There is pretty limited awareness among people about mental health, perhaps that’s the reason they fail to seek professional help immediately – which affects their overall well-being with time.
The cases of mental illness and emotional issues are becoming more and more popular because of the kind of lifestyle we lead nowadays wherein we face cut-throat competition at each step. These problems are also quite common among teens, but most of them fail to get the treatment because they fail to recognise that they are struggling with a mental or emotional problem.
To a great extent, it’s the responsibility of the parents to encourage their children to live a healthy life. They have to focus on boosting their children’s mental and physical health by inspiring them to make healthy choices. So, if you have a teen child, make sure that you pay attention to their activities each day.
Mental problems like stress, anxiety, and depression affect teens in a big way. These problems not only prevent them from giving their 100% towards their studies but also make them feel utterly unhappy. If you talk specifically about depression, it makes children feel as if they are worthless, which affects their happiness to a great extent. It also affects their concentration level, confidence, and eventually self-esteem.
Apart from that, eating disorders, drug and alcohol addiction, and gambling addiction are also common mental problems that affect teens.
Mental problems like depression are one of the most common causes of suicide globally. So, it is essential for you to identify the unusual behaviour of their child, so that you can help them address it.
Here is how you can help your teenage child recover from a mental or emotional issue.
Communicate With Them
It’s highly essential for parents to talk to their children about their day to day life to strengthen the parent-child bond. Most parents fail to create that much-needed emotional connection with their children because they don’t find enough time to talk to them.
You can solve half of your problems just by enhancing your communication with your child. It not only helps strengthen the parent-child relationship but also makes it easier for you to identify the issues that your loved one is facing.
Treat Them As Your Friend
Rather than behaving with your child as a strict parent, you should try to become their friend to win their heart. Since you should be able to discuss everything with them to help them live a good life, it’s necessary for you to make them feel that you are just like their friends.
Don’t always try to form rules and regulations for them, try to do crazy things as well, so that they can gain the confidence of sharing their problems with you. In short, your child should feel comfortable in your company.
Talk to Their Friend & Teachers
If you are observing an unusual behaviour in your child, make sure that you get detailed information about it from their friends and teachers. Take out some time from your busy schedule to meet your child’s friends and teachers and ask them openly if they are absorbing anything unusual in your child’s behaviour. If they confirm your doubts by saying yes, then you should try to help your loved one recover from their problem.
However, make sure that your child shouldn’t feel that you are enquiring about them because it will end up hurting them.
Talk Tactfully to Your Child About Their Behaviour
Once you come to know that your loved one is struggling with a mental problem, you should try to discuss it with them. For example, if your child is behaving rudely with everyone around including you, then you must question them about it.
You can use statements like, “Why are you behaving this way?,” or ” Is everything fine with you?.” You can also ask them, ” Have you fought with any of your friends?,” or ” What is disturbing you so much nowadays?”
Make sure that you ask all these questions politely from your child; otherwise, they might not explain the actual reason behind their unusual behaviour.
Tell Your Child That They Have a Problem
As a parent, it’s your responsibility to encourage your child to make the right decisions in their life. So, in the context of helping them recover from a mental illness, the first thing that you should do is to tell them that they have a mental illness. There are chances that your child won’t believe it in the first go, so you have to describe the same thing over and over again in a polite manner.
One of the best ways to make them comfortable to admit the fact that they have a mental illness is to tell them regularly that they are responsible for their problem. Try to tell them that it’s normal to have a mental illness.
According to Charter Harley Street, “Emotions can be difficult to recognise and uncomfortable to experience.” It also says that “… you are not responsible for how you feel, but you are responsible for the subsequent behaviour.”
Ask Your Child to Seek Treatment
Try to convince your child that they have to take the treatment to recover from their problem. And once they agree to seek professional help, take them to a reliable rehab centre to meet a counsellor. Based on the severity of your child’s mental illness, they will either have to opt for an inpatient treatment program or an outpatient treatment program.
Cognitive behavioural therapy and interpersonal therapy (IPT) are the best ways to treat mental illnesses like anxiety and depression, so the healthcare professionals at the rehab centre may suggest any of these therapies for your child.
Encourage Your Child to Make Lifestyle Changes
Apart from seeking quality treatment, you should also encourage your child to make lifestyle changes because that can bring a world of difference in their overall well-being.
Motivate them to Exercise
If regular exercise is not yet a part of your child’s life, it’s your responsibility to motivate them to perform at least stretching and strength building moves at home. However, if they are interested in it, you can also ask them to join a gym and take the help of a reliable fitness trainer.
There is a vast difference between performing exercise at home or doing the same thing at a gym. No one will be able to guide your child if they carry out a stretching move in the wrong way at home. However, if they make the same mistake at the gym, their instructor will prevent them from doing it again.
Their instructor will teach them the right way to perform that exercise so that your child can prevent injuries. If your child manages to stick to their fitness routine for a long time, they will not only feel happier, but it will also increase their energy levels, reduce the risk of chronic disease, promote sleep, and offer relaxation.
Inspire Your Loves One to Consume a Balanced Diet
You should also encourage your child to consume a balanced diet because it will help them feel energetic all the time. It will provide all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to their body, which will strengthen their overall health.
Apart from that, you should try to motivate your child to learn a new skill such as dancing or painting because it will help them distract their mind from negative thoughts.