How wilderness therapy supports individuals dealing with signs and symptoms of anxiety, depression and other mental health challenges
CLAYTON, GA, November 14, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ — In the last decade, teens have become exponentially more depressed and anxious. Whether it’s social media, unrealistic body standards or isolation from the pandemic, teens today are under more duress than ever before. With the increased use of social media in the last decade (2010-now) has come a 151% increase in suicide for girls ages 10-14 and an 189% increase for non-fatal self harm episodes in girls ages 10-14. The increased use of social media has correlated with a 70% increase in suicide for girls ages 15-19 and a 62% increase in non-fatal self harm episodes for girls ages 15-19. With all that teens and young adults are going through, it can be difficult hard to diagnose or anticipate issues related to anxiety, depression or other mood disorders without clinical assessment. Some of the signs of depression, anxiety and mood disorders include:
-Irritability, anger, and agitation: these are some of the most prominent symptoms of depression in teenagers. Although sadness is a common predictor of depression in adults, adolescents tend to be easily frustrated, grumpy or even hostile.
-Withdrawal from family, friends, and activities
-Changes in sleeping patterns and eating habits
-Consistent hopelessness, sadness, crying, guilt, or feelings of worthlessness
-Fatigue, exhaustion, or restlessness
-Unexplainable pains or body aches (such as a stomach ache or headache)
-Lack of energy, motivation, and enthusiasm
-Inablility to focus and decline in academic performance
-Suicidal thoughts or considerations
The following are ways some young people may act out in order to cope with mental health challenges:
-Risky and/or violent behaviors such as binge drinking, reckless driving, unprotected sex or bullying.
-Running away: talking about, attempting, or successfully running away from home is a blatant cry for help from a struggling teen.
-Abuse of drugs and alcohol: Substance abuse might dull emotions in the moment, but drugs and alcohol are not a sustainable or healthy solution.
-Low self-esteem: Depression is highly associated with low self-esteem. People struggling with low self esteem may experience self-deprecating thoughts and feelings of worthlessness.
-Addiction to technology: Social media, gaming and the internet can provide an escape from reality and a dangerous, addicting pathway to further isolation.
-Issues at school: Low attendance, skipping school, sudden/poor academic performance, and a newfound frustration with schoolwork can signal the progression of a mental health issue.
-Additional issues, such as self harm and disordered eating, can be indicative of underlying depression, anxiety or mood disorder which should be addressed immediately.
At Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness, adolescents, young adults and their families are supported throughout the treatment process. The Blue Ridge treatment team works to address the root symptoms and chronic behaviors associated with depression, anxiety and other mental health issues or disorders by helping students implement new, adaptive behaviors which lead to long-term success upon habituation. Teens and young adults in the program engage in a normal sleep routine, consistent daily exercise, and consume a balanced diet of healthy foods. Each student at Blue Ridge works one-on-one with a licensed therapist who provides them with high quality, individualized and clinically-informed treatment; together, they process the underlying issues, build towards assertive communication, and practice healthy expressions of feelings and positive coping mechanisms.
Blue Ridge programming provides individuals ages 13-29 with opportunities to return to their values, their deepest selves and their immediate environments by removing the distractions of everyday life and providing ample opportunities to reset. Activities students participate in at Blue Ridge include hiking, cooking, fire making and tending, reading, writing, yoga, mindfulness, therapy with a clinician, Milieu therapy, academics, group chores, games and more.
A former Blue Ridge student who attended the program in 2020 explains, “Blue Ridge helped me process my emotions and things that happened in my life. Prior to Blue Ridge I was disconnected with myself and emotions. I didn’t know how certain things in life were effecting and influencing me. I learned how to communicate assertively and in an objective manner. I was changing into a different person doing things I would never imagine of doing, and Blue Ridge helped me stop.”
The Blue Ridge team seeks to help families discover and address underlying issues that may contribute to their child’s struggles. With an individualized clinical regimen, the treatment team at Blue Ridge integrates a personalized treatment plan for each student as they learn and grow in the wilderness, rediscovering their power and values, and finding new ways to cope with tough emotions. The powerful combination of nature and clinically-based therapies can help struggling teens and young adults win the fight against anxiety, depression and mood disorders.
Since 2002, Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness has combined comprehensive assessment and wilderness-based therapeutic interventions to teach students and their families skills necessary to understand themselves, their families and how to connect in meaningful ways.
The Blue Ridge treatment team is dedicated to providing a high level of safety and connectivity to students and families through values exploration, milieu therapy, and individualized clinical attunement.
To learn more, visit www.blueridgewilderness.com or call the Admissions line at (888) 914-1050.
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