Any person struggling with a mental illness, no matter their age, needs the support of those around them, and this is particularly important when it comes to a young teen and their parents. Depending on the level of your relationship, a teen’s first instinct might be to hide their feelings from their parents rather than discuss openly. This is why you need to pay attention to the signs and make active efforts to tackle the issue, even if your teen may be unwilling at first.
Your teenager may be feeling some very self-deprecating things about themselves and suffering from low self-esteem. It’s important to assure your teen that their behavior isn’t their fault and that they cannot help it if they have a mental illness. Promote the idea that mental illness can happen to anyone, and that your teen has done nothing wrong by feeling the way that they do. Focus on positives and don’t say anything negative to your teen, even if you consider it constructive.
Seek Professional Treatment
The most important thing to do when helping your teen is to find treatment and gain professional advice. It’s crucial that you help your teen to do this, as they may lack the motivation or understanding to do it themselves. You can research the best treatment options for your teen, such as Ignite Teen Treatment which offers residential therapy care and support them through their recovery process. You can also visit your teen’s doctor in the first instance, who will be able to analyze the symptoms and check that there is nothing physically wrong.
Where mental illness is concerned, a lot of people prefer to ignore it and pretend that it isn’t happening. Your teen may feel as though they shouldn’t be speaking about how they feel, or that it is wrong to have a mental illness. By creating a safe environment where your teen can speak honestly about mental illness, and where you show willing to discuss it and accept it, they will be more likely to come forward and address it.
Do Your Research
As a parent, to better help your teen fight a mental illness, you need to be aware of what you’re dealing with. Your teen may not be able to explain or understand, which is why it’s important to get as much objective and professional information as you can. This will also enable you to analyze certain symptoms in your teen better – maybe you notice signs of anxiety as well as depression, which your teen themselves may not have picked up on. The more educated you are about it, the more it will help.
Discuss Substance Abuse
A teen’s first instinct may be to turn to alcohol or drugs when battling with mental health issues. It’s crucial that you discuss substances openly with them and help them to understand that alcohol and drugs will only work to exacerbate the issue and worsen the situation, particularly as alcohol is a depressant.