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Trauma

talking about trauma

Addressing the Unspoken: Talking To Your Teen About Their Trauma

Addressing the Unspoken: Talking To Your Teen About Their Trauma 336 321 srtc_admin

Talking to your teen about trauma can feel overwhelming and difficult. Even if you have not experienced trauma yourself, you can understand how one probably does not want to talk about the things that have hurt them or scarred them in the past. It can cause all of the negative emotions to resurface. Your teen should never feel pressured to talk about their trauma. Some reasons to consider why one may not want to talk about their trauma include:

  • Denial of the trauma: the natural response towards trauma is to try and remove all memory of it and pretend it didn’t happen.
  • Survival: Sometimes individuals think no one will believe them or speaking their truth will come at a cost.
  • The unspeakable nature of trauma: Trauma often represents the violation of all we hold to be dear and sacred therefore individuals do not want to open up about it.  
  • The hostile culture: Naturally, trauma victims will feel cautious about disclosing their trauma history because of the cultural response.

Why You Should Be Talking To Your Teen About Their Trauma

The reasons why it is important to talk to your teen about trauma have recently been put on display by researchers. In a nutshell- Traumatic thoughts and memories that remain “unspeakable” or “unthinkable” for too long often impede our brain’s natural process of recovery after trauma. As a parent you may feel uncomfortable trying to open this conversation with your teen. However, therapy is a great way to open that door. Outwardly talking about trauma memories in this fashion does not make symptoms worse. When it is done with the help of a skilled therapist, PTSD symptoms have been shown to improve. As a parent, here are some tips on how you can give your teen the best support:

  1. Show them love and care.
  2. Let them know you are always there for them so they feel comfortable talking to you.
  3. Find resources available to help your teen cope with their trauma.
  4. Allow them appropriate “breathing room”.
  5. Ask a skilled professional what you can do to meet your teen’s unique needs

Solstice West RTC Can Help

Solstice West RTC  is a program for young girls and assigned female at birth ages 14-18 who struggle with issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma, and/or relationship struggles. This program provides three types of therapy: individual, group, and family therapy. Solstice Residential Treatment Center is dedicated to teaching teens how to incorporate healthy habits into their lives. Students will leave with the skills they need to transition into the world feeling confident, happy, and able to manage their emotions. We can help your family today!

Contact us at 866-278-3345.

 

 

secondary trauma

What is Secondary PTSD And How Does It Affect Teens?

What is Secondary PTSD And How Does It Affect Teens? 4696 3456 srtc_admin

In the digital age, part of staying connected online is exposure to daily accounts of horrific violence across the globe and in our communities that shape our sense of safety and justice.

Although some media outlets protect the names of victims and censor their stories, teens who read these stories are sensitive to their rawness and are more vulnerable to absorbing the shock of their impact than adults who are better able to differentiate immediate from potential threats. Secondary PTSD is the emotional distress that results when an individual hears about the first-hand trauma experiences of another, either a close friend or family member or a stranger in the news.

What is Secondary PTSD?

Direct trauma can be just as impactful as indirect trauma. As many people with secondary PTSD are sensitive to or have taken on the suffering of others, many of the symptoms overlap.

Signs of secondary PTSD include:

  • Hopelessness
  • Preoccupation with the suffering of others
  • Intrusive thoughts about the event
  • Witnessing violence against another person
  • Holding onto family’s trauma
  • Being in a caretaking role for a survivor
  • Anger and cynicism
  • Hypervigilance and Hyperarousal
  • Sleeplessness or nightmares
  • Emotional exhaustion

Effects it has on Teenagers

 

  • Survivor’s guilt is a normal response to loss, even if it is not necessarily logical for someone to feel responsible for another person’s fate. This is especially common among teens who have had friends or parents impacted by a traumatic event. They might question whether the people affected deserved it or wish they could take their place. They might worry about ways they could have prevented the event or changed the outcome, even if they had no control over it.
  • Compassion Fatigue explains the exhaustion that accompanies caretaking. Some teenagers are desensitized to the effects of trauma, having witnessed it so frequently or having been put into a caregiving role. While they may remain empathetic to other people’s suffering on the surface, they may feel numb inside.
  • Mean World Syndrome refers to the phenomenon in which exposure to information in the media cultivates a negative worldview. If teenagers are flooded with stories of natural disasters, climate change, war, sexual violence, and murder, they will grow up fearing that the same things may happen to them. They see the world as a dark and hopeless place, regardless of whether their immediate environment has told them the same stories about the world.
  • Increased anxiety, depression, and lack of stable sense of self.

