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Posts Taged trauma

Addressing Self-Harm in Adolescent and Teenage Girls

Why Do Young People Cut Themselves?

In order to deal with their anxiety, rage, low self-esteem, self-hatred, or other unresolved emotional distress, teenagers sometimes self-harm. Teenagers who self-harm repeatedly do so because it provides them with a sense of almost euphoric release and catharsis.

According to research, a teen’s brain releases a rush of dopamine soon after self-harming that is comparable to the rush felt by drug users.  The brain also releases painkillers called beta-endorphins into the body in reaction to self-injury pain, which heightens the dopamine-induced “good” feeling.

Teens crave all kinds of sensations, even agony. Teenagers who cut frequently claim to feel emotionally numb, cut off from their classmates, and alienated from reality. They seek distraction from suicidal thoughts. It is painful and needs effort and concentration to cut, burn, or carve words into someone’s skin. By making the brain dwell on the purgative experience of self-harm, self-harm temporarily dispels suicidal ideas.

When teens are unable to “treat” their emotional wounds, they find solace in being able to heal physical wounds. They want to test their physical pain threshold since they are experiencing such intense emotional suffering.

Factors at Risk for Self-Harming Behaviors

Teenagers who have experienced sexual abuse are most likely to harm themselves. Self-harming behaviors are more likely to occur in adolescents with eating disorders, borderline personality disorder (BPD), PTSD, anxiety disorders, and depression disorders.

Self-harm is committed by youth who identify as LGBTQ at a rate that is close to 50%, which is twice as often as teens who do not. The main causes of LGBTQ teen self-harm include anxiety and stress from bullying, feeling excluded from society, and having little or no parental support.

All teenagers, regardless of their sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or ethnicity, may engage in self-harm behavior as a means of coping with mental and emotional health issues. Adolescents who have attempted or threatened suicide at some point in their lives.

What Must Parents Do If They Think Their Adolescent or Teen Is Cutting?

Self-harming behavior is an indication of significant emotional problems that need for immediate parental and professional intervention. Cutting and self-injury behaviors hardly ever “go away” on their own, even with parental help.

Never yell at your youngster or threaten punishment if you’ve truly witnessed your teen self-harming. Recognize the emotions you are experiencing right away, such as wrath, guilt, shock, and panic, and restrain yourself from acting on them.

Step away from the situation and take some time to thoroughly consider your sentiments if you don’t think you can begin a cool, collected dialogue with your daughter at that particular time. Recognize that no one is to blame for what your daughter is doing to themself.

Recognize that your daughter is going through emotional pain and requires your love, care, and support more than they have in the past. Ensure your daughter that you care about them and are not upset with them. If teens are certain that their concerns won’t be judged or ridiculed, they will be more willing to discuss them openly.

Talk calmly about what you believe is best for your daughter, and then invite them to share their own opinions on what they believe will best help them deal with their emotional issues. Tell your daughter that it’s OK for now but that you will be back later to talk about their self-harming behavior if they refuse to engage in a dialogue about cutting. This break will give your teen some time to consider what to say and how to express their feelings before speaking with you.

Treatment Self-Harm at Evangelhouse Christian Academy

Christian residential treatment can be a powerful tool for addressing self-harm behaviors in teenage girls. Evangelhouse offers a holistic approach to treatment that combines therapy, counseling, and spiritual support to help teenage girls overcome self-harm behaviors. Our program is designed to provide a safe and supportive environment where girls can address their underlying issues and develop healthy coping mechanisms.

Through individual and group therapy sessions at Evangelhouse, teenage girls can explore the root causes of their self-harm behaviors and learn new ways of coping with stress and emotional pain. Christian therapists can provide a faith-based approach to therapy that incorporates biblical principles and teachings into the healing process.

Girls can receive individual and group counseling that focuses on addressing any underlying mental health concerns, such as depression, anxiety, or trauma. They can also receive support and guidance from trained counselors who understand the challenges of self-harm behaviors and can offer practical strategies for managing difficult emotions.

Finally, Evangelhouse offers spiritual support that can be a powerful source of strength and comfort for teenage girls. By incorporating prayer, scripture, and spiritual guidance into the healing process, girls can develop a deeper sense of purpose and meaning that can help them navigate the challenges of life.

Structure Helps Girls Overcome Trauma

Trauma can have long-lasting and detrimental effects on a person’s mental and emotional well-being. It can leave teen girls feeling helpless, vulnerable, and struggling to cope with their emotions. While there are many ways to address and cope with trauma, one option that has been proven to be effective is being in a structured environment like Evangelhouse. The structured Christian environment of Evangelhouse can provide girls with the support, guidance, and structure they need to overcome their trauma and thrive.

One of the key benefits of being in a structured environment like Evangelhouse is the sense of community and support that it provides. Girls who have experienced trauma may feel isolated and alone, struggling to find people who understand what they have been through. By being in a boarding school environment, they are surrounded by other girls who are going through similar experiences. This sense of community can provide a much-needed sense of connection and support, helping girls feel less alone and more understood.

