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Dangerously Common: ‘I Have a Depressed 14-Year-Old Daughter’

Dangerously Common: ‘I Have a Depressed 14-Year-Old Daughter’ se_admin

“I have a depressed 14-year-old daughter,” is becoming a dangerously common phrase. We’ve known for quite some time that depression in adolescence certainly isn’t a rare occurrence, but now it’s becoming painfully obvious that girls are especially at risk.

More and more research is confirming the disproportion between the genders when it comes to teenage depression–and we’re still struggling to understand why.

Study shows rate of depression much higher in girls

In a recent study conducted by the University of Liverpool and University College London, researchers found that nearly 1 in 4 girls were depressed at age 14 compared to 1 in 10 boys.

The study showed that typically families with higher incomes were less likely to have a depressed 14-year-old compared to poorer families. It was also found that depressive symptoms showed up at the same rate until the age 14, which is where symptoms became more prevalent in girls.

Lead author, Dr. Praveetha Patalay, explains the significance of this research:

“These stark findings provide evidence that mental health problems among girls rise sharply as they enter adolescence. And while further research using this rich data is needed to understand the causes and consequences of this, this study highlights the extent of mental health problems among young adolescents in the U.K. today.”

They believe that many issues lie in the parents underestimating their daughters’ mental health needs. In order to combat this, it’s important for both children and parents to speak openly about mental health–otherwise symptoms fly under the radar and issues worsen.

How to help your depressed 14-year-old daughter

As a parent–whether you believe it or not–you have a large amount of influence on the way your daughter thinks. Simply opening a discussion about mental health and how it affects us is a great place to start.

Don’t be forceful, just gain her opinion on how she feels about mental health. The insight can help you gain an understanding of her grasp on mental health and you can go forward from there.  

If you’ve been noticing symptoms of depression and believe you have a depressed 14-year-old, it’s critical to reach out to a professional for help. Hoping that this is just a phase and that it’ll fix itself often just leads to the problem growing worse. Early intervention is paramount to success.

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. We offer our students help for anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, trauma, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems.

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 a depressed 14-year-old girl at Solstice East, please contact us at 828-484-9946.

Resolving a Parent-Teenager Conflict the Right Way

Resolving a Parent-Teenager Conflict the Right Way 150 150 se_admin

When a parent-teenager conflict arises, many parents are at a loss for what to do. Some respond to their teen’s anger with more anger, some respond with extreme consequences, some don’t respond at all—each of these can have negative effects, though.

There are certain ways to approach a parent-teenager conflict that have a higher percentage of success than the usual ones, but they tend to take more patience and more restraint.

How to effectively deal with a parent-teenager conflict

Parent-teenager conflict isn’t rare—if you’ve ever raised a teen or are raising one, you know that for sure. In conflicts, which will happen no matter what you do, it’s important to build a trusting, open relationship that involves respect. Respect in an argument is one of the most helpful ways to get through it and have less of them. Tips on how to resolve a parent-teenager conflict include:

  • Don’t minimize the issue. One of the go-to things for parents is to say, “You’re too young to understand now” or “One day, this won’t matter.” This will most likely just lead to them lashing out more since you’re essentially telling them that their issues don’t matter. Instead, say things like, “Yes, this makes sense to me.”
  • Show genuine interest. If you’ve recently had a fight and are looking for a way to bridge the gap and move forward, show interest in something you know they like. Are they really into old films? Offer an olive branch by asking if they want to go see a movie at the old cinema in town.
  • Do not humiliate. When we’re angry, we say things we don’t mean—and that can include trying to humiliate the other. For example, let’s say your daughter failed her math test. Instead of telling her how much of a failure she is, ask her what went wrong. Sit down and just listen to her reasons. Maybe she’s going through a tough time and needs guidance—you won’t get that information by humiliating her.
  • Do not just walk away. One mistake is to completely walk away from an argument and never revisit it, at least not without being forced into it. When you leave a conflict unresolved, it will eventually snowball into another conflict, that’s why it’s important to resolve. Studies show that more conflicts arise when the withdrawal method is used.
  • Explain your opposition. “Because I said so,” are the famous last words of a parent-teenager conflict. The teen storms to their room and slams the door, never knowing why their parent said no. This is a mistake. Instead, explain your reasoning and if they don’t like it, then they can take the time to come to terms with that. Don’t use hostility, though. If you said no to your daughter going to an unsupervised party, for example, a good explanation would be that you don’t feel comfortable without a parent being in attendance.