 

 

 

Ways to Address Secondary Trauma:

Developing an internal locus of control. Trauma affects one’s ability to feel like they can control anything around them. Beliefs may include Everything happens to me or I am a victim of circumstances. Recognizing that they may not be able to control events that occur, but they can control how they respond to them helps build self-esteem and reduce fear of the world.

Establishing sense of safety. Part of developing an internal locus of control is recognize whether the threat is real in their immediate environment or in the present. Seeking out safe spaces, supportive people, and practicing self care is a form of self-protection.

Selecting positive media. If exposure to negative media cultivates a negative worldview, choosing media with inspirational content can shape a more optimistic view of the world that empowers them to heal from fears associated with secondary trauma. Positive media challenges negative belief systems and allows them to recognize that there is a balance between good and bad in the world, but it is up to them to choose what they want to see.

How Solstice Can Help

Solstice RTC is a residential treatment program for teen girls and assigned female at birth ages 14-18 who struggle with issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma, and/or relationship struggles. This program provides three types of therapy: individual, group, and family therapy. Solstice Residential Treatment Center is dedicated to teaching teens how to incorporate healthy habits into their lives. Students will leave with the skills they need to transition into the world feeling confident, happy, and able to manage their emotions.

Contact us at 866-278-3345. We can help your family today!

 

Effects of Childhood Trauma

Lingering Physiological Effects of Childhood Trauma

Lingering Physiological Effects of Childhood Trauma 0 0 srtc_admin

It is commonly accepted that an accumulation of multiple adverse childhood experiences makes adults more likely to continue to face negative experiences. However, a recent study conducted by the University of Missouri revealed that adults who have experienced childhood trauma still experience the physical effects years later. Especially as children’s brains are still developing rapidly, experiencing traumatic events leaves them vulnerable to rewiring of circuits and underdevelopment of neural connectivity. The narratives we adopt about our traumatic experiences are deeply ingrained in our brain’s stress response system which makes it difficult for adults to recover from the lingering effects of childhood trauma.

Understanding Effects of Childhood Trauma On Development

It is hard for us to recall our earliest memories before the age of seven. While we are more likely to remember significant events or vague schemas of a vacation or a childhood friend, most people suffer from childhood amnesia, which refers to our brain’s inability to store early memories into long-term memories due to its stage in development.

Ironically, the first seven years of our lives are also the most formative in developing a sense of self, our perspective of the world, coping skills, and attachment styles. It is when the majority of our language learning takes place and how we learn to orient ourselves in space and time.

For children who have experienced early childhood trauma during this critical stage of personal growth, their development may be profoundly altered by adoption of negative beliefs about themselves, their relationships, and their outlook on like. Physiologically, their ability to self regulate may be impacted by hyperarousal and persistent anxiety.

While the type of traumatic events adults face may be different than trauma children experience at home, developmental trauma refers to the effect of early adverse experiences on the brain’s ability to develop executive functioning skills that help build resilience and protect one’s safety later in life. The lower parts of our brain are dedicated to survival, while upper parts of our brain that develop during childhood involve emotion regulation, moral judgment, and problem solving. Interrupting one’s brain development during survival mode can trigger survival responses to stressors as an adult if they don’t have the skills to self-regulate.

Biological Resilience

According to University of Missouri postdoctoral fellow Yang Li, “our model indicates some people are biologically more resilient than others to PTSD. Normally, the body’s stress response system is regulated by two hormones: cortisol, which floods the body in response to a stressful event, and oxytocin, which brings cortisol levels back down once the stressor has passed.”

They found that people with a dissociative form of PTSD were more likely to have significant changes in cortisol and oxytocin that impact their ability to respond to stress appropriately. These biological markers may contribute to their disrupted sense of of self and their surroundings.

