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healthy living and PTSD

Mind and Body: Healthy Living and PTSD

Mind and Body: Healthy Living and PTSD 5760 3840 se_admin

Healthy Living and PTSD are interconnected during the treatment process. While one is working to cope with the symptoms of PTSD, healthy living should also be made a priority. Research from PsychCentral talks about how “the nervous system and brain do not operate separately from the physical body. When we are hurt emotionally and mentally, leveraging the power of lifestyle change should be an important part of the treatment process and effective recovery.”

Making the choice to lead a healthy lifestyle can be challenging because one may not know where to start. After all, starting is the hardest part. Addressing both diet and exercise should be included in pursuing healthy living habits. If your young adult has PTSD, you know how the symptoms can be sometimes overwhelming to cope with. Coming up with a plan to get on a healthy track is important so that things do not worsen for you loved one. Here are two very critical components in ensuring a healthier lifestyle:

Food and Fuel

Diet plays a huge role in one’s overall mental health and wellbeing. Did you know nutrition affects the structure and function of the brain? Studies show that a diet high in sugar and processed carbs can increase one’s risk of depression. Individuals should prioritize eating foods like fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, and fish which have a beneficial impact on mood and body.

Get Moving for More Benefits

Exercise offers many benefits towards the brain and functioning of the nervous system. Studies show that there are lower anxiety and depression rates in those who exercise regularly. Given that these are common mental health issues associated with PTSD, exercising is an important way to help prevent and cope. Yoga and/or aerobic activity offers limitless benefits towards ones physical and emotional wellbeing.

Solstice East can help

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for young women ages 14-18 struggling with behavior and emotional issues such as those that can stem from peer-relationship struggles. 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 (855) 672-7058.

how to help a teen with PTSD

A Parent’s Guide: How To Help A Teen with PTSD

A Parent’s Guide: How To Help A Teen with PTSD 640 525 se_admin

Teens who suffer from PTSD find coping to be extremely difficult. A recent study revealed that memories that come from traumatic events change according to the individual’s perception of the world around them. Naturally, we fill in gaps to make things make sense in our head. The same happens when individuals recount a traumatic event. Events from the past become tailored to meet the individuals understanding of the world and how they believe things happened. This fascinating discovery helps researchers to gain new answers as to how PTSD affects the brain.

Five Ways to Better Days

Teens who struggle with PTSD may respond to trauma through what appears to be “naughty” or “defiant” misbehavior. This is a common misunderstanding. It likely that this can make you, as the parent, feel angry, frustrated, and overwhelmed, but you should not act on these responses. Here are 5 quick tips on how you can help your struggling teen:

  1. Reassurance. We all need reassurance from time to time, but this is especially important for teens with PTSD. You should make an effort to remind them regularly that they are safe and cared for.
  2. Communication. Bottling emotions up is never a good idea. You should open the line of communication between you and your child. Talk about the trauma. Be an active listener.
  3. Expression. You should remind your child that they should express their emotions. This is a healthy and vital part of the healing process. There are many creative ways to express emotions such as: drawing, painting, playing music, writing, etc. Help your teen find something that works for them.
  4. Togetherness. Pay attention and nurture your relationship with your child. Set aside time to do things together as a family. This will help them feel loved and supported.
  5. Boundaries. Set limits. Don’t expect too much from your teen, but also don’t become overprotective. Jumping into the normal routine may not be realistic. Be flexible and adjust but remember it’s nothing permanent. Help them come up with a healing plan.

Solstice East can help

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls ages 14-18 who struggle with addictive behaviors or other mental health issues. Solstice East emphasizes physical fitness and nutrition as a part of integrating healthy habits into the lives of young women. Students will learn how to cope with their emotions, create healthy boundaries, maintain and nurture relationships, and develop skills useful in the real world. This program gives students the opportunity to develop confidence, a greater sense of self-awareness, and the skills they need to lead happy and healthy lives. Let us help your family today!

