• Residential Treatment Center for Teens 14-17

teen issues

A Silent Distraction: Cell Phone Addiction in Teens

A Silent Distraction: Cell Phone Addiction in Teens 150 150 se_admin

Cell phones have become a staple in American households. While their beginning was humbler with only eleven million users during the 1990s, today’s numbers show that almost 2.5 billion people own a cell phone

These small devices have become capable of providing endless information and have vast capabilities but provide any form of entertainment at the push of a button. These features are especially enticing to younger adults, and with social platforms like Instagram and Tik-Tok, trying to put it down has become increasingly harder.

In fact, studies have shown that 50% of teens feel addicted to their phones for socializing or online games.

What Happens to an Adolescent When Overstimulated by Their Smartphones

Smartphone addiction runs parallel to internet addiction, both are considered impulse-control addictions. Over time, negative behaviors start surfacing and lack of real-life emotions take a back seat. Examples include the following:

  • Desensitizes their emotions – By consistently observing the behaviors of online interactions, an adolescent can become out of touch with their own passions or concerns by focusing solely on the stimulation of their phones.
  • Increased likelihood to misuse adult habits – Adolescents are easily tempted to participate in drinking by other peers or social online pressures.
  • Lack of healthy diet – Though the concept of the smartphone was to bring the freedom to take it anywhere, adolescents find that they cannot put down the phone to eat a proper meal for fear they may lose out on the latest information. To subsidize these hunger pains, fast food is often on the table, leading to an unbalanced diet.
  • Social loneliness – Though it may sound strange that a person could feel lonely when constantly spending time on their phones, for adolescents, these emotions are easily felt and experienced. In fact, loneliness can be most prevalent during these formative years than any other time of their life, with 70% reporting social isolation.

How to Help Your Teenager Live a More Balanced Tech Life

While it might not be an easy task to lay down ground rules around their screen time, sticking to these boundaries will not only benefit your adolescent but the mental health of the family as a unit:

  • Bedtime is a phone-free zone – Common Sense Media reported that almost 29% of teens sleep with smartphones or tablets in their beds. By allowing this behavior, adolescents are more prone to sleep less soundly and often feel the need to check their phones throughout the night. Instead, set a period to put the phones away before bed, preferably an hour before to assure a smoother mental transition when getting tired.
  • One device at a time – Smart devices are not limited to the phone in today’s tech world. From smartwatches to laptops, the internet is readily available at any time. While it is often necessary to use multiple devices when completing homework or participating in online courses, the need is limited when the job is done. Instead, allow your adolescent to choose one screen to engage with during their downtime. This keeps them more focused on the information they are seeking and less chance of being overexposed to multiple platforms.
  • Take back family meals – Recent reports show that only about 30% of families regularly eat dinner together at home. With endless busy work and school schedules, families find that sitting down to a family dinner is not on their radar. This limits the quality in-person conversations that adolescents need to express their thoughts and feelings about the day, much like an adult. Instead, if dinner is not possible, share a small meal like a snack with your teen so they feel recognized and included in their family dynamic.
  • Limiting online platforms – Social platforms began appearing in the early 2000s. Companies like Facebook and Instagram have grabbed the attention of millions of young users. Recent studies have found that 75% of adolescents report having at least one social media profile, with 51% reporting daily use. Instead, encourage teens to only check their profiles twice a day. This gives back the time they need to learn from real-life experiences and interactions.
  • Phone-free day – Once a week have your adolescent put away the phone for the day. Engage them in offline activities such as gardening or sports to offset the stimulation they are looking for. This encourages them to exercise and interact with their community and peers in a healthy setting. Over time, they will come to appreciate the internet break and are more eager to participate in more positive outlets.
  • Turn off the notifications – Today’s smartphones have a wide range of music, sound bites, and vibration modes to alert the user to current information. For an adolescent, this can mean multiple notifications per day. Instead, have your teen turn off these sounds so they are not triggered to constantly check their phones. This allows them to stay more focused on the task at hand.
  • Be the example they need – Adults can be just as guilty as an adolescent when it comes to using their phone for pleasure. In fact, recent studies have found that smartphone usage suggests that an average user spends almost three hours per day on their mobile device. Furthermore, over 50% claim to check their devices a few times per hour. Adolescents are consistently looking to others to verify their habits. If you are just as entranced with the phone, imagine what your teen believes. Instead, put down the phone when having in-person conversations and limit use in the evening hours when adolescents need more positive attention.

