IS THIS JUST A PHASE?
WHEN IS TEEN ANXIETY THERAPY OR TEEN DEPRESSION COUNSELING THE RIGHT ALTERNATIVE?
As a parent or guardian, ask yourself these questions:
Is your teen constantly anxious? Are they feeling like their obsessive thoughts have too much control over their actions? Peer pressure is mounting and they over think how much people are concerned about them. Do they avoid school or social functions more often? Does your teen worry about the future too often? Do they fear the future much more than their peers? Do they have panic attack episodes? Is their sleep disrupted? Does your teen worry frequently about themselves, saying things like: “There is something wrong with me? Things never go right. Things will never work out?”
Is your teen sad, angry, irritable, lonely, and isolating more so than usual? Do they say things like: “If I could just make it through school today then I can go to my room and sleep? No one likes me, I’m such a bad person.” Or maybe your teen is not saying anything and will not answer your questions about how they are doing. Perhaps they are using drugs or alcohol to self-medicate their emotional pains. Are they ignoring communication from friends, isolating themselves, not doing activities they use to enjoy? Perhaps your teen has talked about not being on this earth anymore, or things a lot about death or self-harming. Thoughts like these are normal every so often, it’s when they become more frequent than not. That is when there is a reason for concern.
IF YOU FIND YOURSELF SAYING YES TO SEVERAL OF THESE QUESTIONS: YOUR TEEN IS NOT ALONE.
“An estimated 2.8 million adolescents (ages 12 to 17) in the U.S. had at least one major depressive episode in 2014. Furthermore, about 80 percent of kids with an anxiety disorder and 60 percent with depression are not getting treatment.”1
THERE IS GOOD NEWS:
Treatment of depression and anxiety in teens has come a long way. Behavioral treatment, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, (CBT) and relaxation skills are very helpful ways to treat depression and anxiety. However, another very effective combination of treatments has been studied:
“One major clinical trial, the NIMH-funded Treatment for Adolescents with Depression Study (TADS)2, has indicated that a combination of medication and psychotherapy is the most effective treatment for adolescents with depression. The clinical trial of 439 adolescents ages 12 to 17… After the first 12 weeks, 71 percent responded to the combination treatment of fluoxetine and CBT. “3
The hundreds of teenagers we have seen are usually receptive to help because things have gotten so out of control and emotional pain is so strong. Usually their parents or guardians notice the change but at first feel like the teen is having a “teenager phase” and will work his/her way out of it. Frequently this is the case. However, if these behaviors persist for more than a month, it may be time to seek professional help before it gets worse and the teen has to experience prolonged intense emotional pain.
WHAT DO TEENS WANT TO TELL THEIR PARENTS ABOUT TEENAGE ANXIETY AND DEPRESSIONS IN TEENS?
It is remarkable what teens tell us. themighty.com is a website where people who face mental illness can post their thoughts. It could be helpful for you to check out what you may be missing from your teen. Here are some statements from this site that come close to what I hear from teens on a regular basis:
[Speaking to a parent:]
“Your support and understanding are everything to me. I am in awe of the lengths you have gone to try and get answers. And even when those answers didn’t come you still haven’t given up on me, even when I want to give up on myself!”
“Don’t be ashamed of me. I do the best I can. It has just gotten harder getting older.
“It’s not a parent’s job to fix their child (there are doctors for that). It’s a parent’s job to love, support and encourage their child so they feel a little less broken and alone.”
“Thank you for being there for me even though it took some time to digest my illness. I appreciate all the kindness and love when I was in my darkest days. You pulled me through more than you’ll ever know.”4
How do you know that counseling will really work for your teenager? Well, not every teen is a fit at Victor Counseling Practice. However, if that is the case we will steer you in the right direction. An example of successful treatment for teen anxiety is this: I recently graduated a teen who struggled with obsessive anxiety. At the last session he stated that counseling made him worry a lot less, he is much happier his social life has improved including going over to other friends’ houses.
Collaboration with community services is key to many teens success.
Here is what a local community resource manager had to say:
“As the Ontario County Children and Youth SPOA Coordinator, Jeff has referred several youth and families to SPOA, and has worked collaboratively over the past few years to help ensure that we had the clinical information we needed to activate referrals. In mental health service provision, collaboration among service providers is paramount, and Jeff’s attention to this vital aspect of service delivery is very much appreciated.”
-Kris Sweeney, LCSW-R, ACSW – Ontario County Children and Youth SPOA
WHAT VICTOR COUNSELING PRACTICE IN VICTOR, NY HAS TO OFFER:
- We have convenient hours, starting at 7 AM Monday through Thursday for those who need appointments before work or school, and as late as 8 PM on Monday and Wednesdays for those who need appointments after school, work or extra-curricular activities.
- We accept most insurances. We will work with people who have a financial hardship.
- We are located in an underserved area in Victor, NY.
- Jeff is licensed in NYS and has over 20 experience with teens treating anxiety and depression.
- Many teens at the last session report their experience: “Counseling really helped, things are much better now, I got the things I needed to feel less anxious and depressed.”
NEXT STEPS TO HEALING:
- Call your Primary Care Physician for a consultation.
- Research your options for counseling in your area.
- Call Ontario County Children and Youth SPOA and ask for Kris Sweeney at 585-939-2993.
- Call/Text Victor Counseling Practice in Victor, NY at 585-444-1808 for a consult or an appointment.
Victor Counseling Practices: Counseling in Victor, NY. Also Servicing Surrounding Areas Such as: Canandaigua, Farmington, Clifton Springs, Geneva, Shortsville, Macedon, Palmyra, Pittsford, Fairport and Bloomfield.
1 https://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/depression. ADAA, Anxiety and Depression Association of America, is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention, treatment, and cure of anxiety, depressive, obsessive-compulsive, and trauma-related disorders through education, practice, and research. Cited September 26, 2016.
2 Treatment for Adolescents with Depression Study (TADS) Team. Fluoxetine, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and their combination for adolescents with depression: Treatment for Adolescents with Depression Study (TADS) randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Medical Association, 2004 Aug 18; 292(7):807-20. Cited September 26, 2016.
3http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/child-and-adolescent-mental-health/antidepressant-medications-for-children-and-adolescents-information-for-parents-and-caregivers.shtml The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Cited September 26, 2016.
4 https://themighty.com/2016/03/22-things-people-with-mental-illness-wish-their-parents-knew1/ The Mighty: Real people. Real stories. They face disabilities, disease and mental illness together. Cited September 26, 2016.