff how to self-regulate, and how to help a teenager develop her own self-regulation skills. We provide our team with opportunities to implement regulation skills in real-life settings to increase their ability to provide attunement, safety and predictability while in-relationship with your daughter.

It is important for us to highlight that while your daughter is at Solstice East her healing work is not simply limited to the time she spends with her therapist. She is engaged in life-changing therapeutic work every minute of her day as she engages in relationships with each and every member of our talented team. Solstice East creates a safe, secure environment for teenage girls. This allows them to follow a path of self-healing and reflection.

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.

Success in working with young women requires specific and unique areas of emphasis, and sensitivity to how they respond to various approaches to change. As one of the best residential treatment centers, we have created a culture and approach specifically developed to fit the distinctive needs of teenage girls. Whether it is our specifically designed equine approach and addictions programs, or the clinical specialization and collaboration of our therapists, Solstice East is uniquely qualified to address the complex needs of girls in need of healing and growth.

For more information about how Solstice East handles issues related to extreme teen jealousy and judgment, please call 828-484-9946.

eating disorders in teen girls

A Dangerous Situation: Consequences of Eating Disorders in Teen Girls

A Dangerous Situation: Consequences of Eating Disorders in Teen Girls 2560 1707 se_admin

Today’s teenage girls face an onslaught of messages from peers, social media sources, and magazines depicting a sensationalized version of what the ideal female form should look like. Despite recent body positivity campaigns to help promote and celebrate bodies of all shapes and sizes, surveys indicated that 33% of teen girls believed they were overweight and a staggering 56% were attempting to actively lose weight.

A new study in 2020, found that higher numbers of Generation Z adolescents in particular are engaging in dieting practices and increasing exercise to lose weight, and when asked they are likely to overestimate their own weight. Engaging in these practices to lose weight, rather than looking at diet and exercise as a way to promote health and wellbeing, can put adolescents at a much higher rate for developing an eating disorder.

The onset of eating disorders typically occur during pre-adolescence or adolescence, and this effect size is enormous for teen girls as more than 90% of diagnosed eating disorders are found in females. Given the monumental consequences, both short and long term, for developing an eating disorder, it’s imperative for parents to learn about the various types of eating disorders, their symptoms, and treatment options to get their daughters the help they need as early as possible. Research has indicated that early diagnosis and intervention are two key steps toward possible recovery.

Common causes for developing eating disorders

It’s not uncommon for teens to change their eating habits from time, as they may experiment with trying different eating styles such as veganism or vegetarianism, or they may actively try to eat healthier. These changes often pass quickly and spotting these changes in eating patterns can help you determine if there is cause for concern or if your teen is just experimenting with her diet.

While it’s difficult to pinpoint any one cause of developing an eating disorder, there are many factors that may put your daughter at risk. One of the main systemic causes thought to be associated with eating disorders are social attitudes toward body appearance, particularly unrealistic ideals of what a female body should look like. Adolescents are also more likely to be at risk for developing an eating disorder if they come from a family with a history of weight problems, physical illnesses, mental health issues, or a genetic predisposition for eating disorders. An individual history of other mental health disorders such as anxiety, OCD, and problems with substance abuse can also put teen girls at risk for developing an eating disorder.

Family dynamics and participation in athletics can also increase the risk of eating disorders if teens are surrounded by high levels of stress, poor communication, and feel pressure from unrealistically high expectations. This is particularly relevant for athletes as many sports such as ballet, running, wrestling, or gymnastics emphasize leanness in order to be a better competitor.

There are three common eating disorders diagnosed in adolescent girls and each comes with its own set of symptoms and complications. These are binge eating disorder, anorexia, and bulimia.

