You Don’t Have To Discuss It In Person Writing Them A Letter Email Or Even Texting Them Is Possible Too
If you’re super anxious or have a bad relationship with your parents to the point that you’re putting off this conversation, writing it out is a great way to start a dialogue. “This helps because they cant start arguing, interrupt, or derail the conversation,” says Weichman. “They have to be present and take in what youre saying to them.”
Q: What Role Does Therapy Play In Treatment And How Does Therapy Evolve As They Get Older
Dr. Bergquist: For mild anxiety or depression, children and teens can start with just therapy. For more moderate or severe conditions, medication is often added to the treatment plan.
When children are young, its common for you to be in the room with them during therapy. The therapist may encourage your child to express their feelings and thoughts through talking, playing or other activities. Or you may work with the therapist alone to talk about your childs behaviors. At times, you may feel like youre doing most of the work yourself.
As children get older, though, parents may not have to be quite as involved. Older children are better able to cognitively understand cause and effect. So they can recognize how and why they may be thinking in certain ways.
Take Concrete Steps Toward Preventing Catastrophes
It can really help to know youre doing something. Once you acknowledge these deep fears you have about your children, make a list of things that could actually prevent them.
For instance, if your neighbors pool is stressing you out due to it being a safety risk, what steps can you take?
You could talk to the neighbor about fencing in the pool , or about purchasing a lock for their gate.
You may want to invest in swimming lessons so you know your kiddo will be safer if they find themselves in the water.
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Young People Tell Us Their Worries About School Can Include:
- finding the work difficult, or problems with concentration
- finding school exhausting, especially if dealing with mental or physical health issues
- feeling pressure to get good results
- friendship difficulties
- feeling like they dont fit in, arent accepted, supported or seen
- not getting on with teachers
- feeling pressured to learn in a particular way
- additional needs such as dyslexia or ADHD not being recognised
- feeling average or no good among high-achieving peers
Once You’re Ready To Have The Conversation Choose A Time That’s Good For Both You And Your Parents
Maybe instead of right after work when they’re cooking dinner, you go with a Saturday afternoon when there’s nothing going on. “Pick a time when you have their full attention and theyre more likely to take it seriously,” says Howard.
Also, bring it up at a time when you’re feeling good and not in crisis, so you don’t accidentally undermine your message. “If you’re agitated, your parents might say, ‘Oh, you’re just upset, you don’t know what you’re talking about,'” says Howard.
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What Is School Anxiety Or Refusal
School can be a source of support and community as well as learning. It can provide responsibilities that boost self-esteem, exposure to different opinions, new experiences, a sense of achievement, friendships and relationships with trusted adults.
It is however completely normal for children to feel worried about aspects of school life occasionally. This is usually short-lived, but for some children school can feel challenging, stressful or distressing for a longer period.
In some cases this builds up so that the child is reluctant to go in, or becomes so severe that they are unable to attend. This is usually called school refusal, though many object to the implication that its a choice. It is also known as emotionally-based school avoidance or anxiety-related absence.
If your child is struggling with school-related anxiety or refusal, its important to recognise the problem and work with them, the school and, if appropriate, other professionals to provide the right support as soon as possible.
Q: Say My Child Was Recently Diagnosed With Anxiety Or Depression How Can I Best Support Them
Dr. Bergquist: Try to be in tune with your kids and check in with them often. Its easy to want to fix everything for them. But it can be even more helpful to simply validate their emotions, rather than trying to solve their problems, even if you dont think they should feel that way.
To do that, avoid statements such as, You shouldnt feel that way. Instead, say, I understand that youre feeling anxious and depressed because of whats happening in your life. Better yet, expand on that and list the reasons life may be more difficult right now. For example, School is more challenging right now, Youre not able to play sports or You arent friends with so-and-so anymore.
Parents should also keep track of changes in their childs behavior. Maybe theyre spending less time doing the things they like. Or theyre opting to isolate even when they dont have to. If you notice those changes, something is going on with your child. Heres how to talk with your child about anxiety and depression.
