• Residential Treatment Program for Teens 14-17

Technology Use

smartphone addiction

Does Smartphone Addiction Lead to Depression or Vice Versa?

Does Smartphone Addiction Lead to Depression or Vice Versa? 2560 1707 srtc_admin

For many teen girls a typical day looks something like this: wake up, roll over and check her phone, scroll through social media while she’s getting ready for school, text friends on their way to class, check out some TikTok videos during lunch break, catch up on anything she missed on social media after school, answer all the notifications as they come while at home, scroll through social media or watch a show on their phone while lying in bed before falling asleep. If we truly monitored the amount of time our daughters spent on their phones, the number would be staggering. But does the amount of time they spend on their phone actually have an impact on their mental health? 

Typically, when we think about teens who spend a lot of time on their phones, we are more likely to wonder if they’re lonely than if they’re popular, or an up-and-coming social media influencer. This suggests that the idea of the relationship between depression and social media addiction is already imprinted in our minds, even if we don’t quite understand how they became so interconnected. New research suggests a person’s reliance on their smartphone predicts greater loneliness and depressive symptoms, as opposed to the other way around. 

What Contributes to Smartphone Addiction?

When looking at the relationship between smartphone addiction and depression, these researchers decided to focus on adolescents, as rates of both issues are most prevalent among this age group. Not only have they all grown up with smartphones, but they are at a stressful stage in life where they are more vulnerable to not knowing how to cope with mental health struggles in a healthy way. 

We often think that teens who don’t know who to talk to or where else to turn in life escape into a virtual world, but researchers claim that this problem starts much earlier. Many teens who spend a lot of time online recognize that social media is addictive and has affected their self-esteem, but they feel like their social reputation is tied to their online presence and therefore can’t delete their accounts. 

One of the major negative effects smartphone use can have on girls’ mental health is contributing to a constant sense of comparison. They see filtered images and pictures of smiling, happy people living their best life. It is easy to see how they could begin to view their own life negatively. They may begin to question why they are not as happy or why they don’t have what other people have. This is also tied into FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out. Social media allows users to be constantly updated when the people they follow post or when they receive a like or comment. Because they fear missing out, disconnecting from their device may feel impossible. 

Why Focus on Effects of Smartphone Use?

“If depression and loneliness lead to smartphone dependency, we could reduce dependency by adjusting people’s mental health,” explains study co-author Pengfei Zhao said. “But, if smartphone dependency (precedes depression and loneliness), which is what we found, we can reduce smartphone dependency to maintain or improve wellbeing.”

“We’ve really been trying to focus on this idea of dependency and problematic use of smartphones being the driver for these psychological outcomes,” describes Zhao. “There’s an issue where people are entirely too reliant on the device, in terms of feeling anxious if they don’t have it accessible, and they’re using it to the detriment of their day-to-day life.”

If we understand that smartphone use is common and, at this stage, fairly natural for young adults, how can we determine when that use has become detrimental? Here are some things to be aware of:

  • Withdrawing from face-to-face social interactions: Maybe you’ve noticed that your daughter quit her favorite after school club or is choosing to stay home on the weekends instead of going out to meet their friends. If she is starting to withdraw or isolate, this can be a sign that she is becoming too dependent on her technology use. 
  • Consistent anxiety, stress: If her smartphone use is leading to mood swings or elevated levels of stress and anxiety that is a clear signal that her smartphone use has become unhealthy. 
  • Grades begin to slip, and assignments reflect poor work or are left undone: If all of their focus is on social media, other areas of their life may begin to suffer. If your previously studious daughter has chosen to spend her evening learning a new TikTok dance instead of preparing for her tests it can lead to a negative impact on her school work. 
  • Avoidance of real life responsibilities, such as chores or homework: For many teens, the last thing they want to do is clean their room or empty the dishwasher. But these are important parts of having healthy, balanced lives. Excessive smartphone use can quickly throw that balance off. 
  • Ill at ease, ill-equipped or unresponsive to people in front of them: If your daughter is spending more time on her phone and less time interacting in real life, she may begin to feel uncomfortable in social situations. Like most things in life, practice is key to building skills, and without that real world practice they do not have the opportunity to build those skills. 
  • Phones begin to create conflict in their closest relationships: What happens when you ask your daughter to put her smartphone away? Does she lash out and get angry? Does limited phone use cause an outburst? Unreasonable reactions to being separated from their smartphone may mean that she has created unhealthy habits. 