Common eating disorders and their symptoms

Binge eating disorder is defined as regularly consuming large amounts of food in a short period of time without the ability to control the binges, and subsequently feeling extreme guilt about the binges. Due to the guilt they feel, teens may try to hide their food binges by eating in private and make unsuccessful attempts to diet in order to curb this compulsion. The following are signs your daughter may have a binge eating disorder:

– Eating large amounts of food in short periods of time
– Eating even when they are not hungry
– Eating so much they make themselves physically uncomfortable
– Sneaking or hiding food and eating in private
– Feeling they are unable to control food consumption and feeling depressed or disgusted after binging

Bulimia is also categorized by eating large quantities of food in a short period of time, but it is also marked by purging, where one follows up a binge with compensatory behavior such as vomiting, using laxatives, using enemas, fasting, or excessive exercise. Teens with bulimia will often hide their binge and purge episodes, and can be difficult to detect as they are usually close to a normal weight. Here are some warning signs to look out for:

– Eating large amounts of food with no apparent weight changes
– Hiding food or discarded food containers
– Engaging in excessive exercise
– Frequent trips to the bathroom after meal time
– Inappropriate use of laxatives or diuretics
– Frequently clogged showers or toilets

Lastly, anorexia is categorized by an obsession with thinness and presents by taking extreme measures to avoid eating and control the quantity and quality of the foods that they do eat. Individuals with anorexia also typically experience body dysmorphia in which even after they are at unhealthily low weights they still feel fat and restrict calories because they have a distorted image of their own bodies. Symptoms of anorexia include:

– A distorted view of one’s own body weight, even if they are underweight
– Restricting or discarding food in secret
– Obsessively counting calories and checking nutrition labels
– Denying feeling hungry
– Creating rituals about preparing and eating food
– Exercising compulsively
– Extreme emotional changes such as irritability, depression, and anxiety
– Missing periods or having irregular periods

Developing any of these eating disorders can put your daughter at risk for some severe short and long term negative impacts on physical, mental, and social health.

Short and long term consequences of eating disorders

Struggling with an eating disorder will have many impacts on teen girls not only while they are experiencing the disorder but for years to come as well. Disordering eating can impact a teen’s ability to function normally and participate in all her usual daily activities.

Anorexia’s immediate complications are extremely dangerous and in some cases can be fatal. During the disorder, anorexia can cause fatigue and fainting, a slow heart rate, low blood pressure, heart failure, osteoporosis, muscle loss, kidney failure, and loss of menstruation. In the long run, anorexia increases the risk for having psychological problems, such as developing anxiety and depression, lifelong physical complications such as weakened heart functioning, bone density, gastrointestinal issues, damage to the reproductive system, and organ failure, and neurological issues such as seizures, disordered thinking, and numbness in the hands or feets. Some impacts, such as severe bone loss, can be irreversible.

Bulimia can immediately cause dehydration, an electrolyte imbalance, irregular heartbeat, heart failure, tooth decay, acid reflux, inflammation or eruption of the esophagus, and intestinal distress. Many of these consequences will dissipate once a person recovers from bulimia but there are also lingering long term health impacts due to the period of poor nutrition. These include diabetes, brittle bones, dental problems, and reproductive difficulties such as infrequent menstrual periods.

In the short term, binge eating disorder can cause emotional issues such as shame, guilt, social isolation, physical complications such as weight gain and fatigue, and mental issues such as anxiety and depression. The long term consequences of binge eating disorder are those most often associated with being overweight and include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, liver and gallbladder disease, and sleep apnea.

These complications, both in the short and long term, signal an importance to get your daughter treatment as soon as possible, as earlier interventions are known to have a more positive impact on the healing journey.

How to get help if your daughter is struggling with an eating disorder

There are many ways you can help prevent and treat eating disorders in your child. Families can play an essential role in preventing eating disorders by knowing the key risk factors and opening up a dialogue surrounding nutrition, body image, and health. Some key strategies in prevention are dispelling common eating disorder myths, discouraging dieting behaviors, eating meals as a family, avoiding weight talk including teasing about weight, focusing on healthy eating habits, and discussing healthy behaviors that promote well-being rather than weight maintenance.