The study concludes that hormone levels may be key to understanding why some people are more likely to experience a traumatic response to certain events and some people may be more resilient or unaffected. It also suggests that we should focus more on regulating physiological causes and symptoms of stress before addressing stressful situations so that people are better prepared to make sense of their experiences.

Li notes that “PTSD might surface in response to a specific event in adulthood, but what we are seeing suggests that in many cases, the real root of the problem is in the damage caused during childhood.”

Lasting Effects

Due to childhood amnesia, many symptoms of early traumatic stress are internalized or are hard to process properly. Teenagers may struggle to understand that their overwhelming emotions are stemming from something deeper than typical hormone shifts or stressful everyday situations.

Effects of traumatic stress depend on the individual; however, regardless of how it appears, it is usually considered a risk factor for later problems in adulthood.

  • Avoiding situations that make them recall the traumatic event
  • Experiencing nightmares or flashbacks about the trauma
  • Seeking out or ending up in similar situations or relationships
  • Insecure or avoidant attachment
  • Feeling restless or on edge, ready to jump into fight-or flight
  • Acting impulsively or aggressively
  • Feeling nervous or anxious frequently
  • Experiencing emotional numbness
  • Having trouble focusing at school
  • Using negative coping skills, such as drug and alcohol use, self-harm and other self-destructive behaviors

How We Can Help

Solstice West is a residential treatment center that creates a supportive space for teenage girls and assigned female at birth ages 14-18 to process their trauma and grow emotionally. We take a relationship-based approach to healing from personal trauma that encourages friendship, peer support, and mentorship through group therapy and teamwork. Our treatment model incorporates adventure therapy, fitness, artistic expression, and community service to encourage normal adolescent experiences, social skills, independent living skills, and playfulness that are often restricted when experiencing significant traumatic stress.

 

childhood PTSD

Study Shows Childhood PTSD Caused When Children Ruminate Over Trauma

Study Shows Childhood PTSD Caused When Children Ruminate Over Trauma 4096 2732 srtc_admin

Children with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may face challenges from many different angles. You are not expected to know everything about PTSD. However, educating yourself on its breadth of causes and effects can help you be a better advocate for your child. Childhood PTSD can develop from a variety of events or situations. It is important that you recognize when your child needs help coping with their emotions and managing the stress that could come from certain situations.

A recent study shows that childhood PTSD can likely develop from children having a tough time processing their trauma and perceive their symptoms as something much worse. While one may experience a traumatic event and work through it, others may have the previous scenario occur. They go on to develop PTSD because they could not cope with the trauma they felt and they got overwhelmed by their own symptoms. If this is the case the PTSD could affect them for months, years, and even into adulthood.

Pointing out PTSD

As a parent, it is important that you observe your child and pick up on any abnormal cues that could indicate PTSD. While everyone handles trauma differently, there are some common warning signs that should prompt you to get help. These include:

  • Avoiding situations that make them recall the traumatic event
  • Experiencing nightmares or flashbacks about the trauma
  • Playing in a way that repeats or recalls the trauma
  • Acting impulsively or aggressively
  • Feeling nervous or anxious frequently
  • Experiencing emotional numbness
  • Having trouble focusing at school

If you recognize these signs in your child it is important that you take the next steps in getting them help. Remember PTSD is treatable. There are a variety of therapies and measures one can take to move past and overcome the impacts of PTSD. You should seek professional support to evaluate the situation and create a plan to get your child on the path towards recovery.

Solstice RTC Can Help

Solstice RTC is a residential treatment program for teen girls and assigned female at birth ages 14-18 who struggle with issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma, and/or relationship struggles. This program provides three types of therapy: individual, group, and family therapy. Solstice Residential Treatment Center is dedicated to teaching teens how to incorporate healthy habits into their lives. Students will leave with the skills they need to transition into the world feeling confident, happy, and able to manage their emotions. We can help your family today!

Contact us at 866-278-3345.

