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Trauma Treatment

Four Ways to Address Trauma In Teens

Four Ways to Address Trauma In Teens 150 150 se_admin

When a traumatic event occurs, it may seem like helping your teen work through the trauma is the most challenging thing you’ve ever done. No one wants to see their child suffer, especially after your teen has experienced something absolutely horrifying like assault or a car accident. Parents seeking ways to help their child cope with trauma in teens should consider the following advice for addressing their child’s trauma.

Addressing Trauma In Teens

  1. Believe your child. It’s important that your teen knows you’re on their side in the situation. Instead of denying that their trauma happened in the first place, always accept what your child says happened. Even if it ends up not being true later, it’s much better for your child’s overall mental health if they believe you trust them.
  2. Don’t personalize your guilt. You may feel guilty for your child’s trauma. Don’t let them know that. It’s important to deal with your own feelings over the traumatic event separately from your child. They will feel even worse if they know what you’re going through because of their trauma.
  3. Understand the symptoms. Trauma in teens may look different from the trauma symptoms you’ve heard about in adults. Teens may be withdrawn and isolate themselves from friends and family. They may be experiencing flashbacks and nightmares related to the traumatic event. If your teen is experiencing any symptoms of trauma, it’s important to take action as soon as possible against these symptoms.
  4. Get professional help. It’s important for your teen’s overall well being to seek help as soon as you know that the effects of the traumatic event are making life difficult for your teen. Consider your therapeutic options and find the best fit for your child.

Solstice East can help

Solstice East, a residential treatment center for teen girls ages 14-18, can help your daughter work through trauma in teens.

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


Sleep Issues and Childhood Trauma Linked to Cause of Depression

Sleep Issues and Childhood Trauma Linked to Cause of Depression 150 150 se_admin

In a report by ScienceDaily, the University of Eastern Finland discovered that childhood trauma and disturbed sleep cycles mess up immune system regulation. Depression, childhood trauma, and sleep interruptions are all associated with an increase in physical issues and fluctuations in how the immune system functions. The study mainly focused on the way Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) works and the mechanisms within it that have to do with immune system regulation.

What do immune system changes have to do with depression?

According to the study, changes in the regulation of the immune system are thought to be a large piece in mediating the diseases linked to MDD and the comorbid disorders that develop along with MDD. Childhood trauma and sleep cycle disturbances both cause certain chemicals in the body to elevate or decrease, causing issues with immune system regulation, which in turn plays a large role in an individual’s well-being and likeliness to develop issues associated with MDD.

Childhood trauma a factor in developing depression

Childhood trauma, especially if unknown to the parent or left untreated, can lead to depression. Studies have shown that those who experienced a childhood trauma have a much higher risk of developing depression later in life.

From Mayo Clinic, other factors which increase your teen’s chances of developing or triggering include:

  • Issues which lower self-esteem (obesity, bullying, academic struggles, peer issues, etc.)
  • Witnessing or being the victim of violence (physical or sexual abuse)
  • Having a current condition (bipolar disorder, eating disorders, anxiety disorders, etc.)
  • Dealing with a learning disability and/or ADHD
  • Experiencing frequent pain or suffering from a chronic physical illness (cancer, diabetes, asthma, etc.)
  • Substance abuse
  • Being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender within an environment which is not supportive
  • Family history of issues with depression

If you believe your daughter is struggling with issues associated with a childhood trauma, it’s imperative to seek out a professional for guidance on how to help your daughter move forward.

Solstice East can help

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

For more information about how Solstice East treats issues associated with childhood trauma, please call 828-484-9946.

After the Orlando Shooting: Animals Can Help Ease Teen Trauma

After the Orlando Shooting: Animals Can Help Ease Teen Trauma 150 150 se_admin

The New York Times recently wrote an article reporting on the surprising helpers brought in to help comfort those experiencing trauma or stress after the Orlando Shooting: therapy dogs. The K-9 Comfort Dogs team brought 12 golden retrievers to Orlando.

