When you look at the calendar and see the holidays quickly approaching, what’s your initial reaction? While we tend to think of the holidays as a season of peace and goodwill toward all, in reality, it’s often a very stressful time, especially for parents.
Has your child been acting differently lately? Did they used to be organized, outgoing, and actively involved in class and social activities but have recently become withdrawn and disorganized? Have they even started sharing strange thoughts and ideas?
It’s a common misconception that psychotherapy is a one-size-fits-all type of treatment (i.e., everyone undergoes the same kind of therapy). But there are actually many different types of mental-health treatments available to your child, ranging from traditional “talk therapy” to play therapy to many specialized variations of treatment.
A suicide epidemic currently exists among teens. In fact, you’ve probably heard many startling statistics, such as that suicide is the second-leading cause of death between ages 10 and 34, according to the National Institute for Mental Health. And maybe you’ve heard that 8.6% of high school students attempted suicide in the past 12 months, according to The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention.
As the parent of a child dealing with mental illness, you spend a lot of time and energy focusing on your child’s day-to-day well-being. Whether you are coordinating with your child’s teachers and mental health professionals, helping your child cope with classwork and extracurricular activities, or dealing with a full-blown meltdown, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed trying to manage it all. Left unchecked, these stressors can take a toll on you and your child, ultimately harming your own physical and mental health.
Is your child normally engaged and motivated but suddenly having trouble paying attention? Are they more withdrawn than usual? It might be tempting to write this off as just laziness or a passing “phase.” Yet this might be a sign of a larger problem. In fact, social withdrawal and isolation is often one of the first signs of a possible eating disorder.