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What Are the Dangers of Drinking While Taking Antidepressants?

What Are the Dangers of Drinking While Taking Antidepressants?

Teenage drinking is harmful for a surplus of reasons. Drinking is hazardous for teens who are taking antidepressants in an attempt to manage depressive symptoms. When an individual consumes alcohol while taking antidepressants, it counteracts the positive effects of the drug, which worsens depressive symptoms. In some cases, antidepressants can worsen the effects of alcohol. Therefore, alcohol and antidepressants make no healthy combination.

The temptation to self-medicate with alcohol may be strong if an antidepressant does not seem to be working or isn’t working quickly enough. However, drinking is a short-term, dangerous, and temporary fix to a long-term problem. Depression can be managed with medication and therapy, although it often takes time to find a working combination. If your teen’s medication doesn’t seem to be helping their depression, you may want to be cautious if they are possibly using alcohol as a coping mechanism.

The Effects of Alcohol Mixed With Antidepressants

Not only is there a clear link between alcohol use and developing depression symptoms, but there is also an increased risk of liver and brain damage, among other health consequences. Different antidepressant medications have varying effects, as each one uniquely affects neurotransmitters that regulate emotions in the brain. It is important to recognize that any side effects of antidepressants can be worsened with alcohol. These side effects can include worsened fatigue, nausea, dehydration, impaired concentration, and more.

There are no positive side effects when mixing alcohol and antidepressants. The most serious side effects may include:

Worsened Depression and Anxiety

Antidepressants were not designed to be taken with alcohol, which means drinking can make depression worse and harder to treat. The emotional “boost” from drinking is short-lived compared to the long-term damage that can occur from mixing substances that aren’t meant to be taken together. Drinking can exacerbate existing feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and anxiety.

Dangerous Reactions

Drinking on antidepressants can result in medical complications such as high blood pressure, seizures, nausea, dizziness, and headaches, not to mention fatigue that makes it difficult to function at work or in school. Thus the consequences of mixing antidepressants and alcohol can be both physical and social.

Some of the long-term effects of mixing alcohol and antidepressants may not be detected right away. These can include an inability to form blood clots and damage to vital organs such as the liver. If alcohol is a threat to your teen’s health, you should keep it inaccessible for them within your home.

When to Be Concerned

For many depressed people who turn to alcohol, they don’t necessarily want to get drunk; they just want to feel better. But a person will eventually have to consume larger amounts of alcohol to get to the same level of “escape” as their body develops a tolerance. This damaging cycle can result in what doctors call a co-occurring disorder, which is experiencing a substance use disorder and mental health disorder at the same time. Other times, teens may try to mix alcohol with their antidepressants as a new way to get high. Any time a prescription drug is used for something other than what it was intended for, it is known as substance misuse and can quickly develop into a substance use disorder.

If you think your teen is misusing their medication, it’s important to seek help right away. But bear in mind that a sudden withdrawal from the medication can trigger serious side effects, such as seizures. You should always discuss options with your teen’s medical professional before allowing your teen to quit or wean off their medication.

Be sure to talk with your teen about the importance of taking their medication consistently to see a positive difference. If they stop taking their medication to drink, the drug will not work the way that it is meant to. The dosage must be constant and consistent to feel a difference in mood. Stopping and starting antidepressant medications over and over again can also have the adverse effect of making depression worse.

Effective Treatment Options for Co-occurring Conditions

It is common for individuals to struggle with co-occurring conditions. As mental health problems can cause substance use problems and vice versa, co-occurring disorders must be treated simultaneously.

When patients are screened and treated for mental and substance use disorders together, the quality of care they receive is greatly increased. This is because the treatment approach for co-occurring disorders addresses a whole person, including physical, mental, and emotional symptoms. This can lead to effective long-term recovery from both conditions.

Treatment for co-occurring disorders may include a combination of therapy and tweaking the dosage or brand of antidepressant medication. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most effective form of therapy for patients with co-occurring disorders because it can help clients recognize how thought patterns can affect behavior.