Contact us at 828-484-9946

helping a teenager with PTSD

Helping a teenager with PTSD: 5 ways to ease the symptoms of PTSD

Helping a teenager with PTSD: 5 ways to ease the symptoms of PTSD 640 426 se_admin

Although the first thing that pops into mind for most people when they hear or read the word PTSD is a soldier, post-traumatic disorder can happen to anyone, even to the smallest of kids. Extreme acts of violence, natural disasters, bullying, verbal and sexual abuse are all known causes of PTSD. If you believe that your teen is struggling with PTSD or trauma, it is important to get them therapeutic help. However, there are some things you can do at home when helping a teenager struggling with PTSD and trauma in the meantime.

Helping a teenager with PTSD

Here are some things you can do to help teens struggling with PTSD or trauma:

  • Engage your teen in a conversation about what happened. Provide a safe space where you both can ask questions, and your teen can freely talk about any feelings that come up for her. However, avoid pressuring her to open up.
  • Teach your teen about what she’s going through. Explain that symptoms like anxiety are a way the body tries to adapt to danger and that experiencing symptoms like flashbacks and nightmares does not mean she is going crazy.
  • Show your teen some techniques she can use to soothe herself when anxiety comes up such as deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation.
  • Establish a routine for your teen and your household. This means that after a traumatic event, it is best that your teen returns to her usual activities as quickly as possible, meaning a regular sleeping schedule has to be established, and activities like school, hobbies, and friends continued.
  • Encourage your teen to get in involved in enjoyable activities, such as sports and hobbies he enjoyed before. It is common for teens with PTSD to isolate from the world, so taking them out of the house, whether to socialize with peers or to do some activities like shopping, going to the beach or a park, and spending the night playing board games is a good thing to do. Watching comedies can also work wonders.

As a final point, regular physical activity and a healthy diet will certainly aid in helping a teenager with PTSD.

Solstice East can help

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for young women ages 14-18 struggling with behavior and emotional issues such as those that can stem from peer-relationship struggles. 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 800-975-7303.

PTSD Awareness in Teens: Why Is It Important?

PTSD Awareness in Teens: Why Is It Important? 150 150 se_admin

Did you know that 3% to 15% of girls and 1% to 6% of boys develop posttraumatic stress disorder as a result of a pre-existing trauma? If you don’t know about PTSD and its impacts on teens, we know why. Because the topic is simply not talked about enough.

Teens are living in their most vulnerable state. The in-between of childhood and adulthood. Everything feels weird. Decision-making is a huge task and hormones are out the roof. PTSD adds to the stresses and challenges of life, taking a huge toll on teen’s emotional and physical state. Assuring, encouraging, and advising teens can mean helping them get their life on track towards a happier, healthier future.

Creating an awareness and educating yourself on PTSD and what it looks like on a teenager is very important. By having knowledge about the disorder, you give yourself access to the tools you need to identify and help teens who are struggling.

The Facts

  • Children and teens that go through the most severe traumas tend to have the highest levels of PTSD symptoms
  • PTSD symptoms may be less severe if the child has more family support and if the parents are less upset by the trauma
  • Children and teens who are farther away from the event report less distress
  • Events that involve violence, such as rape and assault, are more likely to result in PTSD than other types of traumas
  • The more traumas a child goes through, the higher the risk of getting PTSD
  • Girls are more likely than boys to get PTSD
  • PTSD symptoms in teens begin to look like those of adults, except teens are more likely to show impulsive and aggressive behaviors
  • Signs such as sleep problems, anger, and avoidance of certain people or places could indicate PTSD in a teen
  • Changes in school performance and problems with friends could also be a result of PTSD related issues

Spreading the Word

There are endless ways you can help raise awareness of PTSD in teens.

EDUCATE YOURSELF. Surf the web. Read books. Watch videos. Talk to others. These are all ways to educate yourself on PTSD, its effects, and treatment options. Before you can raise awareness on a topic, it is important that you know about the topic.