This is just one example of how therapy animals have helped relieve stress and deal with traumatic events. Recently, popularity for using therapy animals for teen trauma has increased; now, comfort dogs are often brought onto college campuses–even some high schools–during exams in order to help students de-stress.

Judgement-free and ‘unconditional love’ help teen trauma victims

“Dogs show unconditional love.” –Tim Hetzner, President of Charity which runs K-9 Comfort Dog unit

Dogs–and therapy animals in general–offer a unique relationship that is hard to find in peers and adults. The relationship provides a strong bond which is judgement-free and uncomplicated. Animals also have a way of offering up unconditional love with no questions asked, something many teen trauma victims desperately need. Studies have shown that animal therapy has the ability to improve teen trauma symptoms, especially in those who experienced childhood abuse. Also, it’s easy to see the effects of one’s actions when dealing with a therapy animal, which helps teens understand natural consequences and boundaries more clearly. It’s a way for a teen trauma victim to learn to build a positive relationship in a safe, healthy, and simple way.

Many types of animal therapies exist

Animal therapy isn’t isolated to just comfort dogs, it can be with cats, horses, rabbits, and more. Though therapy animals aren’t necessarily considered “service animals,” they can be pivotal in a teen trauma victim’s progress and success. Therapy dogs and horses are some of the most common animals used for animal therapy. The act of caring for these animals develops responsibility, relationship-building skills, respect, boundaries, and more.

Solstice East can help

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

For more information about how Solstice East treats teen trauma, please call 828-484-9946.

Give Her Some Space: Teen Grief & Loss

Give Her Some Space: Teen Grief & Loss 150 150 se_admin

Teen grief and loss is a different kind of beast than adult grief and loss. Usually, once you hit your mid-twenties, you’ve lost at least one important person in your life or experienced something at least mildly traumatic. Whether you knew how to deal with it in the moment is a different story, though. You’d be surprised by the amount of people–adults–that don’t know how to deal with grief and loss in a healthy, productive way. Teaching your daughter how to effectively deal with grief early on will help her down the road when she’s inevitably faced with it–and it may help you, too.

Dealing with teen grief and loss in a healthy way

Giving your daughter the means to take teen grief–whether it’s extreme, like a family member passing, or it’s milder, like a best friend betraying them–and cope with it is an important skill that will be useful throughout life. As a society, many of us face grief and don’t know how to handle it, we push it down, ignore it, hoping it’ll leave us–this is denial and not a healthy way to work through it. 

In an article by Psychology Today, Sandy Rosen’s book, Bare: The Misplaced Art of Grieving and Dancing, is discussed. Rosen has experienced a fair amount of gut-wrenching grief in her time, so she decided to put onto paper how she believes others can deal with it in a healthy way. She explains that the common practice of throwing yourself into work or college or continuing on a fast-paced schedule of ignoring what happened doesn’t actually help you move past the grief–it prolongs it. She gives the advice to take a moment to do these things when experiencing grief:

  • Listen. Don’t ignore your emotions–if you need to cry, that’s fine; if you need to sob, that’s fine; if you need to talk to someone, that’s fine. The important thing is to listen to what your body and feelings are trying to tell you.
  • Breathe. Deep breaths help trigger the parasympathetic nervous system, helping you calm yourself down when things get tough.
  • Rest. Constantly working or moving won’t allow you time to let things sink in–that’s why many people do it. But that’s not healthy. You need time to recover, to take a moment for yourself in a place that requires no demands of you.
  • Eat. Many people experiencing grief avoid food, but you need it. Eat healthy food, it helps your body stay healthy, keeps away sickness, and overall helps you feel better.
  • Be Aware. When dealing with teen grief, don’t just float through the days; take a moment to be mindful of what’s happening currently to you and others around you.
  • Cry. There’s a huge stigma against crying, but it’s your body’s way of coping and instead of avoiding it when you feel it coming, let it out.
  • Enjoy. Try to notice the small things that improve your day, like the taste of coffee or hitting 3 green lights in a row.
  • Don’t Be Hard on Yourself. Don’t think about other’s expectations of you, just your own. Be realistic and stop thinking about what you should do for other people–focus on you.