The process of finding the right antidepressant, and the right dosage, can be time-consuming and frustrating. As teens wait for their medication to start working, they may turn to alcohol to self-medicate their symptoms. Early intervention is critical to ensuring your teen’s long-term health and successful treatment of clinical depression. Fortunately, Clearfork Academy is here to help. With several different treatment programs, outdoor summer programs, and detoxes, we specialize in helping young people conquer their substance abuse addiction and go on to live full, healthy lives. Our high success rate speaks for itself: our methods really work! If your teen is struggling with depression and substance abuse, don’t wait. Learn more about us through our website, along with information about insurance coverage. Call us today at (888) 966-8604 to speak with an informative and compassionate staff member. We look forward to chatting with you!

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How Does Alcohol Worsen Depression?

How Does Alcohol Worsen Depression?

Can drinking alcohol make depression worse? For teenagers specifically, the answer is a clear yes. This is because teenage brains are still developing, and alcohol use can impair brain functioning. As depression develops from a chemical imbalance, symptoms can worsen when an individual uses substances like alcohol. It is important to recognize the inevitable link between alcohol use and depression so you can actively work to prevent co-occurring conditions from developing in your teen.

Can Depression Lead to Alcohol Use?

It’s common for people with depression to struggle with drinking problems. Individuals with depression may turn to alcohol and other drugs to self-medicate feelings of hopelessness or numbness. Teenagers with depression are especially more susceptible to experimenting with alcohol as they may lack knowledge of healthier coping mechanisms.

Depression does not motivate everyone to use alcohol; however, without proper treatment, it can play a factor in the development of a substance use disorder (SUD) like alcoholism. People with a family history of mental health disorders and alcoholism are more likely to experience severe depressive episodes after drinking. It’s also important to know that regular drinking can reduce the effects of antidepressants, which are medications that are commonly used to manage depression. 

Can Excessive Alcohol Use Lead to Depression?

If teens regularly consume enough alcohol during this critical period of brain development, they can cause serious harm to their health, which can also lead to a diagnosis of depression. 

It is essential to talk with your teen about the ways that alcohol can lead to depression and worsen depressive symptoms. Some of these ways include:

Hangovers

Hangovers are unpleasant physical effects that result from alcohol use. Symptoms can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Light sensitivity
  • Dehydration
  • Trembling from low blood sugar
  • Vomiting
  • Severe headaches

Regular hangovers can result in building up alcohol tolerance, which means it will eventually require larger amounts of alcohol to feel desired effects. Regular hangovers in teens can negatively impact their ability to get up on time for school or jobs, which can damage their ability to complete schoolwork and fulfill other responsibilities. This makes hangovers both a medical and social issue. 

Acting Out of Character

There’s a reason that alcohol is sometimes called “liquid courage.” Teens may feel a temptation to drink at parties or other social events to feel courageous enough to act in ways they never could while being sober. This can lead to lowered inhibitions and making choices that teens will later regret, which will inevitably worsen existing depression symptoms. While alcohol may seem like an ideal coping mechanism to provide temporary relief, the physical and social damage it can cause is not worth the risk. 

On the other hand, pent-up emotions can cause teenagers to lash out when they are under the influence of alcohol, or especially when they are drunk. Understandably, this can have a direct negative impact on friendships. Drunkenness is not ideal for making clear, level-headed decisions.

Intensified Anxiety and Panic

Because depression and anxiety tend to go hand in hand, drinking can result in intensified anxiety and panic attacks once the effects wear off. Even teens who might not have experienced anxiety before can start to develop symptoms of anxiety attacks with regular drinking. 

Negatively Impacted Sleep

Quality sleep is important for anyone’s help, but especially for teenagers who are still developing. The quality of sleep one may get after drinking is of significantly lower quality than going to sleep sober. Alcohol has a direct effect on rapid eye movement (REM) cycles that happen during sleep, which can result in teen increased fatigue and lowered energy levels. Reduced sleep quality will have an inevitable impact on their ability to concentrate in classes. 

Interference With Healthy Coping Mechanisms

The development of healthy coping mechanisms for managing difficult circumstances is a vital part of growing up. Turning to alcohol in times of stress, sadness, or anger essentially robs teens of the ability to practice healthy forms of self-care. When drinking is the go-to response for dealing with negative emotions, teens will be unequipped for life on their own when they become of adult age. This destructive pattern may result in getting kicked out of school, joblessness, and possible homelessness if they lack healthy means of solving problems.

Alcohol use in place of healthy coping skills also causes teens to miss out on opportunities to learn more about themselves when they face hardships. Not every complication in life is harmful, and some can lead to increased resilience in the long run. Alcohol, then, becomes a deterrent for personal growth.

