The concrete jungles–cities–of the United States may hold over 62 percent of the US population, but they contain much less of something all those people need: nature. The hustle and bustle of city life creates a large amount of stress with few outlets. It has been proven that in residential treatment for depression, nature can play a large part in helping an individual improve–this is why wilderness therapy was created. While our program is not a residential treatment center, it is a wilderness therapy program which offers residential treatment for depression.
We understand the crucial importance of nature in an individual’s life, but most of the US population doesn’t. In a recent BBC article, a relatively new diagnosis was discussed called nature deficit disorder (NDD).

Clients aren’t getting enough nature in their lives

It’s not hard to believe that children in urban settings aren’t getting nearly as much exposure to nature as children in rural settings–but what are the effects of that? Many studies have looked into this and recent ones seem to be pointing towards some bad news for city dwellers.

In one study that looked at over 2,200 twin children, researchers discovered a strong link between growing up in an urban environment and a higher risk of psychotic symptoms. While most of the time the psychotic symptoms didn’t result in schizophrenia, they were precursors to other issues, such as depression, trauma, and substance abuse. They also found that there was much lower social support for these children, making it more difficult to deal with social stress than in rural areas.

In another study–more focused on the direct effects of nature on the brain–researchers found that taking a 90-minute walk in nature was vastly different than taking a 90-minute walk in an urban setting. Rumination is a large part of depression; it’s what gets an individual to continue focusing on the negative aspects of life, obsessing over them even. This 90-minute nature walk decreased activity in the brain that is associated with ruminating thoughts–meaning it improved depression. As a wilderness program that offers residential treatment for depression, it’s easy to see why we’re a wilderness program in the first place–nature has a strong positive effect on the mind.

Combating nature deprivation

Whether you live in the city or the country, you can still not get enough nature in your life. Studies show that just a 10 minute walk can benefit you–just 10 minutes. Take the time to take your family to a natural setting once a day if you can, even if it’s only for 10 minutes. The results are clear: it can only help your wellbeing.

Wilderness therapy & residential treatment for depression

blueFire Wilderness is a wilderness therapy program that offers residential treatment for depression in teens ages 11 to 17. Our students commonly struggle with depression, bullying, anxiety, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems. We understand that this is a difficult and confusing time for the whole family, but we’re here to guide you through it. At blueFire, we strive to help each client find their inner confidence and succeed.
For more information about blueFire Wilderness and how our wilderness residential treatment for depression can help your family, please call 1 (844) 413-1999 today.

Previous reading
Treatment for Struggling Teens: Mental Health Issues Not Uncommon
Next reading
Wilderness Therapy Programs: Kanye West & Dealing with Stress