Why Your Child May Need a Psychiatrist for Mental Health or Addiction Treatment
If your child is struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, you’re probably thinking of some treatment options for them to get back on the right track. Several different treatment options are probably running through your mind. But have you thought about seeking a psychiatrist for addiction treatment?
Having your child go through therapy sessions with a psychiatrist could actually be extremely beneficial to their recovery process. The main benefit to seeing a psychiatrist is that your child will be receiving dual-diagnosis treatment.
If you’ve been researching treatment options for your child, you’ve probably seen the term “dual-diagnosis treatment” thrown around a lot. What does this mean exactly?
Dual-diagnosis treatment aims to treat underlying mental illnesses for patients also struggling with an addiction. About half of those who experience a mental illness during their lives will also experience a substance use disorder and vice versa.
If your child has been withdrawn, not acting like themselves, and using drugs or alcohol to numb their pain, they’re not alone. Many other teens and parents in Flower Mound and the greater Dallas area are going through exactly what you’re going through, and there are ways to identify the root of the problem.
Why Does My Teen Need to See a Psychiatrist?
A common misconception of teens who abuse drugs or alcohol is that they’re either using these substances because of peer pressure or from curiosity. Maybe your child went to a party and their friends were drinking, or trying other drugs and they were just curious to try it out for the first time. Or maybe your child felt an intense pressure to fit in with their friends.
This does happen, but another common reason for teens to abuse drugs or alcohol is a developing mental illness. Signs of mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety tend to appear for the first time in adolescence.
Mental illnesses may be more common with adolescents than some parents realize. In fact, depression is the most common mental health disorder, affecting nearly one in eight adolescents and young adults each year.
If a mental health diagnosis goes untreated, which is unfortunately fairly common for teens, it can lead to life-altering consequences later on in life, including drug or alcohol addiction.
It’s clear that depression, along with other mental illnesses, are not uncommon for adolescents to experience. Only detoxing and seeking treatment for a child’s substance abuse may not be enough to ensure their long-term recovery, maybe dual-diagnosis treatment is the right way to go. But what’s the benefit of seeing a psychiatrist at a rehabilitation center?
How Can a Psychiatrist Treat Addiction?
Now you’ve decided that your child not only needs to seek treatment for their drinking or drug use, but for their mental health as well. Seeking help from a psychiatrist could be a great fit for your child to finally get back on the right track.
But what about seeking help from a psychologist or counselor? Can my child receive the same treatment from their school counselor or from a psychologist at a hospital or private practice?
Although all three can provide therapy to those struggling with their mental health and substance abuse, there are a few differences among them. The biggest differences to note are that psychologists and psychiatrists provide additional services, such as administering psychological or diagnostic tests and determining the best medication options for their patients. However, only psychiatrists are able to diagnose and prescribe medication to their patients.
A psychiatrist can also evaluate your child’s mental state, while taking into account of their environment and many other factors. Here are just a few things a psychiatrist will consider while creating the best treatment plan for your teen:
They take into account:
- How your child’s mind works, and how they process stressful or traumatic situations
- Your child’s physical health and the effect of drugs or alcohol on their body
- What’s happening in their life – academic performance, planning their future, and how much support they’re receiving from family and friends.
If your teen is willing to open up during their sessions with a psychiatrist, they will be able to create a treatment plan that is best suited for their needs.
Treatment Plans a Psychiatrist May Offer
A psychiatrist can provide help for your child directly, but depending on how severe their substance abuse and mental health diagnosis is, other treatment plans can be offered for your child to receive the best care possible.
Here are a few examples of treatment options that a psychiatrist will offer to your teen, and other options that are available:
- Cognitive and Dialectical Behavioral Therapies: This is where your child will learn healthy ways of coping with stress and their depression and/or anxiety. Your teen can also understand their mental health diagnosis more clearly and be able to identify harmful thoughts that can cause addiction.
- Medication: Depending on your child’s mental health diagnosis, they may prescribe them a medication for their depression, anxiety, etc. Taking medication has allowed others who suffer from these mental illnesses an easier time navigating their daily lives.
- Family Therapy: When a loved one goes through something as serious as substance abuse, it can disrupt family relations. Family therapy is a great option to help parents understand their child’s diagnosis, and they can learn how to communicate and help their child after treatment is finished.
- Group Therapy: Having your child talk to other teens who are in a similar situation can help them feel less isolated and alone. Although the thought of sharing your personal story of addiction and mental illness may seem intimidating to your teen, it could also provide them with more support.
These options are available to your child in the form of both in-patient and out-patient rehab. The main difference between these options is that in-patient rehab allows your child to reside in a rehab facility for 30 days, 24 hours a day and is more intense treatment, while an out-patient rehab allows your child to stay at home and attend treatment sessions a few hours a week.
Out-patient rehab, like that offered here at Bricolage, tends to be a more popular option for adolescents as they’re able to receive treatment and still attend school, work at their job, or other duties they have. But at the end of the day, every case is different and this decision is up to you and your family.
Bricolage Behavioral Health is Here for the Teens of Flower Mound
Our staff at Bricolage Behavioral Health understand how heartbreaking it can be to watch your child suffer in any way. We’re here to help you and your family get your child’s life back on track by assigning an experienced and caring psychiatrist that will focus on mental health and substance abuse.
Located on Long Prairie Road, near Firewheel Drive and the Montessori Rainbow School, and close to one of Flower Mound’s large residential areas, we are convenient to reach out to.
Seek professional help for your teen before it spirals out of control. Bricolage will make sure your child is in the right hands.