Building Offline Communication Skills in Residential Treatment:

Having worked with adolescents with mental health issues for over a decade, Solstice RTC has noticed a recent increase in the number of girls and assigned female at birth we work with who have also struggled with smartphone addiction. Noticing this intersection, we have adapted our programming to help address the unhealthy ways that technology is used, expectations that teens have about their online identities, and communication skills missing from online interactions. 

Raising awareness about social media addiction has become a unique part of Solstice RTC’s program by teaching parents how to handle these issues and set boundaries around electronics.

Equine Therapy: In addition to group and family therapy, we believe that equine therapy is a powerful way of teaching relational skills, like nonverbal communication and social awareness. Using body language with these sensitive animals helps students learn how to better communicate with others and build relationships.

Weekly phone calls with family: Teens today are used to having more conversations online than in person–even with their families. This depersonalized way of socializing often gets in the way of maintaining two-way conversations. While they do not have access to cell phones, students at Solstice are encouraged to make regular phone calls to friends and family members to strengthen their support system. Every week, students have the chance to video chat with their parents during therapy sessions.

Home visits offer opportunities to self-monitor social media use: Students periodically go home for a few days, prior to leaving the program, to gauge how they handle being at home with access to their cell phone and social media. Every teen has an individualized technology contract that they work on with their parents and their therapist to decide what boundaries, if any, may need to be set around healthy media use. 

At Solstice RTC, our goal is to help teen girls and assigned female at birth learn how to use their phones to communicate more effectively with people without feeling like they have to be attached to their phone every second of the day. Many of the girls and assigned female at birth we work with come to our program struggling with a “fear of missing out” and describe their compulsion to “stay updated” on their online social lives all the time.

“For the most part, I can do things and have it in my pocket and not need it. Right now, it’s not that big of an issue for me. I can be by myself and be okay and I’m reconnecting with a lot of things I love. And I don’t feel empty.” -Testimonial from former student who struggled with internet addiction

Solstice RTC Can Help

Solstice is a groundbreaking residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. Our girls and assigned female at birth often struggle with depression, anxiety, trauma, ADHD,  technology addiction, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us. Through a unique combination of therapeutic programs based upon both traditional and holistic mental health treatment, we treat our clients with age and gender-specific techniques. With a strong emphasis on family therapy based intervention, nutrition, and physical fitness, and the supportive provision of cutting-edge academics, substance abuse/addiction therapy, equine therapy, and psychiatric services, 

Solstice sets the stage for the infusion of light into the previously darkened lives of the families we serve. We strive to empower teenage people with the ability to believe in themselves offline and provide the tools and motivation required to instill these beliefs for life.

For more information about smartphone addiction, contact us at 866-278-3345.

teens addicted to cell phones

Why Are Teens Addicted to Cell Phones?

Why Are Teens Addicted to Cell Phones? 2560 1707 srtc_admin

Parents of teens today are very familiar with the sight of their teen’s face bathed in the blue light coming from a cell phone, computer, or television screen. Technology today is everywhere, and many teens have near constant access to it. And while parents may worry about the amount of time their teen spends on their cell phone, when does the amount of time begin to become a real problem?

Cell Phone Addiction in Teens

A 2016 study found that 50 percent of teens “feel addicted” to mobile devices, while 59 percent of parents surveyed believe that kids are addicted to their devices. This survey also showed that 72 percent of teens and 48 percent of parents feel the need to immediately respond to texts, social-networking messages, and other notifications; 69 percent of parents and 78 percent of teens check their devices at least hourly.