Depression is a condition characterized by feelings of hopelessness and persistent sadness. Teens may turn to alcohol as an attempt to self-medicate symptoms of depression. We know that alcohol worsens depression, and the effects of alcohol can cause negative emotions once the effects wear off. If your teen has depression, it’s essential to talk to them about the dangers of self-medicating with alcohol and any peer pressure they might face when out with their friends. If your depressed teen does have a drinking problem, Clearfork Academy can help. We are a faith-based treatment facility for adolescents and teens who struggle with substance abuse. Our treatments include inpatient and outpatient care, detoxing, and more. We can help treat and manage co-occurring disorders that exist in your teen. To learn more about our treatment programs, you can talk to a member of our staff today by calling us at (888) 966-8604.

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What Is Unresolved Grief and How to Break Free From the Pain?

What Is Unresolved Grief and How to Break Free From the Pain?

Experiences of grief and loss are inevitable in life. Whether it is the loss of a parent, friend, or something else, every person experiences and processes grief in a unique way. As there is no distinct timeline for grieving, it is essential to work through challenging emotions as they surface rather than ignoring or burying them. Unresolved grief can be problematic and worsen preexisting physical and mental health conditions.

At times, situations of grief can bring about intense feelings of hopelessness. Recognize that your teen not have to know how to move on immediately after experiencing a loss. As a parent, there are ways that you can help your child work through these challenging emotions. By doing so, you can help them break free from debilitating experiences of grief. 

What Are Some Common Causes of Grief?

There is no one root cause for grief. When people consider the term grief, they may initially reflect on the loss of a loved one. While death is certainly a common cause of grief, other causes may include:

  • Divorce
  • Losing a loved one, pet, or friendship
  • Moving to a new location 
  • Tragic current events in the news

Grief can be experienced in other ways aside from losing someone through death. It can involve the loss of a whole way of life, such as leaving behind a familiar city and friendships to move someplace new or the loss of a previous lifestyle in light of a new diagnosis. Grief can take on many different forms and affect many facets of our lives. It’s normal for anyone, but especially teenagers, to take a while to adjust to a new way of life after experiencing such a radical change, whether the change is negative or positive.

The 5 Stages Of Grief

People experience grief differently and move on at different paces. Some people may remain “stuck” in some stages of grief longer than others or skip some altogether. The five stages of grief were developed by the psychologist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and include:

  • Denial: Refusing to accept that someone has died or that something traumatic has happened
  • Anger: Feeling frustrated that the loss or traumatic circumstance occurred
  • Bargaining: Reasoning with personal emotions by entertaining “what if” scenarios
  • Depression: Intense sadness as a result of somewhat accepting the truth of the loss
  • Acceptance: Recognizing that the loss occurred and choosing to move on with life

Many of these stages can look like clinical depression, which is a severe condition that affects an individual’s ability to function normally in daily life. Most people experience deep sadness for a time before reaching the final stage of acceptance. Clinical depression combined with grief can cause someone to remain in the first few stages of grief for quite some time.

What Is Unresolved Grief? 

Unresolved grief is also sometimes called complex grief. When grief is managed, feelings of sadness tend to level out over time. However, complex, unresolved grief can perpetuate your child’s feelings of sadness. This form of grief can make a teenager especially susceptible to the development of an addiction. Sometimes it can be hard to determine whether your teen is moving through the normal stages of grief or is caught up in complex, unresolved grief. If you are concerned about the length and depth of your teen’s grief symptoms, it may be helpful to talk to a therapist.

Signs Of Unresolved Grief

Grief can look like many things, but unresolved grief shares these common signs:

  • Unmanaged anger or irritability
  • Obsession with the lost loved one or the way life was before the grief incident
  • Withdrawing from other relationships and social activities
  • Engaging in addictive or otherwise self-destructive behaviors
  • Avoiding anything that reminds them of the loved one they lost
  • Refusing to talk about the incident behind the grief
  • Feeling guilty or blaming self
  • Thoughts of suicide or self-harm

There are several options for treatment if your teen shows a combination of these signs including: 

  • Counseling
  • Rehabilitation centers for substance use
  • Anger management 
  • Skills training 

What Is the Connection Between Unresolved Grief and Addiction?