The only one I would add would be, “Find an Outlet.” For Rosen, it’s dance, but it could be so many other things: painting, writing, bird watching, etc. Find something that gets you focused and allows you to destress.

Offering this advice to your daughter when she’s experiencing a bad break-up, a betrayal, or a loss will greatly add to her ability to process her teen grief. Be there for her, be supportive, and most of all, love her.

Solstice East can help

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

For more information about how Solstice East helps with teen grief, please call 828-484-9946.

PTSD Awareness: Spotting the signs of PTSD in your teen

PTSD Awareness: Spotting the signs of PTSD in your teen 150 150 se_admin

June is PTSD Awareness Month. PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder affects millions of people across the world. Most people associate PTSD with war and in turn, older people. However, PTSD also affects many teens and young adults. In fact, according to a survey conducted by the National Comorbidity Survey Replication, 5% of adolescents have suffered from PTSD at some point in their lifetime. PTSD can occur after traumatic events like natural disasters, sexual abuse or violence, violent crimes, car accidents, and war. 

It’s clearly more of an issue than just veterans. By promoting PTSD Awareness, more people will take note of the affect PTSD has had on their own lives and notice signs of PTSD in anyone they know who has suffered from trauma in their life.

Spotting signs of PTSD in your teen

If your child has experienced a traumatic event in her life, it’s possible she’s also suffering from PTSD. PTSD awareness is all about putting aside everything you think you know about PTSD and learning about the hard facts. Here are a few signs that your teen might be experiencing symptoms of PTSD:

  • Incorporating aspects of the trauma into their lives. Your child may begin to reenact different parts of their traumatic experience in their everyday life.
  • Angry outbursts: Your child may begin to have tantrums and outbursts of frustration that never occurred before the event.
  • Feeling as though the trauma is happening again: Flashbacks are common in adults and teens suffering from PTSD symptoms.
  • Emotional numbness: Your child does not emote in the way they once did. They rarely smile anymore or express any emotion at all.
  • Reckless, violent behaviors: Teens who are struggling with PTSD often express themselves by acting out towards others. If your teen has recently been getting into fights after experiencing a traumatic event, PTSD might be to blame.

Getting Help for PTSD

If left untreated, children and teens can show signs of PTSD for years. There are a variety of treatments available for PTSD. Being aware of which ones might work the best for your teen will help you get a step closer to finding help for your teen. Here are some of the most common treatments for PTSD:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Medication (SSRIs)
  • Psychological First Aid

Solstice East can help

If your daughter is struggling with symptoms related to PTSD or trauma-related symptoms, consider Solstice East. Solstice East is a residential treatment center for teen girls ages 14-18.

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


Trauma Treatment: Don’t Let Memories Haunt You

Trauma Treatment: Don’t Let Memories Haunt You 150 150 se_admin

Avoid Memory Distorting Through Trauma Treatment

Our memories represent our paths through life that have made us who we are. They are an essential part of shaping our personality, emotions, and relationships.

While our memories are not perfect reconstructions of our past, they provide us with an understanding of our life, personal history and growth.Unfortunately, there are times in our lives when we experience a traumatic event and need to seek trauma treatment. Experiencing a traumatic event can be detrimental to a person’s mental well-being. They often haunt our memories, making it difficult to live a happy and healthy life. A recent article by Psychology Today explains memory distorting and how it can increase post-traumatic stress and create poor mental health.