Eating disorder treatment often takes a multidisciplinary approach and can include medical, psychiatric, individual, and family therapy along with nutritional rehabilitation aimed at restoring a healthy body weight. Because of the many health complications associated with eating disorders, it’s common for treatment to require close supervision of a medical profession, either in in-patient or out-patient treatment facilities. In some cases, medication may be administered if psychological conditions such as anxiety and depression are also present.

A variety of therapies has been found to be effective in treating eating disorders. Individual therapy will usually involve behavioral and cognitive techniques and group therapy allows individuals to find a safe place where they can open up about their struggles and relate to others experiencing similar challenges. Family therapy is also common and focuses on supporting the family in nutritional rehabilitation and how to navigate mental health issues. Nutritional therapy or counselling can provide your daughter with nutrition education, meal planning, and goal setting, which seeks to help her cultivate a healthier relationship with food for life-long change.

If your daughter is struggling with an eating disorder and the associated complications, Solstice East can provide her the all-encompassing and supportive care she needs to put her on the path toward healing.

Solstice East Can Help

Solstice East is a top-rated residential treatment center specializing in the treatment of adolescent females ages 14-17. We offer on-site equine therapy, an accredited academic schedule, and world-class therapeutic programming to treat a wide range of trauma and disorders including eating disorders, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. Our clients receive a unique combination of therapeutic methods stemming from traditional and holistic mental health treatments that are age and gender specific.

Through relationship-based programming, we help students restore and rebuild healthy, trusting relationships with their families, peers, teachers, and staff. Our groundbreaking approach allows our students to heal while compiling skills and practices to best serve them throughout their life journey. For more information, please call (828) 759-5903.

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.

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.

The Eating Disorder That Goes Undiscussed: Binge Eating In Teens

The Eating Disorder That Goes Undiscussed: Binge Eating In Teens 150 150 se_admin

Binge eating disorder is an eating disorder that not many people talk about. Stuffing your face with an entire gallon of ice cream or an entire pizza due to a recent breakup or some other emotional distress may not be the healthiest way to express emotional distress, but it certainly is not the same as binge eating in teens. Binge eating disorder is a serious mental health issue which is characterized by the consumption of large amounts of food in a very short period of time while feeling like these behaviors are out of your control.

What does binge eating in teens look like?

Unlike anorexia and bulimia, “purging” is not a characteristic of binge eating in teens.  Most people struggling with binge eating disorder are overweight or obese. There are those, however, who control their weight through dieting. 

Binge eating in teens usually occurs over a set period of time (for example, an individual may binge for 2 hours each time). Binge eaters feel like their eating is out of control during those periods of time. Some describe the experience as trance-like. They can’t stop themselves no matter how hard they try.

Like other eating disorders, binge eating disorder can be influenced negative thoughts about one’s body and stress. No one knows the exact cause of binge eating teens, but other risk factors include:

  • Family history: If someone else in your family suffers from binge eating disorder or another eating disorder, you are more likely to develop one yourself.
  • Dieting: People who have dieted frequently in the past are more at risk for binge eating disorder than infrequent dieters.
  • Being a teenager or in your 20s: The age group that is the most at risk for binge eating disorder is late teens through 20s.

Binge eating in teens is linked to psychiatric disorders like bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, and substance use.

Getting treatment for binge eating in teens

Binge eating in teens is a serious mental health issue that should be diagnosed and treated as soon as parents see the signs. Medication and talk therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, have been known to be effective treatments for this disorder.

Sending your teen to an inpatient residential treatment facility after most of their symptoms have been treated might be the next step you teen needs to make a full recovery.

Solstice East can help

Solstice East, a residential treatment center for teen girls ages 14-17, can help your struggling daughter find success. Solstice East help girls struggling with depression, mild disordered eating, anxiety, and trauma-related issues.

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

A Disorder With Hard Days: ADHD symptoms in teens

A Disorder With Hard Days: ADHD symptoms in teens 150 150 se_admin

It’s like a sugar rush on steroids. It’s in one ear and out the other. But if your teen has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), they may not be doing it on purpose.