Overall, it’s important to come at conflicts with love and support. Stay calm, try to see where your daughter is coming from, and speak from a place of care.

If you believe your daughter may be struggling with a mental health issue, it’s essential to reach out to a professional.

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 troubled girls, which is why our program is centered solely on them. Our girls often grapple with depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, parent-teenager conflict, 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 help resolve a parent-teenager conflict at Solstice East, please contact us at 828-484-9946.

A Craving for ‘Likes’ Can Lead to Social Media Addiction

A Craving for ‘Likes’ Can Lead to Social Media Addiction 150 150 se_admin

Certain reward centers in your brain go off when you win money or eat chocolate–making you want to do it again. This is one of the reasons people suffer from binge eating or an addiction to gambling. According to a new study by the University of California, these same parts of the brain light up when teens get a large number of “likes” on their photos. This helps explain the phenomena of social media addiction. Relatively new, not much is known about the causes of social media addiction or its effects–but more is coming to light because of studies like this one.

What is social media addiction?

Social media addiction–though not officially classified–is a compulsive need to be on social media, even in the face of harm. This means your daughter feels that she need to check social media or she gets anxious, has mood swings, and shows other withdrawal symptoms. It also means she’s at risk of checking social media while driving, which is just as bad as drunk driving. This not only risks her life, but it shows a dangerous attachment to social media that can only be described as a social media addiction or obsession.

Study also shows how much friends can influence a teen

In the study, it was shown that if a teen saw a photo on Instagram–a social media platform–had a lot of likes or was liked by a friend, they would like it. Now if teens saw the exact photo, but with less likes or no likes from friends, they would be dramatically less likely to like it. This shows how friends have the power to influence a teen’s decisions and preferences.

Now if her friends have that power just through social media, it begs the question: how much influence do they have in real life? If there’s a photo of someone smoking a cigarette and it happens to have a ton of likes, would this influence your daughter’s view of the danger of cigarettes? More research has to be done in these areas in order to be clear.

Solstice East can help

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

For more information about how Solstice East handles social media addiction, please call 828-484-9946!

The Negative Effects of Teen Sleep Deprivation

The Negative Effects of Teen Sleep Deprivation 150 150 se_admin

Depression in Teen Girls May Be One of the Negative Effects of Teen Sleep Deprivation

With technology today, getting enough sleep can be difficult. There are constant distractions available to prevent us from getting the recommended eight hours a night. Many people watch TV in bed or scroll through their phone before turning out the lights. Which studies have shown makes it more difficult for you to fall asleep. Teens especially need a good night sleep to help their bodies and brains develop healthily. The negative effects of teen sleep deprivation can be detrimental to the overall well-being. A recent article by Reuters reveals that depression in teen girls may be one of the negative effects of teen sleep deprivation.

The Research

In previous studies it has been found that the correlation between the negative effects of teen sleep deprivation and depression were not evident in just insomniacs or depressed people. It was also found in healthy, young women. To test this theory, researchers studied 171 female college students for two weeks. To evaluate them they started with an in-person questionnaire assessment of anxiety and depression levels and continued with daily self-reported measures of mood and anxiety. The women also reported on their total sleep time, time they fell asleep, and ratings of sleep quality each night. At the beginning of the study, researchers calculated that a third of the women scored in the “at risk” range for depression and 17 percent had clinically significant anxiety.

The Results

The researchers concluded that on average, the women rated their sleep quality as fairly good. The women typically slept for seven hours and 22 minutes each night, taking 21 minutes to fall asleep. Women who averaged less sleep per night over the course of the study, reported greater depression symptoms or inability to enjoy pleasurable things.

The negative effects of teen sleep deprivation can create general distress. Due to this, it can increase sleep deprivation by making it harder to fall asleep and decreasing the quality of sleep. The study found that higher levels of depression symptoms came before a night of increased time to fall asleep, shorter total sleep time, and poorer sleep quality. If the negative effects of teen sleep deprivation are connected to mental health issues, treatment for depression and anxiety can improve sleep quality.

Solstice East can help

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

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

Not Just for Veterans: Recognizing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms

Not Just for Veterans: Recognizing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms 150 150 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 post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms as having survived a certain event.

Recognizing the post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms is extremely important – without proper treatment, the child post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms have the potential to cause severe issues during adulthood. Some typical post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms 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 post traumatic stress disorder 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!