How Solstice East Can Help Your Teenager Today

Solstice East is a residential treatment center caring for adolescents ages 14-17. Our 25-acre campus, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains just outside of Asheville, NC, offers on-site equine therapy, an accredited academic schedule, plus world-class therapeutic programming to treat a wide range of trauma and mental disorders. Our clients receive a unique combination of therapeutic techniques stemming from both traditional and holistic mental health treatments. We strive to empower our students with the ability to believe in themselves by providing the tools, support, and motivation necessary to instill these beliefs for life.

The Solstice mission is to support adolescents and their families in developing excellence in relationships, influence, character, and health throughout their life journeys. Through relationship-based programming, we help students restore and rebuild healthy, trusting relationships with their families, peers, teachers, and staff.

We are a privately owned residential treatment center incorporating innovative therapeutic techniques to help our clients address a wide range of emotional and behavioral issues. At Solstice East, your teen will be supported by a passionate team of therapeutic experts who have extensive training and experience working with trauma, loss, anxiety, addiction, and unhealthy behaviors. We are a proven leader in successfully treating adolescent students struggling with a variety of challenges.

For more information, please call us today at 828-484-9946.

Identifying Unhealthy Relationships and Creating Healthy Ones

Identifying Unhealthy Relationships and Creating Healthy Ones 150 150 se_admin

Creating new relationships is an important part of development in adolescence. This is a time when teens are beginning to form their own interests and identities outside of their family unit. It can be exciting, but it also comes with a new set of challenges. As teens begin to create new relationships, both with friends and romantic, they also run the risk of relationships changing or even ending. For teens who have not experienced a relationship that ends, it can feel confusing or overwhelming to figure out what comes next. When a friendship or relationship with a significant other turns bad, it can be devastating to many teens.

Identifying Unhealthy Relationships

Most adults remember their first crust or their first school dance. There is a spark of excitement around new relationships, especially during our formative years. And because everything is new and thrilling, it can be easy for teens to get swept up in a relationship. Some teen girls may find themselves forgoing their friendships to spend all their time in their new relationship. They may begin to eschew hobbies or interests they previously enjoyed, instead of trying to mold their interests to fit those of their romantic interest. 

A relationship becomes unhealthy when it involves mean, disrespectful, controlling, or abusive behavior. Some teens who have grown up in an environment where fighting or abuse was common may believe that this behavior is normal. Teens in unhealthy relationships may make excuses or misinterpret bad behavior. If a boyfriend or girlfriend is acting jealous or possessive, they may think “Oh, that just means they really like me.”. It is important for teens to understand the warning signs of an unhealthy relationship and ask themselves the following questions:

Does my boyfriend/girlfriend:

  • get angry when I don’t drop everything for him or her?
  • criticize the way I look or dress, and say I’ll never be able to find anyone else who would date me?
  • keep me from seeing friends or from talking to other guys or girls?
  • want me to quit an activity, even though I love it?
  • ever raise a hand when angry, like he or she is about to hit me?
  • try to force me to go further sexually than I want to?

Encouraging Healthy Relationships

Understanding the traits of an unhealthy relationship is helpful, but it is equally as important to understand how to create a healthy relationship as well. Here are some qualities to think about for a healthy relationship:

  • Mutual respect. Respect is the foundation of any healthy relationship. Does your partner respect your boundaries? Do they listen when you say “no” or you tell them that you are uncomfortable? Respect goes both ways and means that each person understands and values the other person’s boundaries.
  • Trust. Jealousy is a natural emotion, especially for young adults who are experiencing a relationship for the first time. But it is important to pay attention to how you or your partner react when those feelings of jealousy arise. Can they recognize that emotion without being controlled by it? Do they trust that you are committed to their relationship? Without trust, you cannot have a healthy relationship.
  • Honesty. Without honesty, there can be no trust in a relationship. Can you and your partner talk openly about your concerns or needs? Do they follow through when they tell you they’ll meet you for dinner or text you later? If your partner is consistently being honest with you, it can allow you to feel more confident in the relationship. 
  • Support. It may be easy to celebrate together when good things happen, but is your partner still there for you when things go wrong? In a healthy relationship, your partner will be there for you to lean for support no matter what is happening. Sometimes, there is a fear that big disappointments or setbacks will be too much for others to handle. You may worry that your problems will make it too hard for them to love you. But a supportive partner will always be there for you, no matter what. 
  • Fairness/equality. Just like friendships in elementary school, relationships are about taking turns as well. Does one person always choose the activity or do you take turns doing something you’ll each enjoy? If a relationship turns into a power struggle with one person fighting to get their way all the time, the relationship quickly becomes unbalanced. 
  • Separate identities. In a new relationship, it is common for two people to want to spend every free moment together, and the time they aren’t physically together is spent texting or calling. Being able to make compromises is important in a relationship, but it should mean that you feel like you are losing yourself. You and your partner should both have other people, hobbies, and interests in your lives. Neither person should feel like they have to pretend to like something they don’t or be someone who they are not. Both people should feel comfortable developing new interests and friendships while they are in a relationship. 
  • Good communication. In any relationship, good communication is key. Can you talk to your partner about your fears or concerns? Do they listen when you talk to them about things that are important to you? Do you feel comfortable talking to them even when the topic is challenging? Does your partner give you the time and space you need to communicate your feelings?

Moving Past Old Relationships

Some relationships may end because they are unhealthy. Some other relationships end simply because they have run their course. People grow and change, and it is just a natural part of life that many relationships will end. But even understanding that it is normal and natural, it can sometimes be challenging to move past an old relationship. 

For some, losing a significant other because of a break-up can feel very painful. To go from seeing them and talking to them every day to having no contact may feel inconceivable. It may be hard to imagine your life without them. Because of that emotional pain, it is easy to see why fast-forwarding through those hard feelings may sound appealing. You may try to distract yourself by keeping busy with other things and people, ignoring those painful emotions. But the reality is that the end of a relationship usually requires a grieving period, where you can take some time to process what has happened. Rather than trying to suppress your feelings, allowing yourself to feel them is integral to the healing process. Know that you can always reach out to family and friends for emotional support as you go through the process. 

After a relationship ends can be the perfect time to reconnect with yourself. If you were in an unhealthy relationship, take some time for yourself before attempting to jump into a new relationship. Perhaps you found that you were losing your identity in your previous relationship, choosing to go along with what the other person wanted instead of thinking about your own needs. Taking a break can help you assess what those needs are. Reconnect with your own interests and passions. This could be engaging in activities you previously enjoyed such as cooking or hiking. This could also be joining a group where you will be surrounded by people who enjoy the same interests as you do. It can feel validating to be around like-minded people who appreciate your talents and passions. 

It can be easy to replay a relationship over and over again, remembering where things went wrong or wishing you had done something differently, but blaming yourself only brings about negative emotions and delays the healing process. Instead, try to see the relationship as a learning experience. Every relationship, if we let it, can teach us something about ourselves and give us greater clarity about what we need to be happy. Know that a relationship isn’t a failure just because it ended. If you grew as a person and learned something to move your life forward, then it served a purpose and was truly a success.

Remember that just because a relationship failed, that does not mean that every relationship will fail. Each relationship teaches us a little bit more about ourselves and what we are looking for in a partner. By practicing those traits of a healthy relationship and looking for a partner who also has those qualities, you can work to build more healthy relationships in the future. 

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.

Solstice East supports a therapeutic culture where acceptance, change, and growth is recognized and embraced. Our approach employs the guidance of The Hero’s Journey and its themes, providing a foundation for our students to advance victoriously and grow closer to internal harmony. Solstice East students embark on a therapeutic journey that teaches inner growth and understanding and fosters positive relationships. Our groundbreaking approach allows our students to heal while compiling skills and practices to best serve them throughout their life journey.