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Here Are A Few Different Things That You Can Start Noticing:
your body’s physical responses in moments of social anxiety, or even panic
what situations or circumstances spark up that social anxiety
what helps to quiet down your anxiety responses
Knowing what coping strategies or coping skills work for you is gonna be really important when you talk to your parents, too. Otherwise, it might be a little confusing for your parents if they see you talking with your friends and not feeling socially anxious. They might not understand why going to school might make you feel socially anxious.
The more concrete that you can notice these examples, the easier it’s gonna be to roll into the next strategy: describing the situation to them.
Start With Small Talk To Ease Into The Conversation
When you’re ready to have the conversation, start by finding a time when your parents are relaxed and not rushed or busy.
You might say something like, “Can we talk for a few minutes? I need to tell you something.”
Then, begin with some small talk to ease into the conversation.
For example, you might ask about their day or mention something that’s going on in your life.
Once you feel like you’re both comfortable, start sharing your thoughts and feelings about social anxiety.
Explain what it is and how it affects you.
Be sure to emphasize that you’re not looking for sympathy or for them to fix anything – you just want them to understand what you’re going through.
Finally, thank them for listening and let them know that you’re open to talking more about it in the future.
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Q: How Likely Is It That My Child Will Come Off The Medication Eventually
Dr. Bergquist: Very likely. In general, once a young person feels better, its recommended that they continue the medication for an additional 9 to 12 months.
When people stop too early , their brains literally havent healed enough. They need a full 9 to 12 months of treatment after they feel better to find long-lasting relief.
Q: What Additional Resources Do You Recommend For Parents Who Are Helping Their Children Work Through Mental Health Challenges
Dr. Bergquist: I often provide my patients families with additional information to look through at home. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry has great resource centers for families, including guides about anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, bullying and depression.
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Struggling To Ask For Help: Telling Your Parents You Have Anxiety
Whether youve recently learned about anxiety, or have suddenly found yourself experiencing it yourself, anxious feelings can be tricky to manage as a teenager. Anxiety disorders are very common, and many people begin to struggle with them during their teenage years. There are many social and physical changes that happen during this time, which can make it difficult to process new thoughts and feelings. The good thing is that anxiety is very treatable, and learning how you can cope with it at a younger age is an important skill that can help you as you move into adulthood. And remember, reaching out to ask for help through means such as an online therapy service is a sign of strength!
Try To Find A Time Free From Distractions To Talk To Your Parents About Therapy
Think about a time and place that would be best to have a potentially stressful conversation. When your parent is going to or coming home from work, taking care of other family members, or getting things done around the house probably wonât be good times. Ask if you can speak to them privately away from other family members, maybe on a walk outside the house or a car ride.
If you donât live with your parent or you canât talk to them in person, schedule a video chat or call ahead of time instead of contacting them without notice. Say that you have something you want to talk to them about so they can prepare a private, quiet place on their end.
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What Causes School Anxiety Or Refusal
Young people can feel anxious about school for many reasons.
They may be worried about things like settling into a new school, friendship difficulties, exam or academic pressure, or bullying. Or there may be difficulties outside school, such as bereavement, divorce, parental illness, being a young carer, or anxiety about separation from family or the comfort of home .
School problems can also result from physical illness or mental health conditions such as depression, or neurodevelopmental conditions including things like ADHD or ASD, which may be undiagnosed or not well-supported.
Were under high pressure and stress over our grades.
It feels like we have to be the same as our peers.
Whether You Decide To Go To Therapy Right Now Or Not There Are Free Mental Health Resources Available To You Now
If youâre struggling, you donât need to wait to talk to your parents or find the right therapist for you. Crisis Text Line is available in the US, Canada, UK, and Ireland at 741741 for free and confidential support. In New York City, you can access NYC Well via text at 65173 or by phone at 1-888-NYC-WELL. In addition, you can access the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 and in an emergency, you should always dial 911. MyWellbeing also has pages of free resources, low fee and insurance resources, crisis resources, and special offerings during COVID-19.
Whatever happens with your parents, know that help is out there. We care about you and we want you to find the mental health support you need and deserve. Itâs completely normal and healthy to seek therapy and it shows great courage to have difficult conversations and take those first steps. You got this, and weâre right here with you.