 

psychological trauma treatment

Relationship-Based Support as the Foundation of Treatment for Teens Struggling with Psychological Trauma

Relationship-Based Support as the Foundation of Treatment for Teens Struggling with Psychological Trauma 640 426 srtc_admin

Although life is inevitably full of stressful experiences, transitions and loss, teenagers are particularly sensitive to experiencing social, emotional, and cognitive problems in response to these experiences as early experiences shape their worldview. While these adverse childhood experiences are not uncommon, individuals with higher cumulative adverse childhood experiences are at risk for higher levels of traumatic stress and developing unhealthy coping skills. For these teens, psychological trauma treatment can be a crucial next steps towards getting the help they need.

Teenagers are at a critical transitional point in their life where they are exploring who they are and who they want to be as an independent adult. Teenagers who have experienced a lot of pain in their adolescence have learned to be more sensitive and often cynical of the world and are vulnerable to feelings of hopelessness for the future.

The first step in identifying effective types of treatment that help teenagers build their self-esteem and reclaim their identity after these negative experiences is understanding how psychological trauma affects their mind and their body.

What is Trauma?

Trauma refers to an emotional response to a significant life event that is considered unusual and distressful and can have long term effects on functioning. Examples of typical traumatic events or experience can include physical or sexual violence, car accidents, natural disasters, or witnessing the injury of someone else. However, recent research suggests that trauma can be grouped into “Big T” and “little t” experiences, with little t events referring to personal traumas, such as loss of relationships, perceived abandonment, neglect, and emotional abuse. These events can have the same neurological impact as “Big T” traumas. Psychological trauma treatment can help teenagers make sense of their experiences and build resiliency.

How is Trauma Different from Grief or Depression?

Psychological trauma often stems from complex and compounded experiences and results in dysregulation in response to specific triggers. Although traumatic responses are appropriate reactions to these intense experiences, many people have difficulty moving on from the experience and often develop other unhealthy coping skills to deal with their emotions. Traumatic experiences in childhood are significant in shaping one’s belief systems and brain development, as teens are learning how to trust their environment and form their individual identities. While parents can try to shelter their children from these experiences, it is important to remember that you cannot prevent these unexpected events from occurring, however learning how they are affected can help you to support them through their healing.

What Does Trauma Look Like?

Psychological Trauma affects every individual differently. Some teens have little difficulty adjusting in the aftermath of a traumatic event, however it is also common for teenagers to be in shock or denial, with repressed emotions showing up either later in life or being expressed through other coping skills, such as substance use, suicidal ideation, and body image issues that are more easily identified and addressed in typical mental treatment settings.

Some symptoms of Traumatic Stress may include:

  • Overwhelming feelings of terror
  • Strong emotions such as depression, anger, anxiety, or hopelessness
  • Helplessness
  • Guilt or Shame associated with the event
  • Fixation on the traumatic event; obsessive thoughts and repetitive conversations
  • Panic attacks or Flashbacks where they feel like they are reliving the experience
  • Emotional withdrawal
  • Isolation
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty Sleeping

Treatment Options for Psychological Trauma:

Trauma is often misdiagnosed as an emotional issue as it is hard for teenagers to talk openly about their experiences with parents and professionals, especially as it is difficult for them to process what has happened to them. Teenagers may not understand that their experiences are not normal, know how to set boundaries in relationships, or advocate for their bodily autonomy. However, it is important to teens to address psychological trauma so that they can try to resolve some of the problems it has caused and learn how to regulate their emotions more effectively as they transition into adulthood. While medication may be prescribed to help with mood regulation and difficulty sleeping, many teens benefit from intensive therapy that addresses their belief systems, attachment styles, and identity issues from a holistic perspective that acknowledges the mind-body connection.

Why Choose Solstice West?

Solstice West is a residential treatment center that creates a safe space for teenage girls and assigned female at birth ages 14-18 to process their trauma and grow emotionally. As a residential program, we offer a supportive environment where teens are sheltered from the stressors of their school and home environment and the community where they may have experienced trauma. Our clinicians are trained in a variety of therapeutic techniques that have been developed to help people heal from trauma, including EMDR, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Trauma-Focused Assisted Equine Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Somatic Experiencing, and Internal Family Systems Therapy.