Grief and addiction often go together and tend to exacerbate one another. Alcohol or other drugs can be a convenient way of making unpleasant emotions disappear, or at least numb them for some time. Substances can quickly become a crutch for your child to make it through the day. In reality, self-medicating will only worsen distress over time.

If your teen is struggling with unresolved grief and perhaps relying on substances to make it through, understand that there is help available. Millions of people have gone through the same struggle and have been able to forge a new path forward despite sadness and loss. Finding a treatment that focuses on both grief and addiction is a vital tool for your recovery. When your teen seeks help for both issues together, you greatly increase their chances for a successful recovery. Seeing your teen recover can help resolve your own residual anger and sadness, too.

Losing a loved one or coping after an emotionally difficult situation is hard. However, leaving grief unresolved can worsen mental health. Having a healthy set of coping mechanisms can help your teen weather through the storm of complex, unresolved grief. It is essential to recognize that treatment for grief and trauma is available and can help your teen manage challenging emotions. If your child is struggling with unresolved grief, it is important to get connected with treatment resources as soon as possible. Clearfork Academy is uniquely equipped to help teens and young adults who are struggling with complex grief along with clinical depression or substance use addiction. Treating these co-occurring disorders together is the best path for healing. We want you and your teen to feel supported and encouraged as they work to heal from the challenging effects of grief. To learn more, call us today at (888) 966-8604

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How to Beat Teen Isolation-Related Depression and Anxiety?

How to Beat Teen Isolation-Related Depression and Anxiety?

Isolation affects teenagers in negative ways. They may become depressed or anxious and even begin to self-harm. Teen drug use and teenage alcoholism can also result from isolation while teens look for ways to alleviate their negative feelings. It’s essential to understand the reasons behind this behavior and what you can do to help your teen move past it.

The Growing Problem With Teen Isolation

Social isolation refers to a “state where there is a lack of connection between individuals and society.” Many teens isolate themselves for a variety of reasons. Some teens isolate themselves because they want to avoid conflict or because they want to avoid dealing with their emotions such as stress or anxiety.

Many Circumstances Can Lead to Isolation

Isolation can result from general circumstances like moving, changing schools, or living in an area where there isn’t much for teenagers to do outside of school hours. Other teens isolate themselves because they are depressed and don’t feel like being around anyone. Teenagers often isolate themselves due to stress, anxiety, and depression related to peer pressure or school pressures, such as grades, tests, and college applications.

While this condition can begin during childhood and continue into adulthood, it commonly occurs among teens with mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety disorders. Such individuals often suffer from feelings of loneliness, rejection, or shame about being different. They may even believe that no one will understand their pain. Other signs include:

  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy
  • Poor school performance or skipping school altogether
  • Changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Sadness or irritability
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Lack of motivation or energy
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

The Connection Between the Covid-19 Lockdown and Teen Isolation

The COVID-19 lockdown has been a contributor to teen isolation and depression. Teens are missing out on crucial socialization when they visit with friends, go to clubs, play sports, or even work part-time jobs. Their peers have made the transitions from childhood to teen much easier. Many of the activities that teens use to escape their stresses may not be available due to lockdowns and social distancing.

Strategies to Tackle Teen Isolation

If you’re concerned about your child’s isolation, there are strategies you can employ to help:

  • Get them outside: It’s easy for teens to be comfortable inside, where they don’t have to deal with people or stressors. Encourage your teen to spend time outdoors. Even if they go for walks near the house, it will allow them to interact with people and see what’s happening around the neighborhood. Ultimately, fresh air, exercise, and time spent away from technology can help your teen get out of their head and combat depression.
  • Encourage volunteering: Your teen may have no interest in spending time with their peers, but they may be open to working with younger kids. Volunteering can help your teen feel a sense of purpose, get out of the house, and build self-esteem.
  • Limit screen time: If your teen is spending too much time staring at screens instead of getting out into the real world, it might be time for a technology intervention. Limit their screen time by setting rules about when they can use devices.
  • Encourage physical activity: Teens are more likely than adults to develop depression if they don’t get enough physical activity daily, so make sure your teen gets plenty of exercise and eats a healthy diet.
  • Find a job: Working gives teens a reason to get out of bed every day. A job provides the structure that helps some teens feel normal again. Jobs also give teens money to do things they enjoy. Your teenager might even find a career path through working in their current position.