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

women and youth supporting each other

How to Build Up Other Girls Instead of Feeling Competitive

How to Build Up Other Girls Instead of Feeling Competitive 2560 1437 se_admin

Teenage girls have a reputation for being competitive. So much so that the terms “Queen Bee” and “mean girls” have worked their way into common vernacular. This sense of competition may stem from a variety of reasons such as issues with confidence, a feeling of scarcity around opportunities, or learned behaviors. And while this competition is often seen as a given for women, the truth is that there are ways that we can change our perspective and learn to build other girls up. 

Women Supporting Women

Pursue Your Passions: Being engaged in activities you are passionate about can help you feel more confident and connected. By exploring your interests, you begin to build a stronger self of self. And that strong self of self can help guide your moral compass when you encounter those negative competitive behaviors, whether in yourself or in others. 

Practice Empathy: Being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes is a crucial part of understanding how our behaviors can directly affect someone else. Negative competitive behaviors often present themselves as being malicious or underhanded. When those feelings arise, you may find yourself wishing for your own success, perhaps at the cost of someone else’s. It’s important to remember that there are opportunities for everyone and that when you act on those competitive feelings, it can have a real and negative impact on others. 

Use Social Media for Good: Social media is often thought of as a negative thing where young women are flooded with messages and imaging about how they could look/act/be better. And while that can be the case, there are ways to use social media for good. You can follow accounts on social media that you find inspirational where women are lifting each other up. You can also use your own social media for good. Leave positive comments on a friend’s post describing her recent success. “Like” a co-worker’s selfie where she was feeling confident. 

Work Together: If you find yourself struggling with competitive behaviors, try putting yourself in situations where you will have to work collaboratively with other women. Perhaps it’s a sports team or joining a local group of volunteers. Notice how that when you’re working together, one person’s success means that every person is succeeding. The more you practice lifting other women up, the more it will just become a part of your automatic response. 

Solstice East Can Help

Solstice East students are highly intelligent and highly sensitive. Our teens are creative and capable, but vulnerable to the pressures of their surroundings. They often experience the world differently through misperceptions and are impacted by issues of anxiety, depression, identity, attachment, mood disorders, and learning disabilities. Solstice East is committed to treating each student through a combination of individual, family, equine, and adventure therapies as well as treating and diagnosing a range of issues including (but not limited to) trauma, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, substance abuse, suicidal ideation, self-harming behaviors, attachment, and identity issues. For more information please call (828) 471-0221.

how to talk to kids

How to Have the Hard Conversations With Your Kids

How to Have the Hard Conversations With Your Kids 2560 1707 se_admin

Having difficult conversations is an important part of parenting. While it may be tempting to avoid talks that you know may be uncomfortable or lead to arguments, being able to have these conversations keeps the lines of communication open in families. When we avoid tough topics, it can lead to feelings of secrecy or confusion around those issues. It is important to remember that if we do not have these conversations, our kids will look to outside influences such as the internet or friends for their education. Parents can properly educate their children by engaging in conversations, even when it is hard. 

The teenage years can be especially challenging because our teens are able to engage in media independently. They are beginning to spend more time with their peers than their family, and their priorities begin to shift. When talking to your teen, there a few key points to keep in mind:

  • Choose the Right Time: The teenage years often contain high emotions. They may feel defensive about their opinions or assume that their parents are going to belittle them. Choose a time and place where you know your teen will feel calm and comfortable. Maybe that’s going for a walk or a drive in the car. Let them know that you want to hear their opinions and that they will not be judged for what they share.
  • Be Honest: You aren’t expected to know everything. If your teen brings up a challenging question and you don’t have the answer right away, it’s OK to let them know that you’d like to do some research before you have a discussion. You can even consider researching the topic together. It’s also OK to admit that a topic is awkward and hard to explain. You can acknowledge that even though the conversation might be difficult, you still want to have it because it is important. 
  • Empathy as a Teaching Tool: Encourage your teen to think about how they might react in a challenging situation. For example, if you’re wanting to broach the topic of race and racism, ask them how they might feel if they were excluded or treated differently because of the way they look. Let them talk through the hypothetical situation and what emotions might be involved. If you’re talking to them about being anti-racist, they can explore what they might do if they witness racism in school or other aspects of their lives. 
  • Check Back In: Difficult conversations don’t just happen once. They are a series of conversations as children grow and develop. Once the lines of communication are open and your teen feels safe having those hard conversations make sure that they know they can always come to you with more questions or concerns. 