Memory Distortion

Processing traumatic events can lead to actively imagining new details or experiencing intrusive thoughts. This can then lead to developing a familiarity to new details which becomes so dominate people begin to recognize them as a part of their own genuine memory. In result to this, people often end up experiencing a growth in traumatic memories. This is memory distortion. Talking about trauma through trauma treatment can reduce memory distortion.

Ph.D. Nathan Lents states that “traumatic memory distortion appears to follow a particular pattern: people tend to remember experiencing even more trauma than they actually did. Due to this, it can result to a greater severity of symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).” Over-remembered trauma can be a hindrance on a person’s life. Without trauma treatment, it is suggested to lead to a decrease in mental health.

The Theory Behind PTSD and Memory Distortion

Psychology Today believes that PTSD memory distortion may be caused by a flood of emotion and cognitive disagreement that evolve from traumatic events. This flood of emotions overloads the brains processing center necessary to stimulate memory formation. Without the brains ability to create this distinct stimulation, the brain attempts to close the gap with additional elements, real or imagined. If you are suffering from a recent trauma, there are multiple trauma treatments available to help.

Solstice East can help

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18, grappling with anxiety, trauma, depression, 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!

Managing PTSD with Solstice East

Not Just for Veterans: Recognizing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms

Not Just for Veterans: Recognizing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms 2560 1700 se_admin

When most people think of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), they imagine a war veteran running for cover after a car backfire. In reality, however, PTSD is common across all demographics – including children and teens. As a matter of fact, up to 43% of children experience trauma, with 3% to 15% of girls and 1% to 6% of boys developing post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms.

Dealing with Trauma

Any number of reasons can be responsible for causing post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms in a child – not just abuse or neglect. As a matter of fact, the traumatic event does not even have to be experienced personally; for instance, the death of a friend’s relative, an observed accident or fire, or even a national tragedy can just as easily cause PTSD symptoms as having survived a certain event.

Recognizing the post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms is extremely important – without proper treatment, the child PTSD symptoms have the potential to cause severe issues during adulthood. Some typical PTSD include flashbacks and nightmares, recurrent memories, and emotional distress in relation to triggers. These post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms can lead to anger issues, apathy, negative feelings, hopelessness, and fear. Some children also blame themselves for causing the traumatic event. They may become distant and experience loneliness. 

Managing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms

As a parent of a child with PTSD symptoms, it is crucial not to ignore the warning signs. Many children with post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms can feel as if they’re “crazy” – giving them support and letting them know that it is okay to seek help goes a long way toward making them open to sharing their problems. Also, staying positive helps even the worst of times pass. By letting your children know that everything is okay, you will encourage them to not carry their burden alone.

Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms can be difficult to manage alone. If you suspect your child has PTSD, it may be time to consider professional help.

Solstice East can help

Solstice East, a residential treatment center for teen girls ages 14-18, can help your daughter find success.

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

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 150 150 se_admin

Stress is defined as an automatic physical and mental response to a situation that is perceived as dangerous or threatening to personal comfort. The natural defense of the body is a stress response where the “fight-or-flight-or-freeze” mode is activated. This releases hormones that keep the body alert in order to react quickly, this can be lifesaving. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) occurs after a traumatic event, when the body and mind get stuck in the fight/flight/freeze mode.

“Five out of 10 women experience a traumatic event [in their lifetime].”– U.S. Dept. of Veteran Affairs

When an antelope is chased by its predator, and then escapes, that experience is traumatic. For a time following, the antelope will shake uncontrollably in order to release the stress hormones that were released during the fight/flight/freeze mode. Because it is able to release the stress response, the antelope does not experience post-traumatic stress.

“Because of factors like cultural conditioning, women also more likely to blame themselves for their traumatic experience.” – Caitlin Flynn, Bustle

Post-tramatic stress disorder occurs within months or years

Unfortunately for humans, we do not have the mechanism to shake off a traumatic experience right away afterward. As a result, the trauma is locked inside until it can be dealt with and released gradually. According to WebMD, individuals typically recover from PTSD within six months of onset, though it is different for everyone.