ADHD symptoms in teens take many forms, with the three main features being inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Everyone can have a day or two with any of these tendencies, but if any of them last longer than six months, they may be ADHD symptoms in teens.

Hyperactive, Impulsive, Inattentive

Recognizing the ADHD symptoms in teens early is paramount – as with any illness, the longer it goes untreated, the more difficult it is to deal with in the future. Telltale ADHD symptoms in teens include fidgeting, restlessness, excessive talking, interrupting, and impatience on the hyperactivity side. Inattentiveness usually manifests itself in not caring about little details, seeming not to listen even when spoken to directly, being disorganized, missing deadlines, trouble focusing, and forgetfulness. A hyperactive teen might seem rude and in need of immediate gratification; an inattentive teen might seem lethargic or “spacey”.

If your child exhibits any of the standard ADHD symptoms in teens, it is important to remember to be supportive. ADHD can have rough moments, but with a good attitude even the worst of the days will pass. Keeping calm and not getting into power struggles or shouting matches with your teen will make matters easier; ADHD often causes teens to be argumentative or more prone to risky behaviors, so remaining rational and fair will prevent your teen from getting worked up. Setting a consistent system of limits and rewards will provide positive reinforcement and encourage your teen to obey your rules and guidelines. A healthy routine including a balanced diet, exercise, and regular sleep will also mitigate the effects of ADHD.

If you have difficulty controlling your teen’s ADHD, it might be time to consider professional help.

Solstice East can help

If your daughter is struggling with behavioral problems related to ADHD,  Solstice East can help. For more information about Solstice East, please call (855) 672-7058.

What is your teen doing online? The dangers of teen social media use

What is your teen doing online? The dangers of teen social media use 150 150 se_admin

What’s your teen doing at this very second? Chances are the answer is either at school, on social media, or both simultaneously. Nowadays, teens communicate with their friends pretty much exclusively through social media and texting. According to a report by Common Sense Media, teens spend about nine hours a day using media for their enjoyment. Teen social media use is off the charts. As a parent, how are you going to protect your teen from the dangers of social media? What dangers are you protecting your teen from?

The dangers of teen social media use

Teens social media use isn’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, it’s the way teens communicate with each other. On some forms of social media, teens form supportive communities where they can freely express their ideas and start a conversation. However, not all of teen social media use is so well intentioned. Sometimes teen social media use leads to exposure to cyberbullying and sharing more of themselves than they should. Here are some things to look out for while your teen is surfing the web:

  1. What’s on the web, stays there forever: If your teen has gone to a party and she takes a picture of herself with drug or alcohol paraphernalia that ends up on social media, that picture will be traceable forever. Even if she eventually deletes the photo, internet archives will allow future employers to see that photo long afterwards.
  2. Be wary of strangers online: Social media makes it very easy for your teen to interact with strangers on a daily basis. Not all of these strangers are well intentioned. Your teen is well aware of the “stranger danger” idea. But you need to show them a few examples of what could happen if they give strangers too much information about themselves (stalking, stealing financial info, etc.)
  3. Cyberbullying: This is a major issue affecting millions of teens across the world. Cyberbullying is so dangerous because it can happen anywhere. It follows your teen wherever they go, hanging over their head like a shadow. If your teen tries to hide what they are doing on the computer or has recently been behaving strangely (sad for no apparent reason, irritable, etc.) they may be experiencing cyberbullying.
  4. Damaging to self esteem: On social media, your teen is constantly comparing herself to her peers. These comparisons can damage your teen’s self confidence and self esteem.

Solstice East can help

Teen social media use has its positive aspects and its dangers. If your teen daughter is struggling with emotional and/or behavioral difficulties such as depression, anxiety, and defiance, consider Solstice East. Solstice East is a residential treatment center for teen girls ages 14-18 that can help your teen find success.

For more information about Solstice East, please call (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.

 

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.

