Balancing school, family, financial, and social responsibilities leaves many teens at risk of experiencing complications related to their self-esteem and mental health. If you believe mental health concerns might be preventing your teen from living their best life, having a solid treatment experience can open doors your teen never thought possible.
Why Is It So Hard to Seek Treatment?
According to government statistics, nearly half of all youth ages 8 to 15 with a mental illness receive no treatment. Studies have been conducted to determine the reasons for this disparity, and there is no single answer. Some reasons have to do with the environment, economics, and other overarching factors. In some cases, the mental disorder itself may create conditions that prevent the individual from seeking help.
Tips for Asking for Help
Remember, there is nothing shameful about seeking help. Initially, you may feel vulnerable and unsure, but asking for help is essential. Good mental health treatment will set you on a path of recovery that enables you to enjoy your life truly. We recommend that people ask for help before frustration and anger take over. If you wait until the problems are severe, you may be too overwhelmed to ask for help. For adolescents, the following were identified as particular issues that made it hard to reach out:
Stigma and Embarrassment
Negative and judgmental attitudes toward mental illness create shame and fear of being identified with the mentally ill.
Difficulty Recognizing Symptoms
Some young people aren’t sure how to identify whether their problems are typical or indicate an underlying mental illness.
Preference for Self-Reliance
During their developmental years, teens commonly begin asserting their independence. This tendency may cause a preference for relying on themselves.
Lack of Trust
From the general awkwardness of sharing personal details to fears of exposure, distrust often becomes a barrier.
Feelings of Hopelessness
Those especially burdened by their symptoms may perceive hopelessness that contributes to a diminished desire for help.
Benefits of Getting Treatment for Mental Health
Thankfully, identifying the benefits of treatment is easier than figuring out why it’s hard to ask for help. If you understand how much you have to gain, you will be more inclined to seek help.
Depending on your specific situation, there will be particular advantages to getting treatment. But considering the overall benefits of adolescent mental health treatment is a great place to start:
Improved Quality of Life
Imagine being free of the symptoms you’re currently facing. Without depression, anxiety, stress, and other psychological problems weighing you down, you can live your life to the fullest.
When the symptoms of the illness aren’t sapping your strength, you’re better able to develop and maintain healthy relationships, and you’ll have more time for the people in your life.
Reduced Chance for Complications
Many people with mental illness unfortunately also develop substance addictions, but getting mental health treatment diminishes that possibility. Even if drugs or alcohol are already a problem, dual diagnosis treatment can help with both conditions.
Better Performance at School or Work
Improved concentration, enhanced creativity, reduced absenteeism, increased productivity and better overall performance are all very real benefits of good mental health.
Reduced Risk of Medical Issues
Untreated mental illness contributes to physical problems like heart disease, ulcers, and colitis and also reduces the strength of your immune system. Getting treatment decreases your potential need for certain medical services.
Encouragement and Support
Individual therapy enables you to understand yourself and your personal goals better. Group therapy provides exposure to others with similar struggles, which can offer fresh perspectives on difficult problems. All of this gives you the needed strength for continued recovery.
Hold Yourself Accountable without Drowning in Guilt
Leave behind feelings of weakness, shame, and embarrassment. Asking for help doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It’s the best and wisest strategy for success in overcoming your struggles. We also recommend that people talk to someone they trust. If you’re not sure where to start or are feeling intimidated about dealing with professionals, start with a friend or family member. They can point you in the right direction and work with you to find the best source of treatment.
Be Clear and Direct when Asking for Help
If you’re not specific, others may completely miss your plea for help. Vague comments are easily missed or misunderstood, so be as precise as possible. Be as positive as you can. Understandably, negativity creeps in when you’re wrestling with real problems. But try to abstain from whining or complaining. Also, be kind and gentle; avoid making demands or threats. Bad attitudes can turn people away just when you need them most.
If handling a mental health concern on your own isn’t working out the way you want, the obvious next step is to ask someone else for assistance. When it comes to mental health, asking for help can be incredibly difficult. However, the benefits of getting treatment for mental health concerns far outweigh the challenge of overcoming the initial fear of seeking help. Contact Destinations for Teens by calling 877.466.0620 to help your teen get started on the journey to mental wellness.