Teach Your Child About Mental Health

Talking to kids about mental health can be difficult, but it’s a meaningful conversation with your teen during this developmental stage of their life. Make sure your child knows that it’s okay to reach out if they’re feeling down and the best ways they can do so.

Find a Mentor

Teens that exhibit signs of isolation may benefit from finding someone older who can serve as a friend and mentor. Someone who can listen without judgment can help them navigate their emotions and challenges and encourage them to set goals for their future.

Encourage Your Child to Pursue Activities Outside of School

Isolation can be challenging when it’s related to bullying or other problems at school. Help your teenager find activities outside of school where they can socialize and feel more confident. Consider art classes, intramural sports, dance lessons, or support groups. Along with the listed strategies, parents can also seek professional treatment to assist their child with any associated mental health disorders.

Teenage depression can rob many teens of their productivity and potential for success. Even if your teen isn’t suffering from depression or anxiety, too much isolation can adversely affect your teen’s self-esteem and mental health. On your search for teenage recovery centers in  North Fort Worth, Texas, make Clearfork Academy your first choice. We understand how hard it is to believe that your teen can break free of drug abuse and manipulation. At Clearfork Academy, we see positive results every day. We’ve helped countless teens recover from drug abuse and pursue happy and healthy social and academic lives. Most of all, we help teens work toward a brighter future with their family members. If your teen needs help, get help today. Call us at (888) 966-8604 to learn more about our treatment programs and how we can help your teenager recover from potential substance use and other mental health conditions.

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Navigating Mental Health Content in the World of Social Media

Navigating Mental Health Content in the World of Social Media

As humans, our need for connection is necessary to thrive in life and feel a sense of self-worth. While social media offers this sense of connection, there are some negative aspects to the content you consume. If not handled appropriately, mental health content can be among the most misleading and damaging content. Since mental health is becoming more discussed on social media, it is important to control what content you read.

Positive Effects of Social Media

When used the right way, social media offers many benefits. Some positives of social media include:

  • Staying Connected: Social media allows you to keep in contact and communicate with friends, family, and people from around the world. Connection is an integral part of everyday living. Apps like Instagram allow you to share pictures of your favorite moments in life and share them with your loved ones.
  • Providing a Creative Outlet: Many people use social apps as a creative outlet. Artists such as painters, writers, and musicians can post their work, generate a following, and develop a career.
  • Networking: In today’s society, networking is a big part of growing a community and meeting new people. Social media allows you to connect and meet potential business partners from across the world. If you struggle with social anxiety, this is a great way to meet people without the anxiousness that could come from meeting in person.

Negative Effects of Social Media

Social media also has many negative aspects. The negatives of social media include:

  • Cyberbullying: People tend to feel bolder online because they do not need to worry about physical interaction. However, this can lead to cyberbullying, which consists of people leaving rude, unwanted, and opinionated comments on your posts. Cyberbullying can affect your mental health and perpetuate disorders such as depression, anxiety, and body dysmorphia.
  • Social Media Addiction: Studies have found that some individuals can develop an addiction to social media. While not considered an actual disorder or diagnosis, it is a form of behavioral addiction. Social media addiction is the uncontrollable urge to commit more time to social media than interacting in person.
  • Feelings of Inadequacy or Self-absorption: Social media has become about sharing selfies, posting body transformations, and personal achievements. While there is nothing wrong with posting this kind of content, overindulgence is a form of self-absorption. It could make you feel inadequate because you believe you don’t measure up to these standards or get as many likes on your selfies as others. It can also worsen symptoms of disorders such as depression or body dysmorphia.

Filter Who You Follow

One of the best ways to control your online experience is to regulate who you follow. Make sure you are following accounts posting accurate and positive mental health content. There are blogs and accounts dedicated to spreading mental health awareness that post information about disorders and ways to cope. You can also follow organizations or people who are advocates and share personal stories.

Follow Credible Sources

Social media is also a host for misinformation and stereotypes about mental health. Here are a few credible sources to follow on social media instead:

Report Harmful Posts

Misinformation about mental health creates stigmas and influences people toward taking the wrong steps to get help. However, most apps give you the option to report such harmful or disturbing posts. If you come across content that speaks about mental health in a degrading or damaging way, take the time to report the post. Reporting posts not only helps you manage your social media algorithm but helps prevent the spread of harmful posts for others to consume.