Reefer Madness: Preventing Marijuana use in teens

Reefer Madness: Preventing Marijuana use in teens 150 150 se_admin

Many teenagers experiment with marijuana use. The amount of peer pressure from friends, and portrayal of marijuana use in the media can affect how a teenager decides whether to smoke marijuana or not. Parents play an extremely important role in educating their children about the associated risks of using drugs.

In the majority of the United States, buying and marijuana use is against the law. However, with teen marijuana use use at its highest in 30 years it is now more important than ever to raise the awareness to your teen about how to avoid peer pressure and help them educate themselves.

Parents and Prevention

The best way to aide your child in preventing drug use is talking with them in an honest and open way. The following are tips for how to discuss marijuana use with your child: 

  1. Ask your child what they have heard about marijuana use. Attentively listen and do not make any interruptions. It is important for children to express themselves freely, and feel safe when doing so. Avoid becoming angry, or making negative comments.
  2. Offer your child the risks and consequences of using illegal substances
  3. Ask your child to give examples of the effects of drug use to ensure that they understand what you have spoken about.

Identifying Marijuana Use

If you are unsure of how to spot signs of marijuana use, below are some of the common signs of marijuana use:

  • Dizziness
  • Acting silly for no reason
  • Hungrier than usual
  • Red eyes or use of eye drops
  • Increased irritability or grumpiness
  • Reduced motivation and lack of interest in usual activities
  • Trouble remembering things that just happened
  • A smell on clothes
  • Having pipes or rolling papers

Many teens think that they won’t end up with problems related to marijuana use, so it is important to begin discussing the risks with your child early and continue this discussion over time. Talking openly with your teen will help with prevention. If your child is already using, open communication about your child’s drug use is imperative.

If you feel that you and your family need more assistance, please call Solstice East today at 828-484-9946. The experts there are ready to help you find out if wilderness therapy is right for your family.

Keep Calm and Carry On: The Importance of Calm Parenting

Keep Calm and Carry On: The Importance of Calm Parenting 150 150 se_admin

When your daughter is screaming at you about some minor chore you asked her to do, you might feel like screaming back at her and possibly breaking some objects. But you shouldn’t do that. Calm parenting is the way to go. Speaking to your teen in a soft, but firm voice does so much more for their behavior than yelling at them.

Why calm parenting?

Yelling at your kids can cause them some serious damage to their psyche. “Studies have shown that parents who express a lot of anger in front of their kids end up with less empathetic children. These kids are more aggressive and more depressed than peers from calmer families, and they perform worse in school. Anger has a way of undermining a kid’s ability to adapt to the world,” says psychologist Matthew McKay, Ph.D., a professor at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA, and coauthor of When Anger Hurts Your Kids. Calm parenting is important because your teen learns from example. If you’re angry and aggressive, your teen will be too. 

Calming down

It’s tough to not fly off the handle when faced with an insubordinate, defiant teen. But you really shouldn’t. Here are some things you can do to ensure calm parenting:

  • Prepare yourself before it happens. There’s usually a certain time of day where emotions run high. Get ready for that moment by thinking of yourself as a parent over what you’re feeling at that moment.
  • Take deep breaths. Inhaling and exhaling through your diaphragm has proven calming effects.
  • Get up early. Taking time for yourself is so important to your mental and physical health. Do some morning exercises or read a chapter from a good book.
  • Exercise. Do yoga or make time for a daily jog. Exercise reduces stress, leading to a calmer you!
  • Be silly. If things are getting heated, making a joke, or doing a funny dance can turn the situation around pretty rapidly.
  • Make a commitment not to lose it. Promising that you’ll keep your cool to yourself is the first step to calm parenting.

Solstice East can help

If your teen girl is struggling with emotional and behavioral issues and calm parenting isn’t cutting it anymore, consider Solstice East. Solstice East is a residential treatment center for teen girls ages 14-18 that utilizes a holistic clinical approach to therapy. We help girls struggling with issues such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse.

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