One of the ways cell phones create an addictive feedback loop is through the apps that teens download. Social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, games, and even text messages give users a little jolt of dopamine every time they receive a “like”, comment, or message. This dose of “happy hormone” encourages teens to come back again and again to get that feeling, and as a result, they begin to need more of those interactions to get back to the equivalent of that initial jolt. 

Signs and symptoms of cell phone addiction may include: continued excessive use despite negative effects in their life, withdrawing from family or shared events in favor of cell phone use, impulsive, frequent checking of their phone, insomnia or sleep deprivation due to excessive use, anxiety, and depression.

We understand that in today’s world, teens use their cell phones for a variety of reasons, both recreational and academic, so it can help to focus less on counting the minutes of use, and focus instead on how they are using their phone. It is important to teach them how to have a healthy balance in their cell phone use. To do that, parents must first understand how their teen is using their phone and what purpose it serves them. If your teen is spending hours on social media platforms or gaming, speak with them about how their behaviors are negatively affecting their lives. For example, if they are staying up late on their phone chatting, they may wake up tired and be unable to perform during the school day or in their extracurricular activities. You can also help them to create healthy boundaries around their phone use, but if they are unable to stay within these boundaries, it may be time to seek out professional help.

Solstice RTC Can Help

Solstice RTC helps teen students with a variety of issues. We often treat students struggling with challenges related to past traumas, loss, and attachment issues. Our goal is to equip them with the tools needed to lead happy, successful lives. We provide a nurturing and welcoming environment for teenage students and help them recognize that they are on the cusp of something wonderful: the chance to heal from their past and become the best version of themselves. For more information please call (866) 278-3345.

teens with social anxiety

Navigating Online Relationships for Teens with Social Anxiety

Navigating Online Relationships for Teens with Social Anxiety 2560 1709 srtc_admin

Social media is no longer just for networking with friends and family. In fact, many teens follow more influencers than people they know online. In order to go “viral” on a platform, their posts have to be public. As digital privacy becomes less important to teens, many teens are becoming more digitally intimate–sharing personal details online to people they don’t know in person. For teens with social anxiety who find it easier to develop online relationships than with their peers offline, it is important to remember that navigating online relationships requires different social rules. 

Why Does Socializing Online Feel Safer for Some Teens?

  • More anonymity
  • Delayed response time 
  • Can use filters, Photoshop, or a fake name
  • Less expectation of intimacy
  • Less fear of rejection 
  • Wider circle of acquaintances

For some teens who have experienced rejection and isolation offline, they may feel more comfortable interacting with others through a screen. Even if they recognize that their online relationships aren’t healthy or that the other person isn’t putting in enough effort, they may continue to pursue this relationship as online rejection hurts less than face-to-face rejection. If someone were to reject them online, it is not like the entire school would find out and shame them. 

Another benefit of socializing online for teens with social anxiety is that, in some ways, they might experience less Fear of Missing Out. They are able to maintain a wider circle of acquaintances and keep tabs on what is going on in the lives of people they know without being expected to start a conversation or make plans. This can reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness. 

Online socializing can help anxious teens maintain relationships with acquaintances that they may have struggled to make the effort to see, if they go to different schools or live in different cities. It can also help them develop stronger relationships with people that they may be too anxious to talk to at school. For example, introverted teens may prefer texting someone back and forth than picking up the phone or meeting someone at a coffeeshop for the same conversation, let alone trying to have the same conversation in front of a bigger group of people. Some people find it easier to make a generic post to their “followers” instead of sending the same text multiple times or starting a group chat with a restricted number of people, as they never know who might respond.

What Are the Risks Associated with Socializing Online?

  • Presenting a false self
  • Difficulty engaging in face-to-face interactions
  • Problems identifying red flags
  • Sexting
  • Getting catfished 

Social anxiety is often a predictor of internet addiction. Ironically, the more time teens spend worrying about how they are perceived online, the more likely they are to update their newsfeed or check for new notifications. One would think that the anxiety they experience around their social media presence would discourage them from being glued to their screens, but the opposite is usually true. The potential validation they might receive from online interactions often outweighs potential threats or hate messages.

How is Online Socializing Different from Offline Socializing?

