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According to the Pew Research Center, around 15% of children live in blended families with step-parents and step or half siblings. Only about 46% of families include two parents in their first marriage. In contrast, 40% of new marriages include at least one person who was previously married and 20% feature two people who have been previously married. Although blended families are becoming more common, it can still take a couple years for them to get used to the changes....

Many researchers have found mixed results about whether social media use has an effect on self-concept, self-esteem, body image, and body dissatisfaction, which suggests that individual mindsets can have an impact on the outcome of social media use. While comparing oneself to others over social media can have a detrimental effect on one’s self esteem, the Ideal to Real TODAY/AOL Body Image survey revealed that 65% of girls and assigned female at birth reported that seeing their selfies on social...

A number of major life events can be considered traumatic, even if they are not categorized as particularly violent. Conflict in relationships, significant changes in routine, and loss can be life-changing and result in increased depression and anxiety. While these “little t” traumas, compared to “Big T” traumas, may not sound significant enough to lead to symptoms of post-traumatic stress, over time, traumatic loss affects one’s ability to cope and respond appropriately. Symptoms of Traumatic Loss Symptoms of trauma aren’t exclusive to...

Many of our residents visit home for the holidays to spend time with their families. The holiday season often involves many holidays parties where alcohol is served, which can be a temptation for people in recovery. As alcohol use over the holidays is normalized, many young adults may be tempted to make an exception and try to hide that they’ve been drinking from their parents. However, drinking over the holidays can bring up old patterns of substance abuse, craving, and...

The “winter blues” are the most commonly diagnosed type of Seasonal Affective Disorder, but some researchers suggest that each season is associated with different mental health issues related to transitions that occur during that time. Spring is often associated with physical health issues and allergies, summer with impulsivity, and autumn with anxiety, often in anticipation of the winter blues. As autumn anxiety emerges when the leaves start to change, making the association with seasonal changes can give young adults a...

Social media is a powerful tool in shaping one’s identity, from curated feeds, messages from the media, to external validation through likes and comments. While technology allows people to create a narrative of their lives, it also allows them to cultivate a false sense of self or an ideal sense of self that is not an authentic representation of their everyday lives. Adolescence is a critical period of identity formation and sets a precedent for adult self-esteem; however, when social...

For a lot of teens who struggle with depression and hopelessness, they come up with feel-good myths to make themselves feel better, whether or not they believe they are true. These affirmations may sound optimistic, but it can be difficult to accept them as personally relevant. Adopting a realistic positive mindset, rather than an idealistic one, helps reduce symptoms of depression as it encourages young adults to build an internal locus of control. Why Feel-Good Myths Aren’t Always Effective The problem with...

This generation of young adults is ironically known as the self-care generation as they are more aware of mental health issues and promote positivity online, however, they are also experiencing higher rates of depression and anxiety. While most people are well-intentioned when they try to offer support, often the language they use to reassure people that they are okay and that they have a lot of good things going on in their lives, it sends the message that “their problems...

Everyone has a unique style of communicating appreciation and connection; however, we expect everyone else to share the same style. A lot of conflict in relationships comes from not being able to translate other people’s love languages and understand that there is no single right way to be in a relationship. We can understand how to build relationship skills by understanding that there are at least five love languages that people use in varying combinations depending on the relationship. Love languages...

While the stress of adolescence decreases through your teens, young adulthood is marked by another series of major life transitions. Hopelessness, anxiety, and frustration are part of the process, even if you feel like you’ve worked hard to manage these emotions. Transitioning from a residential program into a step-down program focuses on teaching you life skills to help you integrate into the adult world.  In a residential program, the focus is on emotional processing and healing, while a transitional program allows...