Solstice East Can Help

The Solstice mission is to support adolescents, and their families, in developing excellence in relationships, influence, character, and health throughout their life journeys. Through relationship-based programming, we help students restore and rebuild healthy, trusting relationships with their families, peers, teachers, and staff. For more information please call (828) 414-2980.

Avoiding Anxiety in Teens

Avoiding Anxiety in Teens 150 150 se_admin

With anxiety being one of the most common mental health issues found in the general population, avoiding anxiety in teens can be challenging. While medication, therapy, and the support of loved ones can help, anxiety in teens is often something that will follow them throughout life. As a result, worry and irrational fear are a constant part of their lives. A recent article by Bustle discusses 3 situations that should be avoided when dealing with anxiety in teens.

It’s extremely important that individuals suffering from anxiety in teens not avoid every situation that gives them anxiety—doing so can actually make anxiety in teens worse, and cause them to miss out on important opportunities. However, it’s important that teens not push themselves to a breaking point.

Anxiety in Teens: 3 Situations That Should Be Avoided

  1. Toxic Environments. Teens spend 40 hours a week at school, so it’s incredibly difficult when the environment is toxic. Bullying or social issues among peers can especially cause anxiety in teens. Many teens who suffer from this report having symptoms including sleep problems, trouble concentrating, and anxiety. If teens are experiencing a toxic environment, they should discuss with their teachers or advisors about switching seats in class or avoiding people that are causing them distress.
  2. Triggering Living Situations. When anxiety in teens is present, teens often have to face fears on a daily basis. Triggers like public speaking, driving, or meeting new people are things that individuals with anxiety need to push themselves to do, otherwise they let the disorder win. Living with anxiety in teens is often incredibly exhausting, because normal activities that are east for most teens require significantly more effort from those with anxiety. Ensuring that the home environment is a safe space is essential. Of course, no living situation is perfect, but eliminating potential anxiety triggers in the home can help reduce anxiety on a daily basis.
  3. Spending Too Much Time Alone. While there’s a lot of value in alone time, it’s important to be maintain social relationships. Anxiety in teens can cause individuals to feel the need to hide from the world. This is often due to an excess in negative thoughts. When people with anxiety are left alone with these negative thoughts, it ca be harder for them to control them and maintain a healthy life. When symptoms of anxiety are high, teens should consider spending more time with loved ones or peers, instead of hiding out.

If your teen is struggling with anxiety, there are programs that can help.

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!

Deep Wounds: The Long Lasting Effects of Childhood Bullying

Deep Wounds: The Long Lasting Effects of Childhood Bullying 150 150 se_admin

Most of us have been bullied once or twice in our lives. Maybe for some, they were the ones doing the bullying. As a child it may have seemed like harmless fun, but according to a recent article by Science Daily, new research has found that the effects of childhood bullying have the equivalent negative psychological effects on girls as severe physical or sexual abuse.

The Research

A study which involved 480 college freshman through seniors, indicated that the detrimental effects of childhood bullying may linger for years. Due to this it can cause negative affect’s on youth’s mental health will into early adulthood.

Participants in the study were surveyed about their exposure to a variety of traumatic experiences—including childhood bullying, cyberbullying and crimes such as robbery, sexual assault, and domestic and community violence—from birth through age 17. Students also reported on their psychological functioning and symptoms of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. The students who experienced childhood bullying reported higher levels of mental health problems than their peers.

The Results

Females in particular struggles with the effects of childhood bullying, and reported significantly greater levels of depression, anxiety and PTSD than their male peers. Dorthy Espelage, an Educational psychologist and conductor of the study states:

“The prevalence of psychological distress in children who have been bullied is well-documented, and this research suggests that college students’ psychological distress ay be connected in part to their perceptions of past childhood bullying victimization experiences.”