  • Privacy Issues
  • Lack of Nonverbal Cues
  • Conversations cannot be permanently deleted
  • Hard to fully trust that the other person is being transparent
  • People are more likely to perform for an online audience

At a relationship-based residential treatment center for girls, teens learn how to be present with others offline and to interact without the distraction of smartphones. Many teens with social anxiety have developed insecurities in relationships based on past negative experiences with peers at school. In order to change beliefs about not being good enough in relationships, they must confront these beliefs and build evidence that this is not always true. 

Teens who had previously turned to the Internet to receive validation learn that they are liked by others when they act like their true selves. During group therapy, teens with social anxiety learn how to actively listen to others, ask for help, and provide mutual support as they discuss their relationship styles and how they developed these beliefs. This can lead to conversations about values in relationships, online safety, and ways to manage anxiety.

Solstice RTC Can Help 

Solstice is a groundbreaking residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. Our girls and assigned female at birth often struggle with depression, anxiety, trauma, ADHD,  technology addiction, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us. Through a unique combination of therapeutic programs based upon both traditional and holistic mental health treatment, we treat our clients with age and gender-specific techniques. We strive to empower teenage people with the ability to believe in themselves offline and provide the tools and motivation required to instill these beliefs for life.

For more information about smartphone addiction, contact us at 866-278-3345. 

 

my child is addicted to instagram

Is Your Daughter’s Addiction to Instagram Likes Affecting Her Ability to Feel Well-Liked?

Is Your Daughter’s Addiction to Instagram Likes Affecting Her Ability to Feel Well-Liked? 6000 4000 srtc_admin

Instagram just proposed that they would start hiding likes from other viewers in an attempt to empower users to use it as a platform of self-expression rather than self-comparison. Younger generations are more drawn to social media apps like Instagram where they can interact with celebrities, businesses, and influencers than websites like Facebook, where they share personal updates with friends and family.

As posts reach a wider audience and their feed is updated more frequently, it is not uncommon if your child has become addicted to scrolling through Instagram. For teens struggling with self-esteem and connection, Instagram provides the illusion of validation through likes and comments; but, the more teens post and put themselves out there online, the less connected they often feel offline.

Isn’t everyone addicted to their phone?

With smartphones, we carry access to the whole world in our hands. According to a recent New York Times article, “most people check their smartphones 150 times per day, or every six minutes.” Each time we pick up our phone, we get sucked into a vortex of selfies, articles, emails, and endless scrolling. Teens spend an average of nine hours a day staring at a screen and most of them are worried they spend too much time on their phones. Like all addictions, technology convinces us that we need it and we can’t live without the identities we’ve built online. Although technology gives us access to more information, improves productivity, and helps us to connect with others, it can have a significant impact on our self-esteem, relationships, and digital safety.

Potential Harm caused by Instagram

Social media is just another form of media that can offer fake news, unrealistic role models, and awareness of violence in society. The difference between social media and other news outlets is that it is run by users and largely unregulated, unless you are a high-profile personality. Most teens that use Instagram as a cry for help or to target others go under the radar.

The biggest problem with social media is that people feel pressure to present false, idealistic versions of themselves. Most accounts are used to glamorize your life, which can be an immediate boost to your self esteem, but forces you to keep up appearances. While more influencers are becoming vulnerable about having bad days or using photoshop, teenagers often compare themselves to the good parts of other people’s lives without realizing a picture may hide a thousand words.

Hiding likes may not protect teenagers from cyberbullying or censor the type of information they are exposed to, but it can help teenagers form an identity outside of likes. Constantly comparing yourself to others and receiving messages about what your life should look like, if only you could afford these products or have these experiences, takes a toll on one’s self-esteem and self concept. Teens feel pressure to be the person they want to be online and look for approval from others by giving into buying products and going places “for the gram.” The lack of censorship of smaller accounts can contribute to receiving hateful comments or spreading screenshots of personal information that can tear apart the unstable sense of self-esteem teens build online.

Benefits of using Instagram

It’s impossible to make your child avoid using Instagram altogether. Most teens have smartphones and communicate with their friends more often through social media than over text.