REACH OUT. Share what you learn. Raising awareness is basically a domino effect. In order for a movement to happen, someone has to start it. Tell others about PTSD in teens and educate them on the quick facts. Motivate them to spread the word and learn more.

SPEAK OUT. Do you know someone who may be struggling with PTSD? If so, take action today. Let them know you are here for support. Help them discover resources and treatments available to them. Your voice could be someone else’s game-changer.

Solstice East can help

Solstice East is a residential treatment center that specializes in helping teen girls struggling with trauma. The program uses a relationship-based approach to include family interventions, emotional safety, healthy boundaries, and individualization. The small, clinically intensive program creates a new hope for young women putting them on track to lead a healthy, independent, and successful life. Let us help your family today.

Contact us at (855) 672-7058.

Causes of Trauma: Adversity Can Follow Children to Adulthood

Causes of Trauma: Adversity Can Follow Children to Adulthood se_admin

When it comes to trauma, most people think of soldiers and war–but trauma is much more common than that. The causes of trauma are vast, yet we’re only beginning to scratch the surface on the full effects they have on us and our children.

In a recent TED talk, Nadine Burke Harris took to the stage to explain why childhood trauma can have such a dramatic effect on our lives.

The early years of life are the most transformatory. Our brains, bodies, values, and personalities develop during this period of time–but this also makes us incredibly exposed and vulnerable.

Nadine Burke Harris explains how causes of trauma impact DNA

“Early adversity drastically affects health across a lifetime.” -Dr. Nadine Burke Harris

Nadine Burke Harris is a pediatrician and the founder and CEO of the Center for Youth Wellness, an institution that focuses on not just physical health, but mental health. Their goal is to prevent, screen, and heal the impacts of toxic stress.

At her institution, each child is screened at physicals using the ACE point system, which we’ll get into a bit later.

When a child’s result is positive, they’re referred to a multidisciplinary team that specializes in finding the causes of trauma and treating them. Along with this, parents are educated on the effects of trauma and how to spot red flags.

Compelling research showing that early trauma leads to difficulty throughout life is what inspired the creation of the Center for Youth Wellness. In high doses, trauma impacts brain development, the immune system, hormones, and even how our DNA is read and transcribed.

If left untreated, childhood trauma can lead to triple the risk of developing heart disease and lung cancer–and potentially shortens your life expectancy by 20 years.

Dr. Burke Harris describes trauma as something that “literally gets under our skin and changes our physiology.” The causes of trauma include everything from natural disasters to abuse to neglect to being raised by an alcoholic.

The research that changed the game

The research that changed her life was the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study by Dr. Vince Felitti at Kaiser and Dr. Bob Anda at the CDC. This study asked 17,500 adults about their exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE). Of the participants, around 70 percent were caucasian and 70 percent were college-educated.

For each ACE, they would get a point on their ACE score. Then they correlated the scores to health outcomes and discovered that the higher the ACE score, the lower the heath.

The shocking thing? ACEs weren’t rare–67 percent had at least one ACE, while 12.6 percent (1 in 8) had four or more. That’s the furthest thing from rare; that’s common.

So, after reviewing this study, she decided to create an institution that took trauma into account in order to stop its effects from tainting children’s adulthoods.

While there are many causes of trauma, we’ve developed efficient and effective ways of treating it–the issue is getting people to realize how widespread this problem is.

If you believe your daughter is struggling with trauma or other mental health issues, it’s critical to reach out to a professional for guidance.

Solstice East is here to help your daughter

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. We understand the specific needs of girls, which is why our program is centered solely on them. Our students often grapple with depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, trauma, back to school anxiety, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us.

We have a strong emphasis on family therapy, nutrition, physical fitness. We also offer a supportive staff, cutting-edge academics, addiction therapy, equine therapy, and psychiatric services. At Solstice, we help set the stage for the infusion of light into the previously darkened lives of the families we serve.