Practitioners, in collaboration with school officials, need to make more of an effort to develop and put in place programs that decrease the negative effects of childhood bullying. Creating clubs or programs that could teach children suffering from trauma how to feel confident, safe, and empowered could help eliminate later mental health issues from the effects of childhood bullying.

If your child is experiencing negative effects of childhood bullying, there are programs available that can help.

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 can help, please call 828-484-9946!

Fighting Teen Attitude Problems: Olympian soccer player sets example for teens

Fighting Teen Attitude Problems: Olympian soccer player sets example for teens 150 150 se_admin

According to a recent article by CNN, United States Olympic soccer player Alex Morgan is setting a great example for teens around the world. Alex Morgan and the United States Women’s Olympic soccer team suffered an unfortunate defeat in this year’s 2016 Olympic games against Sweden in the quarterfinals. The US team has been three-time World Cup champions and 2012 Olympic gold medalists. When they were defeated—meaning they wouldn’t see an Olympic medal at all—it was extremely unsettling. For some, losing like this can lead to negative attitudes, but Alex Morgan represented her team with positive spirits and became an excellent role model against teen attitude problems.

The Fight Against Teen Attitude Problems

Alex Morgan stated:

“This loss has probably been the toughest of my career so far. We had such high expectations for ourselves…but I feel like it was a wake-up call.”

Morgan said that while the loss was a “humbling experience,” she wouldn’t let it define her, her teammates or their careers. After the loss she promoted positive attitudes about the loss on social media. For many teens, not having teen attitude problems related to losses in sports can be difficult. Alex Morgans positive attitude shows all teens that teen attitude problems are not acceptable no matter the situation. Keeping a positive attitude is essential for maintaining a good wellbeing.

Showing Youth How to Stay Positive

Morgan has since become a spokeswoman for the #LikeAGirl campaign by Always. She says the most important thing for young athletes to remember is to learn, grow and never forget a tough loss. She states:

“It wouldn’t be sports if challenges didn’t come in our path every once in a while, or even more than every once in a while, but I feel like it’s most important to feel like you are encouraged to keep going. That’s why I put out a tweet right after losing the game, because although I was disappointed and heartbroken, I felt like it wasn’t a game that was going to define me or hurt my confidence, and I wanted to kind of show girls that they’re not alone with challenges that come up.”

If you or your child are suffering from teen attitude problems, there are programs out there that can help!

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.

From Generation to Generation: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms in Teenagers

From Generation to Generation: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms in Teenagers 150 150 se_admin

According to a recent article by Psych Central, a recent study has found that post traumatic stress disorder symptoms in teenagers may be transmitted to children of holocaust survivors. New research has found that both Holocaust survivors and their offspring show similar genetic changes at the same site, a stress-related gene that has been linked to post traumatic stress disorder symptoms in teenagers.

It has not been unknown that the children of traumatized people are at increased risk for post traumatic stress disorder symptoms in teenagers, as well as mood and anxiety disorders. This new research suggests that paternal trauma is a relevant contributor to offspring biology.

The Research

One of the most intensively studied groups to be studied in regards to post traumatic stress disorder symptoms in teenagers caused by parent trauma, is the group of children of survivors of the Nazi concentration camps. From this work, researchers have been growing evidence and their data by evaluating other studies that have been done.

The researchers examined blood samples of 32 Holocaust survivors and 22 of their adult children for methylation of intron 7, a specific region within the FKBP5 gene. The researchers also studied Jewish parent-offspring pairs as a control group.

The analysis revealed that both Holocaust survivors and their offspring show genetic changes at the same site of FKBP5 intron 7, but in the opposite direction: Holocaust survivors had 10 percent higher methylation than the control parents, while the Holocaust offspring had 7.7 percent lower methylation than the control offspring.

The Meaning of this Research

Researchers state:

“The observation that the changes in parent and child are in opposing directions suggests that children of traumatized parents are not simply born with a PTSD-like biology [post traumatic stress disorder symptoms in teenagers]. They may inherit traits that promote resilience as well as vulnerability.”