We don’t believe technology use should be restricted, but we encourage girls and assigned female at birth to learn how to use social media to empower themselves rather than to self-destruct.

  • Helps teens stay in touch with friends
  • Provides a way to bond over content in person or to discover you have shared interests with your peers
  • Easier than communicating in person for teens with social anxiety
  • Can be easier to reach out for support to a wider audience than to text a specific person. You never know who might respond and how supportive they might be.
  • Likes are a stamp of approval and support, even if they are easy to obsess over
  • Encourages teens to share their achievements and creativity
  • Can be a good distraction from overwhelming emotions
  • Many accounts are filled with positive messages about self-esteem and embracing who you are

It’s all about choosing who you follow and who you let follow your account. Maybe hiding likes will help get back to the real purpose of social media: forming positive connections.

Solstice West can help

Solstice is a groundbreaking residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. Our girls and assigned female at birth often grapple with depression, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us. Many of them struggle with technology addiction that has taken a blow to their self-esteem and they have difficulty maintaining in-person relationships due to self-doubt, people-pleasing, and insecurity.

Through a unique combination of therapeutic programs based upon both traditional and holistic mental health treatment, we treat our clients with age and gender specific techniques. We strive to empower teenage people with the ability to believe in themselves offline and provide the tools and motivation required to instill these beliefs for life.

 

Snapchat Addiction: The Darkside of a Popular Worldwide App

Snapchat Addiction: The Darkside of a Popular Worldwide App 1280 853 Solstice RTC

Snapchat is on almost every teenager’s smartphone. It’s one of the most used apps in the world, competing with other major companies like Instagram, Tik Tok and Facebook. A downside has begun to become apparent, though, as this app continues to increase in popularity: Snapchat addiction.

If your teen is constantly hooked to their phone and other forms of technology due to underlying emotional or behavioral challenges, it may be time to consider treatment options. Click here to learn more about technology addiction and how Solstice works with teens struggling with technology issues.

Why a Snapchat addiction should be taken seriously

A Snapchat addiction creates the same reaction in your teen’s brain as other forms of addiction. 

Take gambling addictions for example; people become addicted to the feeling, the rush, of winning money. With technology, it’s similar. For video game addictions, it’s usually being used as a sort of escape from reality. For a Snapchat addiction, it’s more about views and “snap streaks.”

snapchat addictionSnap streaks are the way to measure “success” on Snapchat. On Instagram it’s about likes, on Snapchat it’s about the streak. A snap streak is when you’ve been sending snaps directly to a person for a prolonged amount of time. To get the streak, you have to do it each day. If you miss a day, you lose the streak.

For some teens, snap streaks can turn into a measure of how much you care about someone or how much they care for you. It can get so obsessive that the streaks continue for over a year–and if you lose one, it can be devastating, it can even ruin a friendship. So, it’s easy to see how this obsession can grow into something problematic.

It can begin as something harmless, but if behavior increasingly becomes erratic and obsessive based around Snapchat, there may be a real issue. When a teen begins to place their self-worth on the number of likes, followers, or snaps they receive, it can be a sign that your teen may need therapeutic assistance.

Snapchat ranked among the worst social media for mental health

In a study conducted by Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) and the Young Health Movement (YHM), researchers found that Instagram and Snapchat are the worst for mental health in teens.

The data came from 1,500 youth, ages 14-24, in order to understand social media’s impact on the age group that uses it the most.

The researchers believe this is because the two platforms are largely based on image rather than anything else. It all focuses on followers and shallow status factors. Having your self esteem based on something so volatile and superficial can lead to serious mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, extreme feelings of loneliness, and more.

Solstice is a teen depression treatment center

Solstice is a groundbreaking residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. Our girls and assigned female at birth often grapple with depression, Snapchat addiction, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us. Dealing with these issues can get confusing and overwhelming fast–but we’re here to help guide you.

Through a unique combination of therapeutic programs based upon both traditional and holistic mental health treatment, we treat our clients with age and gender specific techniques. We strive to empower teenage people with the ability to believe in themselves and provide the tools and motivation required to instill these beliefs for life.