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

Certain Therapies Proven to Give Best PTSD Treatment for Teens

Certain Therapies Proven to Give Best PTSD Treatment for Teens 150 150 se_admin

While PTSD treatment for teens is getting more and more attention, there’s still much we need to delve into about effectiveness and efficiency. We’ve just recently gained momentum in convincing the world that PTSD is more than just an issue for soldiers–so now we need to move on to perfecting the treatment.

A recent study has looked into what therapeutic interventions are the most effective for the disorder: the winner seems to be EMDR therapy–a therapy commonly used at Solstice East. 

What is EMDR therapy?

So, what is EMDR therapy you ask? EMDR therapy is a method of working through and accepting adverse memories. You do it by moving your eyes right to left over and over and over again.

I know what you’re thinking, it sounds like something out of a science fiction book, right? There can’t be a way to help trauma victims that is as easy as moving your eyes back and forth many, many times. Well, it exists–and it works.

In the average session, an individual is told to focus on their traumatic event, whether it was a natural disaster, the loss of a loved one, or going through abuse. Then they begin the eye movement.

The theory is that moving our eyes back and forth while awake activates this ability to “process” much like we do in Rapid Eye Movement (REM). By focusing on a negative experience and moving your eyes, you’re helping your brain process what happened, allowing for a more objective view on it. Instead of an unprocessable, distressing memory, it becomes a more “normal” memory–one that doesn’t immediately elicit an emotional response when thought of.

The research backing the therapy

In a recent study by the University of Amsterdam and GGZ Rivierduinen, researchers found that “children and adolescents with posttraumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) can be successfully treated with only a few hours of EMDR or cognitive behavioral writing therapy (CBWT).”

While studies have been done on the effectiveness of EMDR for adults, little has been done for adolescents and children. This study sought to change that.

In the study, they used over 100 children and adolescents. They found that the average number of sessions needed to reach a successful treatment was four. EMDR was found to be the fastest at reaching positive outcomes, averaging at about 2 hours and 20 minutes. The did follow-up interviews a year later and found that the results were long lasting.

This is incredibly important information because out of children who are exposed to a trauma, around 16 percent will develop PTSD–but many of those children never actually receive PTSD treatment. EMDR gives professionals a fast and effective route that will likely help a child struggling with trauma.

If you believe your daughter is struggling with trauma or another mental health issue, it’s critical to reach out to a professional for guidance.

Solstice East offers PTSD treatment for girls

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. We understand the specific needs of girls, which is why our program is centered solely on them. Our students often grapple with depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us.

We have a strong emphasis on family therapy, nutrition, physical fitness. We also offer a supportive staff, cutting-edge academics, addiction therapy, equine therapy, and psychiatric services. At Solstice, we help set the stage for the infusion of light into the previously darkened lives of the families we serve.

For more information about our PTSD treatment at Solstice East, please contact us at 828-484-9946.

Therapeutic Treatment for Trauma: How Yoga Can Play a Role in Recovery

Therapeutic Treatment for Trauma: How Yoga Can Play a Role in Recovery 150 150 se_admin

In therapeutic treatment for trauma, there are many complicated processes and tactics utilized–but there’s also simplistic ones. One of those is yoga. I know what you’re thinking, “How can stretching in different positions possibly help trauma?” Well, studies show it can help in many ways you may have never imagined.

While yoga is an excellent way to keep yourself physically healthy, new research is showing that it could be extremely helpful in therapeutic treatment for trauma.

How yoga can help in therapeutic treatment for trauma

Recently, there’s been more research put into the effects of yoga and what it has to offer–especially for young girls. In one study by the Center on Poverty and Inequality at Georgetown University’s law school, researchers found that yoga could help girls who have gone through trauma more than we could’ve ever thought.

In the study, researchers focused on girls that were in the juvenile justice system because they seem to frequently be exposed to trauma. They found that fights in the institutions go down–and continue to go down–if girls are participating in yoga. Not only that, but they complain about physical ailments less.