This research highlights the need for parents to be more aware of their children’s mental health if they, as parents, have suffered a traumatic experience in their lifetime. If you or your child are dealing with post traumatic stress disorder symptoms in teenagers, there are programs available that can help.

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 can help your teen, please call 828-484-9946.

Wellbeing in Teens: It’s Okay to Not Be Okay

Wellbeing in Teens: It’s Okay to Not Be Okay 150 150 se_admin

According to a recent article by CNN, maintaining wellbeing in teens can be difficult and that’s okay. In a previous study, researchers studied human happiness and wellbeing in teens. They found that maintaining wellbeing in teens and human happiness isn’t always possible. They found that the saying “You can’t have it all,” is quite true for individuals overall wellbeing.

Happiness Comes in Different Forms

Part of the reasoning is that happiness isn’t just one thing. Jennifer Hecht is a philosopher who studies the history of happiness. Hecht proposes that we all experience different types of happiness, but these aren’t necessarily complementary. She believes that some types of happiness, may actually conflict with one another. Basically, that having too much of one type of happiness may undermine our ability to have enough of the others, making it impossible to “have it all.”

How Our Brains Process Happiness

Maintaining wellbeing in teens is also confounded by the way our brains process the experience of happiness. We’ve all started a sentence with the phrase “Won’t it be great when…” (I go to college, fall in love, have kids, etc.).  We hardly hear people saying “Isn’t this great, right now?” Our past and future aren’t always better than the present, yet our brains continue to process it this way. These are the elements that limit our happiness and wellbeing in teens.

We as a society, work extremely hard to reach a goal, anticipating the happiness it will bring. Unfortunately, according to this research, after a brief fix we quickly slide back to our baseline, ordinary way-of-being and start chasing the next thing we believe will “finally” make us happy. While this may seem depressing, the reality is that dissatisfaction with the present and dreams of the future are what keep us motivated, while warm fuzzy memories of the past reassure us that the feeling we seek can be had. According to the researchers, perpetual bliss would completely undermine our will to accomplish anything at all.

Realistic Happiness

Researchers hope that this news won’t be depressing, but will provide more of a realistic mindset. Understanding that it’s impossible to have happiness in all aspects of life will hopefully help individuals enjoy and better appreciate the happiness that has touched them.

If you have a child who is struggling to achieve wellbeing in teens, there are programs that can help.

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 Need for a Teenage Depression Test

The Need for a Teenage Depression Test 150 150 se_admin

A recent article by Richmond discusses a girl’s story of battling depression and the need for a teenage depression test. For Cameron Gallagher, who lived with depression, the pain of her struggle was almost unbearable. It was extremely difficult on her family and friends watching her battling depression and not knowing what to do. Cameron died suddenly at age 16 from an undiscovered heart condition after running a half-marathon, her difficulties provided the inspiration to help other teens seek help and get a teenage depression test.

A Quest Towards Change

Cameron’s family decided to turn this quest into a 5K race, a foundation, and a program to build awareness and support for individuals needing a teenage depression test and those battling other mental health issues. Research by the 2015 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey has shown, that nearly 30 percent of high school students said they had felt sad or hopeless almost every day for two or more weeks within the past year. The students also stated that during these times they had difficulties staying active in certain usual activities they participated in. The study found that percentages were similar at each grade level.

Among female students, the percentage reporting symptoms of depression was nearly 40 percent overall. Grace Gallagher, Cameron’s mother states:

“Love means doing the hard stuff. Sometimes it’s taking you to a doctor’s appointment that you don’t want to go to. There were some nights that were really, really hard—a lot of tear and not just from Cameron.”

The Importance of Seeking Help

Cameron’s story is an impactful message to all families about the importance of seeking a teenage depression test and therapy. At such a young age, it can seem impossible to understand what you’re going through. With the stigma on mental health, it is essential that teens feel supported and capable of speaking up about their mental health struggles.

Don’t wait, let Cameron’s story be the inspiration to seek the help you need. If you or your child are in need of a teenage depression test, there are programs available that can help.

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 can help your teen, please call 828-484-9946!