Young Adults

When your child is struggling with intense emotions, it can be challenging to help them feel calm and in control. Intense emotions often escalate quickly, making it difficult to use problem-solving skills during a challenging situation. Parents, and individuals working with children, often forget that the developing mind doesn’t process as quickly as an adult brain, thus making it hard to self-soothe and regulate strong feelings.
Labor Day: A long weekend of barbeques, trips to the beach, retail sales and vacation. Also, the last weekend of summer and the last hoorah before school and fall schedules begin–YIKES! Labor Day tends to evoke two very different emotions in people–excitement over the former and dread over the latter. For many, summer consists of 2 months of relaxation, lighter workloads, no school and traveling. Transitioning from this lifestyle back to reality (5 day workweeks, school/homework, and a heavier workload) can send anyone into a frenzy!
As a DBT therapist, one of my primary goals when working with clients is to help supply effective skills and coping mechanisms to help them manage their emotions when things may be difficult. While reviewing these skills, I often find that these children, adolescents and young adults have had very little opportunity to build and/or practice coping mechanisms on their own since they were little.
As any high school senior knows, the start of spring does not necessarily call to mind flowers and warmer weather. It means a plethora of emotions such as excitement, anxiety and fear; followed by emails, envelopes from colleges, and then more emotions. Spring is “college admissions decision time” and the focus of high school seniors is on determining which college or university is best for them and how they will spend the next four years.
Teens today are savvy–so many know about mental health, and yet, very few are aware of how unhealthy habits impact their mood and their ability to regulate their emotions. Although many teens may look (and act) like young adults, their brains are still developing. These habits may be "normal" for adults, but due to the sensitive nature of the teenage brain, they are very likely interfering with their mood and their overall mental health.
I, like a vast majority of you, am on Facebook. I mainly use Facebook as a tool to keep in touch with those from the past. More recently, however, I’ve been using it to get information. I belong to groups specific to my needs where others can post questions, suggestions and information that might be helpful. Belonging to said groups had generally been a positive experience. That is, until it wasn’t.
A new study from Duke University found (as expected) that technology use can lead to increases in attention, behavior, and self-regulation problems in adolescents, but some positive outcomes to technology use were found as well. On days that adolescents spent more time using digital technologies, they were also less likely to report symptoms of depression and anxiety.