The Struggle in Finding Treatment for POC

Stigma towards mental health and mental illness has always been present, but the way that stigma is expressed and the level of stigma can depend on a variety of things. One of those ways is how stigma can differ among different races: posts here have covered how stigma acts as one of the barriers for people of color to seek treatment, including African-AmericansAsians, and Native Americans, for example. Continue reading The Struggle in Finding Treatment for POC

Caffeine’s Effect on Adolescents

Sometimes, it feels like caffeine is a necessity. It may be that cup of coffee before your class starts at 8AM or that energy drink to help you get through that last leg of your assignment at 2 in the morning. Given the hectic work and school schedules for teenagers and young adults, every source of energy is welcomed to get as many things done in the day as possible. Continue reading Caffeine’s Effect on Adolescents

“People like to be around people who are happy”

Today’s post is a featured guest entry from a medical student recalling her experiences with introversion, mental health, and sadness and how she has coped with her situation.

“People like to be around people who are happy.”

For months, I had been experiencing periods of intense sadnessChanges in my environment had surrounded me with people who I began compulsively comparing myself to – people who were smarter, funnier, more sociable, more thoughtful, more confident, more knowledgeable about the world than I was. It was regularly triggering flashbacks of my failures in life, pushing me deeper and deeper into despair until thoughts of my worthlessness became my obsession. During these episodes, I stare into space, stone-cold expression, puffy panda eyes balancing precariously on the verge of tears. My responses to people were in as few words as I could possibly make it. Someone told me I looked “REALLY tired.” Continue reading “People like to be around people who are happy”

What are Adverse Childhood Experiences?

The blog post includes mentions of abuse and suicide. Please read with caution if any of these items triggers or upsets you.

Adverse childhood experiences (shortened to ACE), are stressful and traumatic events that have occurred in one’s lives during their childhood, from birth to 18. The more frequently that children experience ACEs, the more likely they are to experience toxic stress, an extreme form of stress that can have drastically negative effects that can lead to lifelong health problems. While they sound, and are, extreme, having ACEs is not unusual. According to the Center for Youth Wellness, nearly 35 million children in the US are affected by ACEs, 1 in 4 adults have at least one ACE, and 1 in 8 adults have at least four.  Continue reading What are Adverse Childhood Experiences?

Incorporating Telehealth into Mental Health Treatment

Many studies have pointed out that adolescents have low numbers when it comes to seeking treatment for their mental health despite the growing rate of mental illness diagnoses. There are many barriers that prevent them from seeking treatment, and can be both voluntary and involuntary: issues such as lack of transportation and funds can make it impossible for adolescents to physically get there in the first place, and some may have anxiety to make that first phone call or send that first email to schedule an appointment. Continue reading Incorporating Telehealth into Mental Health Treatment

Celebrities With Mental Illnesses

The SOVA Project is happy to feature this blog post written by one in our team of fantastic SOVA Ambassadors—these are young people who help create meaningful blog posts from adolescents’ perspectives.

Many teenagers with mental illnesses feel like they aren’t “normal” and that they are alone in their struggle. There are so many YouTubers and singers that have spoke a lot about their struggles with mental health, and I feel as though knowing of celebrities that talk openly about their own personal struggles can help teenagers suffering with similar thingsContinue reading Celebrities With Mental Illnesses

What is Resilience?

Trying to combat mental illness and the effects it can have on you can be exhausting, hard, and can even make you feel worse. Nonetheless, resilience, or the process of fighting back and recovering from difficulties, is possible.

Resilience is a way to include positivity in your life and a way to fight back against the negative thoughts that often come with having a mental illness. It’s a way of like telling your mental illness that it doesn’t have more power than you have over yourself and that you can get back up when it knocks you down. There are tons of ways to practice resilience too, from changing behavior patterns or your environment to practicing healthy coping mechanisms.

Resilience acts as a type of protective factor, which are ways to prevent issues like more severe mental health effects from occurring. It’s different than simply trying to overcome your issues though; while it may sound like it’s the same thing as putting on a smile on your face and acting as if nothing is wrong, resilience is more about trying to find a way to battle your feelings and also means embracing that they’re in the first place.

But how does resilience look for adolescents specifically? One study interviewed five teenage girls who were being treated for various mental illnesses such as addictionPTSD, and depression. Common patterns appeared in what all of them had to say; for example, embracing resilience for them was challenging, but they described the effects that it had on them to be really rewarding.

These difficulties came in the form of trying to find positivity when combating triggers or experiencing nightmares, or feeling like they were alone in their situation and trying to withstand trauma by themselves, especially because of things like stigma or being shut down when they did open up. They were able to find resilience through becoming more confident in dealing with their mental health issues, which led to an increase in self-worth, and it was something that they were able to work on not just with other’s help, but through their own individual determination. They were also able to find the resources they needed and simply just surviving when things felt like they were at their worst.

While it’s a journey, finding ways to be resilient against one’s mental illness is possible.

What do you think resilience is? How do you embrace difficulties or challenges that may occur?

Creative Arts Therapy Feature: Bibliotherapy

Do you enjoy the arts? Have you ever wanted to see how getting creative can help you mentally? This feature is just one in a series of entries exploring the different types of creative arts therapy. You can learn more about other outlets here!

The truth is, reading can be difficult. You may not have the time to settle down with a book to read, or you may get so overwhelmed with all the options that you don’t know where to start. Reading can also sound like a burden and a commitment, and it can be hard to pay attention to what you’re trying to read, especially given all the kinds of distractions surrounding you (see: phones).
Continue reading Creative Arts Therapy Feature: Bibliotherapy

How Mental Health Affects Second-Generation Adolescents

The demographics in the United States have shifted significantly. The Pew Research Center reported that there were 44.4 million immigrants living in the country in 2017, making up 13.6% of the total population. The increase in the immigrant population in the United States also means an increase in second-generation Americans – those who are born in the United States to immigrant parents (some people may also refer to these people as first-generation Americans, however).  The number of second-generation immigrants was nearly as much back in 2013 at 36 million, making up 12% of the population. Continue reading How Mental Health Affects Second-Generation Adolescents