The negative effects of mental illness are on the rise due to the isolation of COVID 19. It’s been particularly hard for adolescents with pre-existing mental health issues or behavioral problems to cope. If you have a troubled teen at home, you may not know where to begin in order to help them. Every day’s an added struggle with the pandemic. Having access to behavioral health care can not only turn your child’s habits around but also ultimately save his or her life. That’s why behavioral health is more important now than ever before. Here are a few suggestions on how to support them at home and in the outside world when the pandemic comes to a close.
Put them in an environment where they can thrive.
If your home environment is contributing to your child’s mental health problems, it might be best to take them out of whatever situation they’re in, so they can heal. Saying that the home environment is contributing to your child’s distress doesn’t imply that you or your family are the roots of their problems, but rather than taking away certain stimuli in conjunction with professional help should aid in their recovery. Obviously, you don’t want to hand your teens over to just anyone. There are programs for troubled teens that can help them feel better.
Sometimes a residential treatment center is best for mitigating issues, like substance abuse, and coming up with a health plan for anxiety and depression. Think of it as a therapeutic boarding school. They’ll come out of the program knowing more about themselves, their illnesses, and they’ll have a process for dealing with symptoms. Young people are just starting to find their own way in the world, which is why they may exhibit behavior, like defiance. That defiance may turn into something more serious, like drug abuse.
A residential program can help them learn how to manage their feelings in a healthy way through techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, as well as participate in more experimental treatments, like recreational and wilderness therapy. When they come home to you, they’ll have healed enough to be more open. They’ll also have a system of peers and professionals to stay in contact with as added support.
Keep up the good work.
Once your child has completed a residential program, it’s important that you keep up the good work. Successful patients have managed behavioral health as part of an ongoing process. Mental illness doesn’t just go away. Like many other diseases, you can take medication to lessen the symptoms, but that doesn’t make the issue disappear. Staying on top of this and aiding your child will be very important for his or her continued success.
Be open with your child about your plan for helping him or her. Come up with solutions together. Make sure you feel like you’re an ally and not an enforcer. You can talk to your child’s psychologist or psychiatrists about what’s the best option for making that distinction.
Be honest and tactful in your communication.
Even if there are times that your relationship with your child is strained due to their substance use disorder or other mental illness, you and your troubled teenager still have the capacity to love each other using the correct steps. It’s so important not to hide feelings and experiences from one another.
However, feelings can be difficult to discuss, especially when it’s a touchy subject. Going to family therapy may help your child stick to his or her health plan. Raising a troubled teen is not an easy task and emotions can get heated. It’s best to have someone help you navigate your own feelings, so you can provide your teen what they need.