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Be Prepared That Your Parents Still Might Not Want You To Go To Therapy Or Support Your Decision To Go
âIf your parents respond this way, donât give up hope,â Stephanie said. âShare with them why you want help and recognize that asking for help is a sign of strength.â
It might be hard to not blame your parents or bring up things they have done, but try to keep from blaming or accusing them and focus on yourself. Double down on what it would mean for you to get the support you need. If the conversation doesnât seem to be going well, step away, let them sit with their thoughts, and try having the conversation again when things have cooled down.
Understand that your parentsâ reaction might have nothing to do with you and your personal situation. They might be dealing with known or unknown mental health struggles themselves, there might be cultural stigma or past trauma that makes the mental health discussion difficult for them, or they might assume that your experience means that theyâve been bad parents. They might be sad that youâre struggling or guilty that they didnât notice sooner. Itâs hard to know what is going on in someone elseâs head. If youâre able to do so, you could ask them a few questions to explore their feelings and see if you can adjust your strategy.
How To Tell Your Parents You Have Depression: When They Are Super
Mom and Dad, I have a big problem that I need your help with. I am suffering from depression. Its been a few months now, and I have been pretending to be ok. Ive been trying to hide it from you, but its killing me so much that I cant do it alone anymore. Its just getting worse. I am sorry I know this is the last thing you want to hear, but its the truth. I need your help.Mom, I have something really important to talk to you about, and it cant wait. This is not your fault in any way, but I am depressed I have been for a while. I dont feel happy anymore, and I feel like its getting worse every day. Some days, I feel like I want to try cutting myself. I didnt want you to know about this because you were having a tough time too. That being said, Im telling you because I really need your help.
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Prepare For How They Might React
- If they say that what youre describing sounds normal, you could say: This is more than a bad mood. I dont know how to manage this on my own.
- If they make you feel guilty for how youre feeling, you could say: I dont want to feel this way, which is why I think I need some extra help.
- Even very loving parents may be shocked, or even react defensively, if they feel theyre to blame for your current difficulties. Give them some time to process things, and perhaps get a friend, family member or health professional to help you have the conversation.
How To Talk To Your Parents About Mental Health And Getting Help
By: Jordan Richmond
Sometimes it can feel like your parents just dont live in the same reality. You are changing, but they still treat you as the kid they knew. Or you have all new challenges and problems they seem to know nothing about.
First things first be proud of yourself for asking for help.
We all, at certain times in our life, need help. Asking for it is really courageous and takes inner strength. You are on the right track.
Be sure you are asking the right person for help.
Some parents have their own problems and mental health issues to deal with. And sadly, sometimes parents are even the reason you need help in the first place.
If you need counselling because your parent has been physically, emotionally, or sexually abusiveto you, or if you have a reason to believe your parent might hurt or punish you for wanting help, do not put yourself in danger by asking them. Turn to a school counsellor, another trusted family member or family friend, or even talk to your GP.
TIP: You can also contact Childline here in the UK and they can guide you with other places to seek help, or advise you on whether or not its a good idea to talk to your parents.
Get your timing right.
Preparation is everything.
The best way around this is to prepare for the conversation in advance.
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Q In 2020 Emergency Department Visits For Suspected Suicide Attempts Among 12
Dr. Bergquist: Definitely dont dismiss their feelings. And dont panic. Try to remain calm. Its a good thing that your child is coming to you in the first place. That means youve built a trusting relationship with them.
Make sure you talk about it and ask whats going on with them. Dont be afraid to ask the hard questions, such as Are you being bullied? or Did someone assault you? Then listen, understand and validate their emotions.
How To Tell Your Parents You Need Therapy
If you have concerns about your mental or emotional health, you are far from alone. Millions of teens and young adults live with mental health issues like anxiety and depression.
In fact, the World Health Organization reports that half of all mental health conditions start by age 14.Unfortunately, so many of these cases go undetected and untreated.
Acknowledging theres an issue is the first step to feeling better. Asking for help is the second. That said, asking about therapy can feel overwhelming, but it is also very courageous.
If youre ready to take the next step and talk to your parents about treatment, you might be wondering how to start the conversation. You might also be wondering how to prepare, what to expect, and how to handle the situation if your parents are not supportive.
These are all valid concerns and questions. Thats why we asked three mental health experts to share their tips and suggestions about how to approach your parents about wanting to go to therapy.
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