Reporting harmful posts will also allow the app to establish boundaries and standards for its users. While you cannot eradicate all negative posts, taking time to report such posts will help cultivate a positive community.

Take Some Time Off

Social media can become addicting, and you may find yourself spending hours upon hours using social media. It is not healthy to consume a large amount of information from other people’s lives daily.

Taking time to step away from social media is great for your mental health. However, you might struggle to unplug from social media. If you have difficulty getting away from social media, try to set specific hours that you cannot engage in social media throughout the day. Having a set schedule will help you stay focused and accountable. You might use this time to read, draw, journal or have physical interactions with friends and family.

Social media is one of today’s most influential platforms for teens, which may lead your child to try unhealthy coping strategies such as substance use. Clearfork Academy can help. Our treatment programs include highly trained and certified staff members that offer a compassionate approach. Located on an inviting and charming ranch, we provide a home away from home for teens in need of substance use and mental illness treatment. Whether your teen is going through our inpatient or outpatient programs, our sole focus will be on recovery and creating a healthy and drug-free lifestyle for your teen. While we do not exclude smartphones, we do provide a space free of social media to allow teens to get in touch with their innermost passions, whether it be art, music, acting, or writing. If your teen needs a safe and professional treatment program, contact Clearfork Academy today by calling us at (888) 966-8604

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What Are the Warnings Signs & Causes of Teen Suicide?

What are the Warnings Signs & Causes of Teen Suicide?

America faces a growing crisis, with teens losing their lives to suicide. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the rate of suicide deaths among individuals 10-24 years old increased 56 percent between 2007 and 2017. The CDC noted in 2015 that the suicide rate for males aged 15–19 years was 14.2 percent per 100,000 population.

As the issue continues to affect teens, parents need to understand the signs of suicide.

Consider the Data of Teenage Suicide

In the United States, suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-34. The number of student suicides is staggering, but it’s even more troubling that one out of every 15 high school students report attempting suicide each year. With figures like this, you can understand why one out of every 53 high school students needs professional care.

Parents, guardians, and family members can play a crucial role in preventing suicide. You don’t need to go through this alone; seeking professional help will allow you and your teen the education and treatment options necessary to overcome thoughts and behaviors related to suicide.

Signs of Teenage Suicide

Signs of teenage suicide can include a change in behavior, depression, and anxiety. Other symptoms include talking about death or wishing they were dead. Pay attention to statements indicating they feel hopeless, helpless, trapped, have no reason to live anymore, or think life isn’t worth living anymore. Further signs include:

  • Having trouble sleeping or eating well
  • Sudden change in behavior or mood, such as a noticeable increase or decrease in school performance
  • Unexplained withdrawal from friends and family members
  • Making frequent and detailed plans for death, such as writing out instructions on how they would like their body disposed of after death
  • Expressing feelings about the world being better off without them around
  • Saying that life that makes no sense and expressing an inexplicable desire to die
  • Talking repeatedly about wanting to” go away”
  • Feeling hopeless about the future without any specific reason given for their feelings
  • Neglecting personal appearance and hygiene
  • Running away from home
  • Risk-taking behavior, such as reckless driving or being sexually promiscuous

Triggers of Teenage Suicide

The factors that could trigger a teenager’s decision to commit suicide vary from person to person. Some triggering factors include mental illness, substance abuse, bullying, social media, physical or sexual abuse, or a family history of substance use disorders. It also involves them experiencing intense stress at home, work, and school with no apparent cause to explain such stress. Other triggers include:

  • Problems with drug or alcohol use
  • Witnessing the suicide of a family member or peer, especially a close one
  • Problems at school, like failing classes or struggling to comprehend school material
  • Loss of a parent or immediate family member through death or divorce
  • The stresses of physical changes associated with puberty, chronic illness, and sexually transmitted infections
  • Uncertainty surrounding sexual orientation
  • Struggles with an eating disorder

The Impact of Suicide Attempt

The impact of suicide attempts can vary depending on the severity and type of incident. Some physical effects include:

  • Bruising,
  • Broken bones,
  • Organ damage from falls;
  • Loss of consciousness due to a concussion or other brain injury may occur as well.

Psychological effects such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD are common in cases with self-harm.

