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Thursday, February 6, 2020

Addressing the Unique Treatment Needs of Younger People

Every adult can look back on their teens and early 20s with a mix of nostalgia and relief that they don’t have to go through that turbulent time again. However, today’s landscape is significantly more complex than what you might have faced during that time of your life. For one thing, readily available technology and 24/7 access to social media have put unique stresses on people, even those who grew up as digital natives.

If you feel like a gulf has developed between you and your child as they’ve reached these difficult years, how can you tell the difference between typical teen angst and signs of possibly risky behavior?

Challenges Facing Today’s Young Adults

None of us could have accurately predicted what the introduction of social media outlets would mean for society at large. Many people happily jumped on board with Facebook, for instance, willingly trading their privacy in exchange for being able to stay in touch with far-flung family and friends and participate in various online interest groups.

However, we now know Facebook did not have people’s best interests at heart. The company's executives were more than willing to provide detailed user information to political campaigns seeking to influence votes in the 2016 presidential election. What other “helpful” apps might be secretly harboring harmful intentions?

Ironically, though social media platforms were supposed to bring us all together, they have also served as a tool for cybercriminals and purveyors of discord and discrimination. For example, creators of “alternative news” have flocked to YouTube because it’s free to use and presents low barriers for entry. As a result, many teenagers – largely young men – have become dangerously radicalized into violent far-right ideologies that pull them away from the mainstream.

When to Seek Therapy or Help for Your Child

Sometimes, it can be challenging to tell when a teenager or college-aged child is struggling with substance abuse or other co-occurring mental health disorders. Is a son or daughter who seems withdrawn or sullen dealing with troubles like depression or cyberbullying, or is their isolation a simple form of teen rebellion? Here are some signs your child might benefit from counseling or professional help for their problems.
  • Ignoring responsibilities at home or at school
  • A lapse in personal hygiene
  • Skipping classes or other, even riskier, behavior
  • Sleeping too much or not nearly enough
  • Erratic mood swings, hostility or anger
  • Unwillingness to discuss any difficulties with you

How to Find the Right Program

If you and a medical professional determine your teenager or college-aged student needs help to overcome a mental health problem or dual diagnosis, it’s essential to find a treatment program that will meet the unique needs of their situation. Even the best-designed course of therapy will be less effective if your child is not willing to play an active role in their recovery.

Early intervention is also essential because it can help avoid the lifelong consequences of untreated substance use and mental health problems, which can disrupt your child’s promising future and set them on a rocky road to the financial, legal, emotional, psychological and physical issues associated with these issues.

At Hope Academy, we understand the challenges the younger generation faces, both in society at large and their lives in general. We are here to provide structure and support with customized programming that helps teach life, academic and job skills to clients ages 18 to 26. If you’re ready to learn more, contact us today.
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