Our program’s structure is based off Joseph Campbell’s theory of the Hero’s Journey and personal transformation in which the main character of every story discovers themselves by facing their personal dragons in the form of fears, doubts, and insecurities. We take a relationship-based approach to healing from personal trauma that encourages friendship, peer support, and mentorship through group therapy and teamwork. Our treatment model incorporates adventure therapy, fitness, artistic expression, and community service to encourage normal adolescent experiences, social skills, independent living skills, and playfulness that are often restricted when experiencing significant traumatic stress.


For more information about treatment for psychological trauma at Solstice West, please contact us at 866-278-3345.

 

 

treatment for childhood trauma

Treatment for Childhood Trauma: Taking The Next Steps

Treatment for Childhood Trauma: Taking The Next Steps 4608 3456 srtc_admin

Did you know that “trauma” effects majority of children at some point in their lives? Studies show that 60 percent of children were exposed to trauma at least once during childhood. Trauma could encompass a variety of things including: violent events; sexual trauma; witnessing a trauma that caused or could have caused death or severe injury; learning about a traumatic event involving a loved one; and other traumas such as diagnosis with a serious illness, serious injury, or fire. Research proves that trauma is more common than previously thought. But how do we move forward from the struggles that childhood drama can bring? Below are some treatment options that may fit your child’s needs.

Immediate Actions

There are intervention methods you can practice immediately following a traumatic event that your child may have been exposed to. Here are the methods to consider:

  • Provide support so that the child and family feel safe and secure
  • Advocate a supportive role by caregivers and others
  • Maintain healthy relationships with the child’s primary caregivers and other close relatives/friends
  • Reduce unnecessary secondary exposures & separations
  • Help ease the child to return to typical routines (such as school) as soon as possible
  • Facilitate open but not forced communication with the child about his/her reactions to the traumatic event
  • Focus on constructive responses
  • Explain to child in developmentally appropriate terms
  • Encourage and support help-seeking behaviors
  • Create a supportive milieu for the spectrum of reactions and different courses of recovery
  • Monitor and/or refer child for a clinical trauma evaluation

Further Actions

You should never hesitate to seek professional help for your child. Seeking appropriate treatment for childhood trauma means doing your research and getting your child properly evaluated. In terms of treatment, here are a few things your health care provider may suggest:

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT): This type of therapy targets the symptoms that follow a child experiencing trauma. This is a limited-time type of intervention that typically lasts about 6 months. Research shows that TF-CBT has the ability to reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. The mission of this therapy is to teach children ways to cope with their emotions and to regulate their responses to traumatic memories in a healthier way.

Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS): Children spend most of their time during the day at school. The school setting has a critical responsibility of providing health and behavioral health services. This type of therapeutic intervention is the same as the therapy discussed above, it just happens in the school setting. For a child to overcome their trauma, it Is important that they feel safe and supported in the place that they spend most of their time.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): This is a cognitive behavioral treatment approach that’s main objective is to blend behavior and problem-solving strategies with acceptance-based strategies. Here are the five components of DBT:

  1. Skills training
  2. Individual behavior treatment plans
  3. Access to therapist outside of clinical setting
  4. Structuring of their environment
  5. Therapist team consultation group

Solstice Residential Treatment Center can help

Solstice Residential Treatment Center is a program for young girls and assigned female at birth ages 14-18 who struggle with issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma, and/or relationship struggles. This program provides three types of therapy: individual, group, and family therapy. This program is dedicated to teaching teens how to incorporate healthy habits into their lives. Students will leave with the skills they need to transition into the world feeling confident, happy, and healthy. We can help your family today!

Contact us at 866-278-3345

trauma treatment

Trauma Treatment: Understanding the Effects and Options Available

Trauma Treatment: Understanding the Effects and Options Available 1280 895 Solstice RTC

Generally, when someone thinks of trauma treatment, an image of an injured soldier comes to mind–this leaves out a massive set of people, though. Adolescents can most definitely experience the damaging effects of trauma after an adverse event, whether it be from a natural accident, abuse, or something else.