For more information about how we help with Snapchat addiction at Solstice, please contact us at (866) 278-3345.

 

Solstice 20/20 Episode: How Digital Addiction Is Affecting Teens

Solstice 20/20 Episode: How Digital Addiction Is Affecting Teens 1280 954 Solstice RTC

If you haven’t heard already, recently there was a Solstice 20/20 episode about how we deal with digital addiction in our program. Our technological advancements have bettered the lives of many, but there’s always some fallout from new things–that doesn’t make it bad, it just means we have to learn to identify the issue and treat it well.

This is exactly what we talk about in the Solstice 20/20 episode. How we help girls and assigned female at birth who have formed unhealthy attachments to technology work through their issue and find a healthier, sustainable way to use the digital tools given to us to improve their lives.

solstice 20/20 episodeWhat is digital addiction?

First, let’s go over what an addiction is. The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction:

“Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response…This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.”

While addiction is most commonly thought to be with substances, it can also be with behaviors. A behavior such as using technological devices–like a smartphone.

When your teen has an extreme compulsion to always have their phone around and use it for at least a minimum amount daily, there’s probably an issue. Especially if that compulsion is getting in the way of their interpersonal relationships and wellbeing.

What is discussed in the Solstice 20/20 episode?

In the Solstice 20/20 episode, we go through one of our students’ experiences with digital addiction. Before coming to Solstice, they struggled with an strong dependency on their cell phone. They would constantly use their phone–texting, posting on various social media platforms, and spending hours and hours of their real life focused on their digital life.

This unhealthy use began to get in the way of relationships with the important people in their life. Her parents–like many–tried to lower their use by taking away their phone, but that seemed to just make matters worse.

She began to act out and get involved with dangerous sides of the internet. After their parents discovered a suicide note by accident, they enrolled their in Solstice to put their on a path to recovery.

The journey hasn’t been easy, but they and their family feel that they have gained a stronger sense of self-awareness, accountability, and overall wellbeing.

In response to a question about their progress, they responded:

“I can be by myself and be okay and I’m reconnecting with a lot of things I love. And I don’t feel empty.”

Solstice is here for your daughter

Solstice is a groundbreaking residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. Our girls and assigned female at birth often grapple with depression, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us.

Through a unique combination of therapeutic programs based upon both traditional and holistic mental health treatment, we treat our clients with age and gender specific techniques. We strive to empower teenage people with the ability to believe in themselves and provide the tools and motivation required to instill these beliefs for life.

For more information about how we help at Solstice, please contact us at (866) 278-3345.

 

Why Instagram Could Be Worse for Your Child with Low Self Esteem

Why Instagram Could Be Worse for Your Child with Low Self Esteem 1200 675 Solstice RTC

Social media is embedded in most of our daily lives today, few will dispute that. Adults are known to have at least a Facebook profile, while teens are known to have all the social media accounts under the sun–but what are the effects of this? New studies are showing that unfettered social media use may be harmful to teens, especially a child with low self esteem.

Study shows Instagram is most harmful to mental health

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world with over 700 million users. The app is centered on photos users post; other users can comment and “like” the post if they choose.

There’s still a vast amount of information we don’t know about the effects of social media on young brains, which is why RSPH and the Young Health Movement decided to conduct a study.

The study, #StatusOfMind, discovered Instagram to be the top contributor to negative mental health effects in youth–while YouTube was the most (and only) positive platform. The study involved almost 1,500 young people, ranging in age from 14 to 24.

child with low self esteemThe results showed that Instagram was particularly hard on young girls’ mental health–which could be especially alarming if you have a child with low self esteem.

Why Instagram is causing issues

The issue with Instagram has to do with the photos being posted. The majority of photos posted on Instagram of people have been altered with either a filter or other technical modifications–which means they’re often not showing what people really look like, they’re showing the “perfected” version.

The version with clear skin. The version with slimmer legs. The version that doesn’t exist.