They also found improvements in developing coping mechanisms for stressful moments and self esteem. The believe yoga may be effective in therapeutic treatment for trauma because of the controlled breathing and movements involved in the practice of yoga.

It’s known that there’s a strong body-mind connection and yoga seems to be able to tap into it. Yoga not only puts you in the moment and helps you learn to focus, it also gives you the tools to calm yourself when anxiety filled situations do arise in the future.

Improving your physical health helps improve your mental health as well–yoga is all about the body and mind link. A healthy link between the two is essential for overall wellness, which is why yoga may be the perfect method to include in therapeutic treatment for trauma.

Solstice East is here for your family

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. We understand the specific needs of girls, which is why our program is centered solely on them. Our students often grapple with depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us.

In our therapeutic treatment for trauma at Solstice, we include methods such as yoga to help our girls not only stay healthy physically, but also improve their mental health. While we also use other clinical tactics, it’s important to recognize the power simple habits like yoga have to offer in treatment.

We have a strong emphasis on family therapy, nutrition, physical fitness. We also offer a supportive staff, cutting-edge academics, addiction therapy, equine therapy, and psychiatric services. At Solstice, we help set the stage for the infusion of light into the previously darkened lives of the families we serve.

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

Early Treatment for Trauma Shown to be Critical for Recovery

Early Treatment for Trauma Shown to be Critical for Recovery se_admin

Your house being reduced to rubble during an earthquake, all of your belongings being washed away from a hurricane, losing someone in a car accident—traumatic events can have an intense impact on the adult human brain, but for the adolescent brain it can be even more damaging if treatment for trauma isn’t applied soon enough.

More studies are looking into how to improve treatment for trauma victims and the effects of experiencing a traumatic event. As a society, we’re becoming more aware that PTSD and trauma isn’t just for soldiers–it can happen to any of us, especially the young ones.

Mass trauma can affect young self-confidence

Let’s say a hurricane hits the coast. Communities are wrecked, families are displaced, and life is completely disrupted. In the moment, people do what they have to do to survive and get to safety, but what about afterwards? What are the effects?

This is exactly what a recent study by Iowa State University looked into. The researchers found that while whole communities were impacted, the children inside them had the most lasting effects.

They believe that this could be linked to how the children perceive their ability to intervene or control a situation. A disaster such as a hurricane can completely change a child’s understanding of their well-being–which is important for forming self-confidence in the later years.

They found that gender played a role, too. After traumatic events, girls were much more likely to experience PTSD symptoms compared to boys.

One researcher believes that this study shows we need to build coping mechanisms and ways to work through trauma before it’s actually needed. Understanding how children react to adverse events can help develop better and more efficient forms of treatment for trauma.

We need to strive to teach our children how to deal with bad things in effective ways–otherwise PTSD symptoms and other issues have a higher risk of developing. When a traumatic event happens, one of the first reactions is to not talk about it–but that’s often a mistake. Talking through it with a professional can help an individual work through their trauma rather than shoving it aside until it gets even worse.

Solstice East is here for your family

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. We understand the specific needs of girls, which is why our program is centered solely on them. Our students often grapple with depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us.

We have a strong emphasis on family therapy, nutrition, physical fitness. We also offer a supportive staff, cutting-edge academics, addiction therapy, equine therapy, and psychiatric services. At Solstice, we help set the stage for the infusion of light into the previously darkened lives of the families we serve.

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

 

EMDR Therapy Helps Teens Cope with Traumatic Events

EMDR Therapy Helps Teens Cope with Traumatic Events 150 150 se_admin

Many teenagers experience trauma, it’s just a fact of life. Whether it’s a natural disaster, accident, or abuse, many teens go through it and need treatment afterwards. While there are many treatments available, one in particular is beginning to show more and more positive results: EMDR therapy.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy started being used in the 1980s and has been gaining traction ever since. It has been shown to be extremely effective in helping teenagers work through and cope with traumatic events.