Helping Your Teen

There are specific steps you can take to prevent teen suicide. You must remember that this is a mental illness and not something someone wakes up one day and decides. Please provide your child with the support they need. There are many different ways to do this:

  • Unconditional love,
  • Listening without judgment
  • Talking with them about what they’re going through and how you can help them

Such actions will help make the teen’s home safe and protected. Providing your child with these kinds of support will give them hope that they can overcome their struggles and get back on their feet.

Seek Professional Help

Consider sending them to a treatment center like Clearfork Academy. Such facilities provide comprehensive care and therapies. Mental health professionals offer teens coping and problem-solving skills to help teens deal with their struggles without becoming overwhelmed. Treatment centers ensure teens have access to good resources and tools to allow self-reflection and growth in areas important to teens. They also help with medication management, provide support groups and remain a source of support should they need help in the future. With proper help, your child can get through this challenging time and find their way back to health.

If your teen has been exhibiting signs of contemplating suicide, you need to talk with them. Remember to remain open to any concerns your child may have, no matter how vague they seem. Sometimes talking through this process will help them realize that there are other options than taking their own life. You should also plan to seek professional help. Being open and honest with your child about the support they need from you and professionals could help them find the courage to embrace treatment. At Clearfork Academy, we utilize treatments and therapies to help parents and teenagers deal with adolescent depression and the causes behind their suicide ideation. Our participants receive a safe place to discuss their feelings and receive support from professionals, family, friends, and peers. Our admissions staff is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Find out more about our programs and contact us by calling (888) 966-8604.

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Holiday Depression and Anxiety: Why It Happens, How to Mitigate It, and What To Do

Holiday Depression and Anxiety: Why It Happens, How to Mitigate It, and What To Do

The holidays can bring about a lot of anxiety, stress, and depression. You might even try to avoid these feelings by suppressing them. However, doing so could perpetuate negative thoughts and behaviors. It is important to manage your emotions properly. Let’s look at some ways to help you healthily deal with holiday stressors.

The Link Between Stress and the Holidays

Many factors can affect your mental health, such as financial stress, family responsibilities, and increased social demand. As you can imagine, there are many links between addiction and anxiety. Some of these links are more indirect, while others are direct.

Stress is one of the biggest causes of relapse. Individuals who suffer from anxiety disorders tend to become more prone to using substances to manage stress. For example, social events like Christmas parties or family gatherings can trigger your impulse to use. Substances, such as alcohol, act as a sedative for the nervous system and reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as shaking hands, sweating palms, and nausea. However, this is not a viable nor sustainable solution to manage anxiety.

Common Holiday Triggers

You may encounter many triggers during the holiday season. These triggers could relate to religious practices, expectations from society, and family traditions. However, it is imperative if you struggle with a substance use disorder to maintain recovery, and knowing your triggers will help.

Some of the common triggers include:

  • Change of Routine: Routines help sustain recovery. During the holiday season, you might experience a disruption in your routine. In many ways, the holiday season could show up as a significant change in your life, especially in early recovery. Take certain precautions to deal with changes in your habits, like attending more recovery group meetings.
  • Social Events: There are many social gatherings during the holiday season. You may experience pressure to join your peers by drinking or using during these gatherings. Or, you may find the whole experience stressful, especially if you struggle with social anxiety. Being around so many people may trigger you to find a chemical sedative to relieve stress. Therefore, try to attend events that put your recovery needs first. Many recovery groups hold sober parties during the holiday season.
  • Family Stress: Family stress develops from many things outside your control. However, you can minimize stress by keeping your holiday expectations simple. Focus on enjoying the company of your family and the blessing of your recovery.

8  Effective Ways to Deal With Holiday Depression and Anxiety

Creating a plan for this holiday season will help. such plans should include self-care practices to help you manage holiday stress or depression.

#1. Plan. Planning will help you stay on track with your goals and allow you to deal with stress in a way that doesn’t overwhelm you. Try planning out your breaks, doctor visits, exercise plans, or anything else to help you prioritize what needs to happen so that you can stay healthy during this time of year.

#2. Find your happy place. Every person has their unique way of dealing with depression and anxiety, but some people find that certain areas make them feel better. Try to think about the last time you had an excellent feeling of happiness or satisfaction, and find ways to recreate those feelings.

#3. Meditate. Meditation is a great way to relax and relieve stress. The best part is, you can meditate anywhere. You can utilize an app or a comfortable space such as your bedroom and create an atmosphere conducive to self-care and comfort.