The different types of trauma treatment

There are various kinds of trauma treatment available. Many of them have been proven to be incredibly effective and efficient when it comes to helping adolescents struggling with trauma.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

This type of therapy can be extremely effective for treating trauma in teens. CBT focuses on taking bleak, damaging thoughts and replacing them with helpful, constructive ones. Especially if a child is having issues with memories of their trauma, CBT can be a great first route.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR takes a slightly different approach to trauma treatment. By combining cognitive therapy and directed eye movements, EMDR has been found to be effective in treating the adverse effects of trauma. Though it’s been found to be effective, certain aspects of it are still being argued on whether they’re necessary or not, but the strategy is still widely used and helpful in the trauma treatment process.

Equine Assisted Therapy

Equine therapy involves working with horses in order to help adolescents open up and form connections again. Animals have a way of not only relieving stress, but building a relationships that offers support and love in a simple, relaxing way.

Therapy & Medication

This isn’t always necessary, but it all depends on what specific issues an individual faces. If the trauma they’re experiencing has morphed into a dual diagnosis with anxiety or depression, medication could be used in combination with therapy in order to get the desired outcome.

Residential treatment

Residential treatment is an intensive, full-bodied therapeutic experience that cannot be found elsewhere. It takes a teen and places them in a fully immersive environment in which they receive 24/7 support and care. This often allows an individual to take a breather and truly begin to move forward in their healing process.

As you can see above, there are many options available for trauma help; those are just the common ones. There are opportunities and programs which can help your family get back on their feet, you just have to seek them out.

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, 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 trauma treatment at Solstice RTC, please contact us at (866) 278-3345.

 

childhood trauma

Hidden Brain: Ways Childhood Trauma Affects Us for Life

Hidden Brain: Ways Childhood Trauma Affects Us for Life 1280 853 srtc_admin

Whether you remember your childhood or not, it has shaped the person you are today. Good and bad experiences knit together to form the foundational basis for how you act, make decisions, and grow into adulthood. Childhood trauma can take a child’s future down a dark path if not properly recognized and treated.

New research has continued to strengthen the body of evidence that shows how damaging childhood trauma can be–even to the point of changing our children’s brain chemistry.

Study shows childhood trauma runs deep

Adult trauma is fairly different from adolescent or childhood trauma. As an adult, we’ve built certain coping mechanisms and techniques to deal with trauma–teens haven’t. While adults certainly feel the effects of PTSD and trauma, children experience it in a way that can actually change their brain chemistry.

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

In a recent study by the Douglas Mental Health University Institute and McGill University in Montreal, Canada, researchers looked into how childhood trauma–such as abuse–can negatively affect mental health through impacting brain mechanisms.

It was discovered that adults who had experienced a childhood trauma had weaker and impaired neural connections in areas of the brain that deal with the regulation of attention, emotion, and other cognitive processes.

Other studies have shown decreased levels of white matter in certain parts of the brain when someone has gone through childhood trauma. White matter helps nerve cells “talk” to each other and communicate information. The volume of it can affect how efficiently someone is able to learn and make decisions.

The development of white matter largely happens during the early years, which is why the research team showed so much interest in how it may be affected by trauma.

They found a lower amount of connectivity between parts of the brain that regulate emotions and cognitive functioning. This helps explain why those who experience childhood trauma struggle in these areas.

Overall, these types of studies give us a deeper understanding of how childhood trauma impacts our future mental health. It highlights the importance to recognizing and treating trauma earlier rather than later in order to avoid negative outcomes–like difficulty with emotional regulation or a higher risk of substance abuse.

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 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. 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 treat childhood trauma at Solstice, please contact us at (866) 278-3345.

 

New Study Sheds Light on Help for Post-Traumatic Stress in Teens

New Study Sheds Light on Help for Post-Traumatic Stress in Teens 1280 853 srtc_admin

While help for post-traumatic stress in teens is becoming more accessible, there’s still much we don’t understand about the disorder and how it works.

In a new study, researchers believe they’ve discovered why some people develop PTSD and others don’t: molecular changes. There’s been research on how our genes and family history affect our chances of struggling with trauma, but these findings explore exactly why some people do or don’t suffer from symptoms of PTSD.

