While we’ve made progress in removing the stigma from therapeutic treatment, we still have a long way to go to ensure that everyone feels comfortable reaching out for help if they need it. While we talk about mental health care for adults often, there isn’t as much of a focus on mental health for children and teenagers. Your child’s teenage years will be some of the most stressful of their lives, and the number of changes they go through emotionally and physically are substantial. Anyone may need help adjusting, but teenagers with underlying mental health issues may struggle more significantly. If your teenage child is exhibiting signs of stress or mental illness, don’t hesitate to get a professional involved. Read on to learn more about the potential benefits that mental health treatment can offer your teen.
What types of mental health treatment are available to teenagers?
It can be hard to know what your best options are when it comes to mental health treatment for teens. Most literature and news articles about therapy and mental health focus primarily on adults, but there are many mental illnesses that affect children just as severely, and some that even primarily begin to present symptoms in childhood. ADHD is one example of an neurological condition that is more commonly diagnosed and often begins to show itself in childhood, though adults can also have it.
Traditional in-person talk therapy is the most common first option for treatment, though it can be difficult to convince your teen to participate or make time. For busy teens and those who do better communicating by text, there are also a number of apps and services that provide therapy online. This type of therapy is new, but many people find it accessible and easier to fit into their day-to-day life. If your child finds that their mental health issues are interfering with their ability to perform necessary tasks, it may be a good idea to turn to a psychiatrist for help who specializes in care for young adults.
How can mental health treatment help your teen?
Mental health treatment has a number of benefits, most notably that it significantly improves quality of life and lessens the risk of extreme negative outcomes like suicide. However, these benefits are contingent on access to proper treatment and adherence to the treatment plan, which is why it’s important to find help that your teenager is comfortable with. Sometimes this treatment can include medication, though not everyone requires it to see improvement in their mental health.
Many mental health conditions are debilitating to the point of impeding someone’s ability to function on a day-to-day basis. A professional can help diagnose the cause of your teen’s struggles and help them find coping mechanisms or medication that can enable them to live a more productive and less stressful life. Some symptoms of mental illness, like panic attacks, can also be dangerous, so it’s essential to reach out to an expert as soon as you’re able to.
There are many different types of therapy, and you may find that you need to try more than one before you find the right fit for your teen. That’s a normal part of the process, as all of our bodies are different and the same treatment may not produce the same results in everyone. This is also true of most psychiatric medications, which can be part of a well-rounded mental health care plan for anyone of any age. If your child is struggling with interpersonal issues within the family, you can even choose to participate in group counseling together. No matter what route you choose, it’s important for every parent to take care of their teen’s mental health just as attentively as they would their physical health. When it comes to getting through high school and college without breaking down, everyone can benefit from a little help.