In addition to the social support at Evangelhouse, the structure of the environment can also be helpful in addressing trauma. Trauma can often leave individuals feeling overwhelmed and struggling to cope with their emotions. In a structured environment, girls are provided with a routine and a set of expectations that can help them feel more in control of their lives. This can be especially beneficial for girls who have experienced trauma, as it can help them feel more grounded and stable.

Furthermore, Evangelhouse has a team of professionals who are dedicated to supporting the emotional and mental well-being of the students. Evangelhouse professionals include therapists, counselors, teachers, and other mental health professionals who are trained to help girls work through their trauma. By having access to this kind of support, girls are able to receive the help they need to overcome their trauma and move forward.

Another benefit of being in an all-girls boarding school is the opportunity for girls to develop their independence and self-reliance. Trauma can often leave individuals feeling like they have no control over their lives. By being in a boarding school environment, girls are given the opportunity to develop their independence and take charge of their own lives. This can help them feel more empowered and capable of overcoming their trauma.

Finally, being in a boarding school environment like Evangelhouse can provide girls with a sense of stability and consistency that may be lacking in their home lives. Trauma can often disrupt a person’s sense of stability and security, leaving them feeling uncertain and anxious. By being in a boarding school, girls are provided with a stable and consistent environment that can help them feel more secure and grounded.

In conclusion, being in a structured environment like Evangelhouse can be incredibly beneficial for girls who have experienced trauma. By providing social support, structure, access to mental health professionals, opportunities for independence and self-reliance, and a stable environment, girls can work through their trauma and build a brighter future. While boarding school is not the right choice for everyone, it can be a powerful tool for those who are struggling to overcome trauma and build a better life for themselves.

Don’t Delay Seeking Trauma Treatment For Your Daughter

Trauma can have a profound impact on a person’s mental health and well-being, especially for teenage girls. While many people may assume that teenage girls are resilient and can bounce back from difficult experiences, this is not always the case. Trauma can affect a teenager’s mental health, relationships, and overall quality of life, and delaying mental health treatment can exacerbate these negative effects. In this essay, we will explore why parents should not delay seeking mental health treatment for teen girls with trauma.

First and foremost, trauma can have a long-term impact on a teenager’s mental health. According to the American Psychological Association, traumatic experiences can lead to symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These symptoms can persist for months or even years after the traumatic event, and can significantly impair a teenager’s ability to function in daily life. For example, a teenager with PTSD may experience nightmares or flashbacks that interfere with their ability to sleep or concentrate in school. Delaying mental health treatment for these symptoms can exacerbate them and make them more difficult to treat in the long run.

Mental health is a crucial aspect of our overall well-being, and it is essential to address any mental health concerns promptly. Teen girls who have experienced trauma are particularly vulnerable to developing mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Unfortunately, many parents delay seeking mental health treatment for their teen girls with trauma, which can have devastating consequences. In this essay, we will discuss the reasons why parents should not delay seeking mental health treatment for their teen girls with trauma.

Mental health issues can worsen over time if left untreated. Trauma can cause severe and long-lasting psychological damage, which can lead to mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD. If left untreated, these conditions can worsen, making it increasingly difficult for the teen girl to function in her daily life. Delaying mental health treatment can also lead to a vicious cycle of negative thoughts and behaviors, which can become ingrained and harder to treat over time. At Evangelhouse, trauma is addressed in individual and group therapy, as well as in Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).

Seeking mental health treatment early can prevent the development of more severe mental health issues. Early intervention is essential to prevent mental health problems from spiraling out of control. By seeking help early, parents can prevent the development of more severe mental health issues that may require more extensive treatment and a more extended recovery period. Mental health issues can affect all aspects of a teen girl’s life, including her academic performance, social relationships, and physical health. By delaying mental health treatment, parents may inadvertently be setting their teen girl up for a more challenging and less fulfilling life.

Seeking mental health treatment at a high-quality program like Evangelhouse can provide your daughter with the tools and resources she needs to cope with her trauma. Mental health treatment can help your teen girl develop healthy coping mechanisms and teach her how to manage her emotions and thoughts effectively. This can be particularly important for teen girls who have experienced trauma, as they may not have the skills and resources necessary to deal with their experiences effectively.

In conclusion, seeking mental health treatment early is crucial for teen girls who have experienced trauma. Delaying mental health treatment can lead to a worsening of mental health issues, the development of more severe mental health problems, long-lasting consequences for the teen girl’s overall well-being, and a lack of access to tools and resources needed to cope with trauma. As such, it is essential for parents to prioritize their teen girl’s mental health and seek out the necessary resources and support as soon as possible.

Trauma and the Future Effect on Teenage Girls

Trauma as an adolescent or teen girl can have many different effects. The majority of children who experience a traumatic event show short-term negative effects, while a sizeable percentage experience long-term psychological pain, according to the American Psychological Association. Depression, anxiety, PTSD, and many other psychiatric conditions can result from a child’s trauma. This psychological discomfort has the potential to transform into something severe and life-threatening if left untreated.

Teen girls specifically may experience complex trauma in a variety of ways. Here are a few typical impacts:

Emotional Dysregulation

Teen girls who have had profound trauma frequently struggle to recognize, express, and control their emotions. They may also have a restricted vocabulary for emotional states. They frequently internalize and/or externalize stress reactions, which can lead to severe melancholy, anxiety, or rage.