How our biology is possibly linked to issues with trauma

In a study conducted by researchers from the Netherlands, the participants were pulled from military personnel on deployment to a combat zone in Afghanistan.

help for post-traumatic stress in teensAccording to their findings, it seems that blood-based miRNAs could be biomarkers for symptoms of PTSD. This could offer help for post-traumatic stress in teens by giving a new way to screen for it.

MiRNAs are micro ribonucleic acids and play important roles in gene expression and regulation. Changes in miRNA levels have been linked to various problems, such as kidney disease, some cancers, and mental health issues. Researchers believe this means they could have something to do with PTSD.  

The lead author Dr. Laurence de Nijs from Maastricht University explains their findings:

“We identified over 900 different types of these small molecules. 40 of them were regulated differently in people who developed PTSD, whereas there were differences in 27 of the miRNAs in trauma-exposed individuals who did not develop PTSD.”

While de Nijs is optimistic about the results, he believes much more research has to be done in order to confirm their findings from this study.

Risk factors for developing PTSD

While one day we may be able to know exactly who needs help for post-traumatic stress in teens, we’re not quite there yet. In order to be aware if your child may be susceptible to PTSD, it’s important to know the risk factors.

Studies show that 6 to 30 percent (or even more) of trauma survivors end up developing PTSD, with youth being towards the high end of that percentage. Female and assigned female at births are also twice as likely to develop it compared to males.

Research-backed risk factors include:

  • Pre-existing emotional disorder (for example, those with depression are much more likely to develop PTSD compared to those without)
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • A family history of anxiety
  • A history of physical or sexual abuse, neglect, or abuse within the family
  • An early separation from parents
  • Lack of social support and/or poverty
  • Sleep disorders (insomnia, sleep apnea, etc.)

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

Solstice offers help for post-traumatic stress in teens

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. 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 help for post-traumatic stress in teens at Solstice, please contact us at (866) 278-3345.

Chronic Stress in Teens: More Likely In Girls and assigned female at birth – girls and assigned female at birth After Trauma

Chronic Stress in Teens: More Likely In Girls and assigned female at birth – girls and assigned female at birth After Trauma 1280 853 Solstice RTC

As children grow into adults, it’s important to learn how to cope with adversity–it’s actually an essential skill to living a happy, healthy life. When something stressful happens, our body increases our body’s blood pressure, heart rate, and stress hormones. When this happens to an adolescent, it can either be a growing moment or something destructive–like chronic stress in teens.

Chronic stress in teens is usually triggered when the child in question didn’t have a proper support system surrounding them when the event happened and/or the stress response was long-lasting and intense. If a child that has experienced this level of trauma doesn’t receive treatment, it’s possible that the child could face lifelong consequences.

Research links chronic stress in teens to traumatic experiences

Many studies have linked traumatic experiences to chronic stress in teens. It’s incredibly hard to deny the evidence showing the impact of untreated trauma on teens–especially girls, according to research.

chronic stress in teensIn a recent study, it was found that gender was one of the largest predictors of whether a trauma would lead to “dysfunctional cognitions.” Girls and assigned female at birth – girls and assigned female at birth were more likely than boys to experience PTSD symptoms after a trauma.

Other research has also confirmed this. In a study from Stanford University School of Medicine, it was shown that traumatic stress had a different effect on girls’ brains vs boys’ brains. It was one of the first studies to look into why girls and assigned female at birth were more likely to develop PTSD compared to boys.

The answer seems to have to do with the part of the brain called the insula–more specifically, the part inside of it called the anterior circular sulcus. This part was larger in the traumatized boys’ brains compared to untraumatized boys; and it was smaller in the traumatized girls’ brains compared to untraumatized girls.

This part of the brain usually changes during the adolescent years, growing smaller as they grow older–which suggests that the aging of the insula is accelerated by PTSD or chronic stress in teens. This runs along with other studies that have shown correlation between early puberty and high levels of stress in girls.

By understanding the gender differences of trauma, it allows us–the ones giving treatment–to provide better treatment to those struggling with the effects of trauma.

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 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, chronic stress in teens, 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 treat chronic stress in teens at Solstice, please contact us at (866) 278-3345.