The Dangers of the Internet: Preventing Cyberbullying In Teens

The Dangers of the Internet: Preventing Cyberbullying In Teens 150 150 se_admin

Many people think of bullying as something that is face to face and physical. But that’s not always the case. In fact, cyberbullying in teens has grown considerably ever since the social media boom of the mid 2000s. It’s not an easy thing for many parents to confront. Your child can be bullied anywhere and at anytime thanks to cyberbullying in teens. This is a scary prospect. However, there are ways you can prevent cyberbullying in teens. Stopping cyberbullying before it starts is essential to your teen’s overall well being.

Preventing cyberbullying in teens

Being aware of what your teen is doing online is super important for their overall well being. Keeping track of who they’re speaking to, what sites they’re going on, and what they are doing on those sites can be done by “friending” your teen on social media (or asking them for all of their passwords) or through monitoring software. By monitoring your teen’s internet usage, you can take the first steps to prevent cyberbullying in teens.

You may think that might be enough–but that’s not true.  Your teen can find a way around monitoring software and being your friend on social media. They can change their privacy settings that may prevent you from seeing what they are up to or they could figure out some loophole in the monitoring software that they probably know you are using (kids know a lot more than we think). Here are some extra steps you can take in preventing cyberbullying:

  1. Encourage your teens to tell you immediately if they, or someone they know, are being cyberbullied. The simple act of telling your teen that you are there for them if they need you could help them feel more comfortable to tell you about what’s going on.
  2. Make clear rules about technology use. Be sure to make it clear to your teen which sites they are allowed to visit and which they are forbidden. Set guidelines as to when they are allowed to use their devices.
  3. Remove their electronic devices at night time. Following along the same lines as step #2, taking your teen’s cell phone and laptop from them at night is a really good idea because that’s when a majority of teen online interactions occur. If your teen brings their devices into their room alone, you really have no idea about what’s going on behind their closed doors.
  4. Warn them not to put anything online that they wouldn’t want their classmates to see. Anything can be used as a target for cyberbullies, so it’s important for your teen to put out an image they would be comfortable with everyone seeing.
  5. Tell your teen not to send messages when they are angry or upset. This is super important because bullying usually starts with a teen who is upset and not thinking straight.

Solstice East can help

Solstice East, a residential treatment center for teen girls ages 14-18 struggling with emotional and behavioral difficulties, can help your daughter who has either been a victim of cyberbullying in teens or a cyberbully.

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

Depression and Anxiety: Physical Activity Can Help

Depression and Anxiety: Physical Activity Can Help 150 150 se_admin

Has your 14 to 18-year-old teen daughter experienced changes in appetite, stress level, sleep, overall mood, level of energy or academic performance? Does she seem more withdrawn and worried than normal, or to have lost interest in things and activities she once enjoyed? If so, your daughter might be experiencing depression and anxiety. It’s time to learn more.

Depression and anxiety 101

Depression is a common mood disorder characterized by consistent ongoing feeling of sadness and hopelessness. Often when an individual struggles with depression they also experience anxiety. Anxiety disorder is a nervous system disorder that causes extreme feelings of worry and nervousness to the point of affecting daily function.

The cause, the cure

Though the causes of depression and anxiety are unknown, factors such as trauma or family history can contribute to their development. There are many ways to treat these conditions such as: medication, therapy (clinical, outdoor adventure, equine, etc.), lifestyle changes and more. Among lifestyle changes is physical activity, one of the most effective, helpful and cheapest ways to boost mood.

Let’s get physical: exercise benefits body and mind

Though moving around might be that last thing a person with anxiety and depression wants to do, physical activity has been scientifically proven to relieve symptoms, boost mood, relieve stress and prevent relapse. When you exercise, your body releases “feel-good” chemicals, known as endorphins, that trigger a positive feeling in your body and increase ability to sleep. According to the Mayo Clinic, physical activity also reduces immune system chemicals that worsen depression. Exercise improves all systems of the body and overall health, and feeling good physically alone can positively benefit mood.

Steps to take (literally!)

30 minutes of physical activity 3 to 5 times a week can significantly improve symptoms of depression and anxiety. This doesn’t mean you have to go buy a gym membership! You can increase your physical activity up to 30 minutes in simple ways, such as walking your dog, parking further away, taking the stairs, doing jumping jacks during commercial breaks or doing lunges while talking on the phone.

The Solstice Difference

At Solstice East, physical activity is integrated into our unique residential treatment setting. Girls, ages 14 to 18, struggling with depression and anxiety receive treatment, as well as access to multiple types of therapy in an environment conducive for healing.

Call Solstice East today, at 828-484-9946, for more information on how we can help your daughter!