EMDR therapy sounds like something out of a sci-fi novel

So, what is EMDR therapy you ask? EMDR therapy is a method of working through and accepting adverse memories. You do it by moving your eyes right to left over and over and over again.

I know what you’re thinking, it sounds like something out of a science fiction book, right? There can’t be a way to help trauma victims that is as easy as moving your eyes back and forth many, many times. Well, it exists–and it works.

In the average session, an individual is told to focus on their traumatic event, whether it was a natural disaster, the loss of a loved one, or going through abuse. Then they begin the eye movement. It’s theorized that this works because of a link to the stage of sleep called Rapid Eye Movement (REM).

During this stage, with our eyes closed, our eyes move back and forth. Our brain activates and begins to go through new information, repeating important facts and moments, learning, and processing what happened throughout the day. It’s an essential part of functioning.

The theory is that moving our eyes back and forth while awake activates this ability to “process.” By focusing on a negative experience and moving your eyes, you’re helping your brain process what happened, allowing for a more objective view on it. Instead of an unprocessable, distressing memory, it becomes a more “normal” memory–one that doesn’t immediately elicit an extremely emotional response when thought of.

Currently, EMDR therapy is used to treat trauma quite often. It’s used alongside other therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, in order to strengthen effectiveness.

Solstice East could help your daughter

If you believe your daughter is struggling with processing trauma or has a mental health issue, it’s critical to seek out a professional for further guidance on how to best help her thrive.

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. Our girls often grapple with depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, bullying, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us. We strive to help students develop healthy habits and lead themselves back onto a path of success and happiness through meaningful therapy and a nurturing environment.

For more information about how we use EMDR therapy at Solstice East, please contact us at 828-484-9946.

Living with Trauma: Overcoming PTSD from Childhood

Living with Trauma: Overcoming PTSD from Childhood 150 150 se_admin

In movies, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is often the burden of army veterans coming home from lengthy wars. In reality, however, PTSD is far more complex. PTSD can occur in anyone, at any age. Living with PTSD from childhood, for instance, can be extremely taxing – especially considering that, unlike its adult counterpart, PTSD from childhood can have symptoms that are not commonly associated with PTSD. As a parent, there are few things more difficult than watching a child suffer. Fortunately, there are several tips that can help ease the situation.

Different Responses

Trauma is one of the most difficult concepts to define. Although mental illness is rarely easy to understand, certain patterns can be observed with most disorders. Depression or bipolar disorder, for example, come with a range of symptoms that appear most often. While each person’s individual situation might be different, it typically fits under the overarching umbrella of their diagnosis. With PTSD, however, matters become more nebulous.

PTSD is a response to trauma. However, most people who experience trauma do not develop PTSD. As a matter of fact, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, “Studies show that about 15% to 43% of girls and 14% to 43% of boys go through at least one trauma. Of those children and teens who have had a trauma, 3% to 15% of girls and 1% to 6% of boys develop PTSD.” Moreover, to further complicate matters, no two traumas are alike. The very definition of trauma depends on each person – and there are indicators that this is guided as much by biology as circumstance.

PTSD in children takes on a different shape than PTSD in adults. Where an adult might experience flashbacks, children typically put events in the wrong order or think that there were signs that could have led them to prevent the traumatic event in the first place. An adult typically withdraws from everybody, while a child might withdraw from all but a small, tightly-knit group. With age, a child might become disruptive, have problems in school, and be more likely to experiment with substances.

Finding Help for PTSD From Childhood

Perhaps the most important thing a parent can do to help their child struggling with PTSD is to be available to talk and discuss the situation – should the child want support. PTSD can spark unrelated fears in a child, so parents should be prepared for seemingly unrelated topics of conversation as well.

If your child is exhibiting symptoms of PTSD, it may be time to contact professional help. Solstice East helps young women ages 14-18 deal with trauma. For more information, call (855) 672-7058 today!