The inability to control one’s emotions is widespread and can even happen when there are no relationships. Many teen girls are quickly overwhelmed because they have never learned how to control their emotions once they become upset. For instance, they could get so angry at school that even the smallest tasks are difficult. Teen girls who have been exposed to early, severe traumatic events are also more likely to develop constant and widespread fear. Additionally, they are more susceptible to developing depression.

Behavioral Issues

A teen girl who has had multiple complicated traumas is more prone to be readily “set off” and to react with great intensity to negative life events than her peer that did not experience trauma. She may have trouble controlling her emotions, lack the ability to calm herself down, and display impulse control issues, or lacks the capacity to consider the effects of her actions before taking them.

Teen girls who have had several traumas may exhibit behavior that appears severe, oppositional, unpredictable, and volatile. In response to perceived blame or attack, a teen girl who feels helpless may react defensively and aggressively, or alternatively, they may occasionally be overcontrolled, stiff, and unusually cooperative with adults.

Relations and Attachment

It is difficult to overstate the value of a child having a close bond with a caregiver. Children develop their ability to trust others, control their emotions, and engage with others through their relationships with significant attachment figures. They also learn to perceive the world as safe or unsafe and to appreciate who they are as unique individuals. Teen girls who experience trauma might learn that they cannot rely on others to aid them when those interactions are unstable or unpredictable.

Physical Fitness: Body and Mind

The biochemistry of the body changes from infancy through adolescence. Environmental factors influence normal biological function to some extent. The immune system and the body’s stress response mechanisms may not develop normally in a child who experiences fear, chronic stress, or high stress during their early years. Later, these systems may automatically react as if the child or adult is experiencing tremendous stress when they are only exposed to normal amounts of stress.

For instance, when faced with stressful events, a person may exhibit strong physiological reactions, such as fast breathing or hammering in the heart, or they may “shut down” completely. Although these reactions are adaptive in the face of a serious threat, they are excessive under regular stress and are frequently viewed by others as being unresponsive, disconnected, or “overreacting.”

The growth of the nervous system and the brain can be hampered by stress in the environment. Neglected settings without mental stimulation may prevent the brain from reaching its full potential. Teen girls who have experienced complicated trauma may experience recurrent or persistent physical symptoms like headaches or stomachaches. It has been demonstrated that adults with experiences of childhood trauma have more chronic bodily diseases and issues. They might act in unsafe ways that make these problems worse (e.g., smoking, substance use, and diet and exercise habits that lead to obesity).

Teen girls who have experienced complex trauma often have bodily dysregulation, which causes them to either overreact or underreact to sensory cues. For instance, they could be anesthetized or analgesic, which prevents them from feeling pain, touch, or internal bodily sensations, or they could be hypersensitive to sounds, scents, touch, or light. As a result, people may suffer from physical issues without realizing it, sustain injuries without experiencing any pain, or, conversely, complain of persistent discomfort in numerous body parts for which there is no physical explanation.

Thinking and Learning: Cognition

Teen girls with extensive trauma experiences may struggle to think coherently, reason, or solve problems. They might not be able to foresee the future, make predictions, or take appropriate action. When a teen girl grows up in a constantly dangerous environment, all of their internal resources are directed toward survival.

When their bodies and minds have developed a chronic stress response mode, many teen girls find it difficult to reason through a situation calmly and weigh all possible solutions. They could have trouble learning new things or absorbing new information. They could have trouble maintaining focus or curiosities or become sidetracked by reactions to traumatic reminders. They could have deficiencies in their capacity for abstract thought and language development. Many girls who have undergone profound trauma have learning issues that might call for assistance in the classroom.

Self-Concept and Outlook for the Future

Teen girls learn about their own worth from how others, especially those closest to them, react to them. The biggest factor on a child’s feeling of value and worth is their caregivers. A child who has experienced abuse or neglect will feel hopeless and unloved. A victimized child will frequently place the blame on themselves. It could be safer to place the responsibility on oneself than to acknowledge the parent’s risky and untrustworthy nature. Children with complicated trauma histories frequently experience shame, guilt, low self-esteem, and a negative self-image.

Long-term Effects on Health

Childhood trauma has been connected to a rise in medical issues over the course of a person’s life. The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is a long-term investigation examining how childhood trauma affects people as adults. Over 17,000 people in the ACE Study, whose ages range from 19 to 90, are involved. Over time, researchers obtained medical histories as well as information on the individuals’ exposure to abuse, violence, and unfit caregivers as children.

According to the findings, about 64% of participants had at least one exposure, and of those, 69% reported having suffered two or more instances of childhood trauma. Results showed a link between exposure to childhood trauma, high-risk behaviors (such as smoking or unprotected sex), chronic diseases including cancer and heart disease, and early death.

If your teen daughter is experiencing difficulties due to past trauma, whether that trauma is real or perceived, please give us a call today to discuss the possibility of enrolling her at Evangelhouse.

What Does Trauma Look Like In Teenage Girls?

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