For a child with low self esteem, they may scroll through Instagram seeing all of these “perfect” girls and assigned female at birth with “perfect” skin and “perfect” bodies–this may cause their to feel worse about herself because they doesn’t look like those girls, even though they don’t even look like that in real life.

While the researchers agree that it’s not realistic to “ban” filters or photoshop, they are pushing for these platforms to step up and work out a way to let people know an image isn’t showing reality. This would allow teens to see that they’re comparing themselves to something that’s no more real than a fairytale.

We need to teach our children how to use social media in healthy, positive ways that help them connect with others–not degrade their sense of self-worth to how many “likes” they can get on a photo.

If you believe your child is struggling with a mental health issue, it’s critical to reach out to a professional for further guidance.

Solstice is here for your child with low self esteem

Solstice is a groundbreaking residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. Our girls and assigned female at birth often grapple with depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us.

Through a unique combination of therapeutic programs based upon both traditional and holistic mental health treatment, we treat our clients with age and gender specific techniques. We strive to empower teenage people with the ability to believe in themselves and provide the tools and motivation required to instill these beliefs for life.

For more information about how we can help your child with low self esteem at Solstice, please contact us at (866) 278-3345.

A Craving for ‘Likes’: Is It a Social Media Addiction?

A Craving for ‘Likes’: Is It a Social Media Addiction? 1280 720 Solstice RTC

There are certain reward centers in the brain that go crazy for things like chocolate or winning money, which explains why people binge on chocolate or continue to gamble even when they’re in debt. These reward centers also have to do with why social media addiction is an issue.  

While we still know very little about social media addiction and how it works, we’re beginning to understand it. One study even found that there may be a link between genetics and social media use, which could lead to a better understanding of how social media addiction works and how to tell if someone has a higher risk or not.

social media addictionSocial media addiction defined

Social media addiction isn’t officially classified as an addiction, but it’s a compulsive need to use social media–even if it’s in a dangerous situation, like driving. If your child were to have a social media addiction and you took away their form of accessing it, it’s likely that they would show symptoms like anxiety or mood swings.

Also, for someone with social media addiction, it’s likely they take the risk of checking social media while driving, which is on par with drunk driving. Social media addiction has the power to make someone risk their life, showing that it’s a dangerous attachment that can only be described as an addiction or harmful obsession.

Why it should be considered a ‘real’ addiction

A study conducted by the Pew Research Center found that nearly a quarter of all teens are online almost constantly. Now, that may not seem like an issue, but look at it this way. If you build that much of a reliance on something, it’s not always going to be healthy. Once it begins to interfere with interacting with others and the environment around you, there’s probably an issue.

In another study, it was found 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.

The question is this: if your child is craving “likes” and is driven to “like” things with more “likes”, will they turn to methods to get “likes” even if they’re inappropriate? This is why we need to pay attention to the reality of social media addiction and the power it can hold over someone.

If you believe your child is struggling it’s critical to seek out help immediately.

Solstice is here for your daughter

Solstice is a groundbreaking residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. Our girls and assigned female at birth often grapple with depression, bullying, low self-esteem, social media addiction, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us.

Through a unique combination of therapeutic programs based upon both traditional and holistic mental health treatment, we treat our clients with age and gender specific techniques. We strive to empower teenage people with the ability to believe in themselves and provide the tools and motivation required to instill these beliefs for life.

For more information about how we treat social media addiction at Solstice, please contact us at (866) 278-3345.

 

teen technology use

Could Teen Technology Use Be the Next Big Drug?

Could Teen Technology Use Be the Next Big Drug? 2560 1707 Solstice RTC

The world we live in today involves massive amounts of technology. Few will argue that technology is the future. It’s how we communicate while on different continents. It’s how we tell our children we love them when we’re on a business trip. It’s how we record important moments in our lives through photos. It’s how we have access to more information than any physical library can ever offer. It’s also how out of control teen technology use came to be.

It’s essential for our children to know how to operate correctly, but that’s not how many use it. Many use the power of technology to engage in inappropriate behavior and even endanger themselves–this is when it becomes an issue.  