Symptoms typically start occurring within three months, post trauma, and according to WebMD, for some it takes years. The symptoms are separated into three categories: reliving, avoiding and increased arousal. If any occur continuously for a month or more, it is considered PTSD.

“Sexual abuse is more likely to cause PTSD than other nonpersonal events a woman faces in her lifetime.” – Dr. Dennis

  • Reliving: This includes flashbacks, nightmares and intrusive thoughts. These symptoms cause the re-experiencing of the trauma including the occurrence of physical symptoms of stress such as increased heart rate.
  • Avoiding: Avoidance of any reminders of the event. Including avoiding people, places, situations or anything that triggers a memory. This can lead to loss of interest in certain activities or isolation from family and friends.
  • Increased arousal: According to helpguide.org, these symptoms can include irregular sleep patterns, irritability, outburst of intense emotions like anger, hyper-alertness and begin easily startled or “jumpy.”

There is hope. There is help

PTSD can hurt anyone at any time. Traumatic events are unpredictable atrocities that steal the sense of security and safety from the core being of survivors.

Events, such as the recent tragedy in Charleston, South Carolina, leave an entire community of people grieving, lost and traumatized. In the midst of such pain and hardship, there is hope; there is help. Whether from an act of violence, a great loss, or abuse; your family is not alone in the struggle, your daughter is not alone.

“Women are more than twice as likely to develop PTSD than men.” – U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

She is not alone

If you have a 14 to 18-year-old daughter, who you believe has PTSD, getting her professional help and support is crucial for her recovery. Solstice East is a residential treatment facility that works to help young girls with post-traumatic stress and co-occurring disorders. Through effective programs, treatment and the holistic, mind-body-connection philosophy, Solstice East can help your daughter heal from trauma and become herself again.

Call Solstice East today, at 828-484-9946, for more information on how we can help your daughter combat post-traumatic stress or other trauma-related issues.

trauma in teens

Trauma In Teens: Life Crippling If Not Treated

Trauma In Teens: Life Crippling If Not Treated 2560 1707 se_admin

In a recent article by LA Times, researchers in a large study found that one in four children, ages six to 17, in the U.S. have experienced some violent act as either a victim or witness. 1 in 33 children has been a direct victim of gun or knife violence.

The study found that the effects on younger children of witnessing a violent act were equally traumatizing as them being the victim. Ignored trauma symptoms can transform into something life-crippling.

What is trauma?

Trauma is often associated with physical harm, though psychological trauma can be just as serious and damaging. It mentally and physically debilitates a person if not treated in a safe manner. Trauma originates from getting injured, seeing others harmed, suffering from sexual abuse, or losing loved ones, among many other tragic events. Identifying trauma symptoms and coping with them can be a difficult challenge, but if left alone it can become deadly.

Symptoms of trauma in teens

Responses to trauma don’t always follow immediately after an event and they can emerge in different forms depending on the type of person. Types of trauma symptoms in teens might include:

  • Distancing from family and friends
  • Irregular sleep patterns
  • Lack of interest in school, friends, family, etc.
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Overreacting to minor irritations
  • Difficulties in concentration, short-term memory and problem-solving
  • Reckless or dangerous behavior
  • Substance abuse

How to deal with teen trauma

Families can help their teen get through a traumatic event by giving support, love and developing an environment that encourages them to talk about their emotions and what they’re feeling. In certain situations, a family might need an extra hand in helping their teen through trauma; many treatment programs exist to do just that.

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14-18. At Solstice East, we use the cutting-edge, effective methods to help trauma in teen girls. We treat the entire person (mind, body and spirit) with the best evidence-based therapeutic approaches in order for our girls to truly heal from their traumatic experience.

Call us today, at 828-484-9946, to learn more about how Solstice East helps trauma in teens.