#4. Take a break from social media. You’re likely to get bombarded with posts, ads, and other content that might make you feel guilty or ashamed. Comparing yourself to others on social media is not helpful for your recovery. Instead, take a break from social media.

#5. Spend time with family or friends. Sometimes, spending time with the people who care about you the most can help you forget about all of your worries. Focus on positive interactions with loved ones rather than worrying about problems.

#6. Exercise. Exercise lowers stress levels by releasing endorphins which will help you feel better emotionally and physically. It will also help you sleep better at night.

#7. Eat well. Eating well helps keep your stress levels down by providing the necessary nutrients to stay healthy and strong during the holidays.

#8. Allow yourself to experience emotions: Let your emotions flow through you. Laugh if you’d like, or cry if you feel the urge to cry. Share how you feel with loved ones that you trust. Doing so will help you release some of the stress and realize that you are not alone in how you feel.

Besides these suggestions, consider going to a treatment center like Clearfork Academy. We offer inpatient and intensive outpatient care to ensure that you get the care you need.

Many factors affect mental health, such as financial stress, family responsibilities, and increased social demand. Since the holidays involve many social events, many teens find it very stressful, especially if they struggle with social anxiety. At Clearfork Academy, we offer professional support to help your teen manage anxiety, stress, and depression. If you have a loved one struggling with addiction, we also provide appropriate resources to support them. Our programs work with both parents and teens to help them understand addiction and how it affects the whole family. With us, your teen will learn effective ways to express emotions and develop the self-confidence and self-assurance necessary to manage the challenges of maintaining sobriety and managing emotions. Our goal is to create better communication within the family dynamic. If you or a loved one currently needs help, then the time to act is now. Find out more about our programs and contact Clearfork Academy today by calling (866) 650-5212.

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The Mental Health Effects of Covid-19 on Teens

No one could have prepared for the sudden COVID crisis of 2020, and that includes our kids. It’s been undeniably hard on everyone, and when one of our greatest coping mechanisms is the positive reinforcement we get from our friends, what is your teen supposed to do when they’re cooped up at home?

How is the pandemic affecting them?
What are some signs that parents need to be on the lookout for?


Depression is More Prevalent

Sadly, depression has seen a big rise since the start of the pandemic. Teens are even more susceptible to its effects because of their natural hormone imbalances and brain development. They don’t yet have all of the coping skills that adults have crafted over a lifetime.

It can be more than just the blues; severe depression is something to be concerned about. Changes in your child’s behavior or mood could be indicators that they are struggling emotionally and are in need of help.


Signs of Depression

Teens can be moody, even in the best of circumstances, so keep your child’s unique personality and patterns in mind as you go through the possible signs of depression:
        • Irritability
        • Mood swings
        • Withdrawal and isolation
        • Excessive sleeping or napping
        • Loss of appetite
These are symptoms that will typically last for an extended period of time. You should monitor how long you notice certain behaviors. Has it been one or two days? A week or longer? The more severe signs of depression require urgent attention:
If you’ve seen these behaviors in your teen, please seek professional help right away.

 

What You Can Do to Help

If you see any of these behaviors that give cause for concern, don’t be afraid to ask your child about it. Having open lines of communication can be an extreme comfort for you and for them. Urging them to speak to a trusted friend or adult can also foster healthy ways for them to express their emotions in a safe space.

Remember to also lead by example. Talking about your own feelings can prompt input from your teen. Keep a positive outlook even when dealing with your own stress. Take care of yourself, each other, and encourage time spent together as a family.

Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Calling your pediatrician, counselor, or a treatment facility like Clearfork to get an assessment of your child’s mental state can make a big difference. It’s never too soon to ask questions, but there could come a time where it is too late. 

Take your child’s mental health seriously, and above all, just be there for them. Let them know that you care. 


If your child is struggling with substance abuse or mental health, we’re here to help. Our clinical admissions specialists are available 24/7 to help with your unique situation. Please call us at 888-966-8604, email us at help@clearforkacademy.com, or visit our website at
www.ClearforkAcademy.com!

 

Are you wondering if your teen may have a substance abuse problem? Download our free “Teen Substance Abuse 101” guide. This comprehensive guide will walk you through discovering if your child has a substance abuse problem, and what to do next! Download your free guide here: Download Now
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