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How to Tell Your Parents You Need Therapy

concerned mother and teen daughter.

Teen Mental Health

According to the National Alliance of Mental Health, nearly 20% of teens live with a mental health condition, 11% suffer from mood disorders, and 8% have some kind of anxiety disorder. Teens today face a completely different set of challenges from what their parents faced. The age of social media and online exposure has created a new world that has made teens much more hyper-focused on their social status and comparison to others.

Studies show that teens face an abundance of mental stress to the point that some mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression are almost common in their age group. Sadly, there is sometimes a stigma that comes with accepting mental health treatment, and it can be hard to ask for help from the ones you love. It is understandable for teens to worry about opening up because anxiety, depression, and other mental conditions can feel daunting.

How To Tell Your Parents You Need Therapy

If you feel you have been exhibiting habitual sadness, mental strain, or anxiety, it’s best to open up to your parents. Teens often worry about their initial judgments or even preconceived misconceptions of therapy and mental health treatment their parents might hold. But most parents are highly supportive of their children, especially what’s best for their mental and emotional well-being. For the best results when opening up to your family about wanting to go to therapy, make sure you consider these factors:

  • Make sure you are in the right mindset and can openly discuss matters with your parents
  • Make sure you are in an appropriate environment with few distractions so you can focus on the issues
  • Share your feelings and some of the roadblocks you face openly and honestly
  • Let them know that therapy is common for teens, and you want to improve as a person

In the end, it is your parents’ job to look out for your well-being. Discussing therapy with them in a serious manner will set the tone for a non-judgmental discussion so you can get the help you deserve.

How to Explain How You’re Feeling

Many times it can be hard to explain how we feel in words. Depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues can cause many symptoms and feelings that are hard to describe. Sometimes the best way to talk about these feelings is to be open about the struggles you have been facing and certain triggers that cause these feelings.

An example might be, “I find it really difficult to feel good about myself at school. It makes me feel anxious, and it makes me not want to participate or even stay home sick.” Sometimes describing the feeling can be difficult, but pointing to the roadblocks can help show your parents why you think a therapist could help you.

Asking For Help Is Always the Right Thing To Do

Understanding you need help from a therapist in trying times takes a lot of courage and self-knowledge. If you need therapy, seeking help is always the best option because you should never have to feel alone in the fight for mental health. Don’t be worried about seeking therapy. Mental health treatment is more accepted in today’s world, and it can have lasting positive effects while improving your overall mental wellness.

Don’t Wait to Ask For Help

With most behavioral health conditions, and especially substance use disorders, the longer it takes to get help, the worse the problem gets. Often, an issue of continuing sadness or depression gets worse if not properly treated. Untreated mental health disorders can lead to a decline in your coping mechanisms and deterioration of your relationships with friends and family. These changes may lead you to reconsider treatment. A therapist can offer a variety of options for getting help.

Do My Parents Love Me?

Many teens suffering from depression or anxiety often wonder, “do my parents love me?” It’s important to note that most parents want the absolute best for their children most of the time. Opening up to your parents about the need to go to therapy can start a dialogue that shows you how much your parents really love you.

Remember, in the daily challenges of life people sometimes miss the signs or signals that a loved one is struggling. By talking about your struggles, you can help your loved ones take notice and maybe even open new bonds and understanding.

Parents’ Roles in Teen Mental Health

Parents can be busy with work and social life and miss some important signals that their teen needs mental health attention. Too often, teens who need help get ignored. Parents’ role in raising teens with mental health issues is to pay attention and facilitate understanding and care for them in their time of need. Some things parents can do to support their teens’ mental health include:

Encourage Your Teen to Say What They Are Feeling

Parents should encourage their teen to share deep feelings. A parent who really cares about a teen’s mental health will find ways to check up on their child and acknowledge and attempt to understand her feelings. She needs someone to take the time to support her and work through the conflict with her.

Therapy For Teens

There are many different therapy programs that can help support teens as they work through situations and heal. It is essential for them to see a therapist who specializes in treating teens and young adults. Teens have very different social lives, experiences, and lifestyles from older adults, and their treatment should account for that. Additionally, therapy should be a place where teens feel comfortable. Whether it is in a local clinic, virtual IOP, or away at an adventure therapy program, your teen should be in treatment that suits his individual needs and level of comfort. Different therapy options for teens include

  • Cognitive behavior therapy
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Experiential or Gestalt therapy
  • Life skills training
  • Adventure therapy

Finding Treatment Is Available

Opening up to your parents about seeking therapy is a big first step and is the best choice for achieving the mental wellness you deserve. Some people may not get the support they want or need at first but never lose hope. Your public school, counseling center, and friends and family are all good resources to reach out to for mental health help.

If you or someone you know experiences mental health issues, it is important to seek help from a qualified professional. Our Resource Specialist can help you find expert mental health resources to recover in your community. Contact us now for more information on this free service to our users.

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About the Author: Frost Anderson is a writer who has been working alongside therapists and doctors for over three years, curating content to help spread awareness of mental health and addiction. As someone who watched loved ones struggle with the grip of addiction while growing up, it is his passion to support the recovery community.

The opinions and views expressed in any guest blog post do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in the article or linked to therein. Guest Authors may have affiliations to products mentioned or linked to in their author bios.

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