Valentine’s Day is upon us. Doesn’t it seem like we were just celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas? Nevertheless, love is in the air. Young love. True love. Amid the young generation’s fascination with vampire love, loving the bad boy/bad girl, and confusion from music’s mixed message of what real love consists of, is there any wonder why Valentine’s Day can negatively impact a young person’s mood and significantly impair overall functioning? As adults we struggle with the messages that we were given about love. Love is supposed to last a life time.
Love is supposed to be like Cinderella or Snow White. Love is supposed to be a feeling that generates the “warm fuzzes” on the inside. Happily ever after, right?
But what has reality taught us about love? And what have we shown our young people to help them identify what real love looks like? The truth is, most young people today really do not know how to identify real love.
They have witnessed Hollywood marriages start and end within weeks. They have experienced their peers attest to being a true friend but later reveal betrayal, lies and deceit. They have felt the pain and vulnerability each time they have seen mom and dad argue or disparage the other. While the fantasy is that love should never hurt, the fact is that love does hurt. Love can be very painful.
And for a young person that is emotionally unstable, inadequate portraits of love can take a devastating tool resulting in suicide attempts, substance abuse, or even eating disorders. So what happens to the minors that have been hurt by love? What are the behaviors that adolescents exhibit who have been hurt by love? And where do the teenagers go that have let their guards down only to be abused, molested, used and fooled?
Adolescent Growth specializes in working with persons 12-17 who have experienced some form of trauma. We provide a structured program that includes Dialectical Behavior Therapy which is research based to be the most effective type of treatment for persons suffering with trauma. Most of the minors that we invite into treatment at Adolescent Growth are bright, sociable articulate individuals.
However, life circumstances have led them down a detoured path. Many of the young people have trusted the wrong person which resulted in some form of trauma and physical abuse. We therefore provide a safe environment that produces a haven for healing. Specific behaviors that we treat include:
- Suicidal ideations/prior attempts
- Self harm (cutting, burning, etc)
- Angry outbursts (verbal and physical)
- Mood instability (irritability, depressed or frequent fluxes in mood)
- Eating impairments (eating too little or too much)
- Distorted body images
- Unstable eating related behaviors (abusing laxatives, excessive exercise, eating non-nutritious foods, etc)
- Sleep impairments (insomnia, sleeping too much, nightmares, etc)
- Somatic symptoms
- Isolating/withdrawing from family/peers
- Low frustration tolerance level
- Loose associations with reality (hearing voices, seeing things, etc)
- Lack of energy/motivation/poor hygiene
- Academic decline
- Social impairments
Happy Valentine’s Day to you. May you find the peace and fulfillment that true love can bring and may you always know that there is a place of acceptance and love at Adolescent Growth.
If you or someone you know is hurting, please call 888.948.9998 option 1 for a free assessment. Healing is a telephone call away.