When teen technology use turns harmful

For starters, let’s celebrate something. The rate that teens, aged from 12 to 17, are smoking and drinking has been nearly cut in half in less than 15 years. That’s amazing and extremely good news.

Something not to celebrate is the rate of teen technology use. As substance abuse rates for teens have been going down, the use of technology has been exponentially going up. You may not think that’s an issue at first, but give me some time to explain.

Regular use of technology can absolutely be safe, useful, and life-enriching. Overuse can be the opposite. Just like anything else, too much of a good thing can be harmful. Think about it.

If your teen is so obsessed with their device that they’re willing to risk their life–and the life of others–just to check who liked their photo on Instagram, there’s a problem. It can cause more than just risky driving, though. It’s becoming more apparent that technology has the power to increase isolating tendencies and addictive behavior towards technology.

The only way to describe what some teens are going through is “addictive.” Some studies have shown that when teens get notifications on their devices–such as a “like” on Facebook–it triggers dopamine to be released, producing a similar effect to being high. This is how teen technology use can get out of hand.

When a teenager is already prone to rash decisions and no self-control, social media and devices can just exhaust this type of behavior. Many teens even sleep with their devices right next to them.

Inappropriate or excessive teen technology use can seriously get in the way of daily life, from making it difficult to discuss important issues with your teen to your teen getting panic attacks when separated from their devices. This is why teen technology use needs to be taken more critically than it currently is.

Solstice RTC is here for your daughter

Solstice RTC is a groundbreaking residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. Our girls and assigned female at birth often grapple with depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, inappropriate teen technology use, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us.

Through a unique combination of therapeutic programs based upon both traditional and holistic mental health treatment, we treat our clients with age and gender specific techniques. We strive to empower teenage people with the ability to believe in themselves and provide the tools and motivation required to instill these beliefs for life.

For more information about how we treat inappropriate teen technology use at Solstice RTC, please contact us at (866) 278-3345.

 

World Wide Addiction: Internet Addiction Disorder in Teens

World Wide Addiction: Internet Addiction Disorder in Teens 850 567 Solstice RTC

Although “Internet Addiction Disorder” might sound like a fake illness invented by a pampered generation, the truth is far more dangerous. Research shows that Internet Addiction Disorder carries with it all the same gravity as any other addiction – down to the way in which dopamine functions in the brain. In other words, Internet Addiction Disorder affects the mind in a manner similar to controlled substances.

Culture vs. Addiction

Since Internet Addiction Disorder is such a new concept, it is easy to misinterpret. Simply going online multiple times a day does not necessarily constitute Internet Addiction Disorder, just like a teen suffering the disorder might not be online 24 hours a day (although, chances are, they will make every effort be). The difference is in the impact. 

To qualify as Internet Addiction Disorder, internet use must turn into a compulsion with withdrawal effects if it is forcefully limited. Lying about being on the internet, the inability to control online behavior, and compulsive use are symptoms of the issue. Typically, when a teen has Internet Addiction Disorder, they will only be happy when “using” – as such, their non-digital life (including social interactions, school performance, and relationships) will take a heavy toll. Moreover, like with many other drugs, the teen might lose track of time while on the computer.

Back to Reality

As a parent, there are several steps that can be taken to bring your child back to our world. While making your teen quit cold turkey looks good on paper, in reality, it is likely to cause them to lash back. Instead, try gradually decreasing your teen’s smartphone and computer use and implementing a healthy routine. By encouraging your teen to be active and social, you will organically take away the time they could be spending on the computer.

Internet Addiction Disorder is sometimes a result of outside difficulties – for instance, stress, family problems, and school troubles; remember to communicate with your teen about what might be causing the underlying problem.

If your teen’s Internet Addiction Disorder gets out of hand, it might be time to consider professional help.

Solstice can help

If your child is constantly hooked to their phone and is struggling with addictive behavioral issues, consider Solstice as an option. Solstice, a residential treatment center for teen girls and assigned female at birth ages 14-18, helps struggling teens find success.

For more information about Solstice, please call (866) 278-3345!