Adolescence is already a tough phase for most and the added struggle with a mental disorder can make life unbearable. There are over 1 million teens diagnosed with major depression. This is just a small percentage of all the mental illnesses affecting teens and the numbers are growing yearly. The good news is, there are available treatments and support groups to help your teen with their condition. And the higher success rate of recovery usually starts at home.
Ways to Help Your Teen Cope with A Mental Disorder
Yes, it is unfathomable that your own child can succumb to such illnesses. However, it is for the best interest of your child for you to face such reality so as to immediately formulate a treatment plan and support system for them. It is also impertinent to have any mental disorder diagnosed by a licensed medical professional.
Open A Safe Communication Line
More often than not, mental illnesses are rooted with emotional and psychological pain of the child. It is important that such struggle can be openly discussed between you and the child. The child needs a safe outlet of such emotions while you provide guidance on how to deal with such stress. He/she should be reassured that whether you agree or disagree with the manifestations of their emotions, you would never abandon them and reaffirm your support for the betterment of your child.
There are some instances that we resort to anger or guilt when we do not fully understand the extent of these conditions. There are also symptoms presented that some often dismiss due to the lack of knowledge of the child’s current condition. It is key to learn as much from the diagnosis and to talk to counselors, psychiatrists or other medical professionals to help you understand your child and the illness as well as understanding your fears and misgivings regarding the situation.
A part of having a solid support system is to be observant of the symptoms or red flags that become apparent. If you notice immediately that your child is having a bad day and it can possibly trigger the manifestation of symptoms, you can easily manage the situation with countermeasures.
Remove or Lessen Exposure To Triggers
Of course, there are social and environmental factors that are out of your control but removing sharp objects or removing fat shaming ads from their reach can lessen the onset of symptoms. It is also critical that you instruct your child on what to do if in case, he/she is exposed to such triggers. This would greatly help in curbing the progression of the condition through the years.
Find Safe And Enjoyable Outlets
Most teenagers seek an escape from their mental disorders by the use of alcohol, cigarettes, drugs and/or self-harming. You as a parent can help your child find a safe outlet for these emotions or stress through activities such as dancing, painting, gardening, swimming or anything that allows them to divert those tumultuous emotions clouding them to something productive.
Seek Professional Help If Necessary
You are not alone in this fight. There are online communities that offer emotional support and government facilities that can give you medical and professional help if needed. Recovery is possible if fear is set aside and certain actions are taken for the betterment of your child.