You have identified that your teen can benefit from professional mental healthcare, and you’ve already scheduled the first appointment with a mental health professional. These are important first steps to have behind you. And as you now await that initial appointment, if you have not already done so, talking with your teen about attending therapy is very important.
Following a mental health diagnosis for your child, you may feel concerned, uncertain, and even fearful. On one hand, you finally have some answers. On the other hand, it opens up a world of new questions and emotions.
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Did they used to be organized, outgoing, and actively involved in class and social activities but have recently become withdrawn and disorganized?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.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most commonly diagnosed mental disorders in children. About 10% of children ages 4 to 17 suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), according to data collected from 2015 to 2016 by the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). Children diagnosed with ADHD often perform poorly in school as they struggle to control their hyperactivity and/or impulsivity. This significantly impacts their ability to learn effectively.
When a child is injured or traumatized in some way, it’s not unusual for the parents to also experience some emotional impact from the trauma. This is called secondary traumatic stress, or STS, and it’s a form of persistent emotional distress that comes from dealing with your child’s trauma firsthand. STS is more than just feeling burnt out; its signs and symptoms are similar to posttraumatic stress. And parents with their own history of trauma can be especially vulnerable to STS.