My Teenager Is Making Me Depressed

It’s not uncommon to hear about teenagers being depressed. Mental health, especially for adolescents, has become a much discussed issue and there are now more resources available to help children cope with their emotions in their teenage years. However, one aspect that is often overlooked is how parents of teenagers are also at risk of mental health issues, particularly depression.

As a parent of a teenager, it’s natural to worry and be concerned about your child’s well-being. But with the added pressure of dealing with mood swings, rebellious behavior, and academic stress, it can take a toll on one’s mental health. This is especially true for parents who may already be struggling with their own personal issues or have risk factors such as a history of mental health problems and substance abuse.

The constant worry and stress that comes with parenting a teenager can lead to feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and even guilt. It’s not uncommon for parents to feel like they have failed in raising their child when they see them struggling. The depressive symptoms can worsen when parents compare their child to others who appear to be performing better. Social media and the pressure to present a perfect family life can also contribute to these feelings of inadequacy and low self-worth, increasing the risk of depression.

African American mom depressed and frustrated while her rebellious teenage daughter sits behind herSubstance abuse as a coping mechanism for depression

If you’re a parent who just had a long day trying to navigate through your teenager’s mood swings and temper tantrums, you probably feel that you deserve a cold beer or a glass of wine. But then one drink turns into two and before you know it, you’re drinking every day to cope with the stress. This is a common scenario for parents who turn to substance abuse as a way to escape their feelings of depression and anxiety.

You may think that alcohol or drugs are the only way to help you relax. What else are you to do? You just drown out the feelings of hopelessness and negative thoughts, even if it’s just for a little while. However, this temporary relief can lead to a vicious cycle of addiction and worsening mental health issues.

It’s important for parents to recognize that substance abuse is not an effective way to cope with depression or any other mental health issue. In fact, it can make things worse in the long run. Instead of solving the underlying problems, it only masks them temporarily and creates more issues in the process.

Substance abuse can also affect your relationship with your teenager as it impairs judgment and communication skills, making it harder to connect with them and understand their struggles.

When you fall into the trap of using substances as a coping mechanism, you’re also setting a harmful example for your teenager and other family members. They may start to view substance abuse as a normal and acceptable way to deal with difficult emotions, leading them down the same destructive path. It can then create a feedback loop where both you and your teenager enable each other’s unhealthy behaviors.

The good news, however, is that there are ways to treat depression and substance abuse simultaneously. Struggling with both conditions is often referred to co-occurring disorder or dual diagnosis. This means that both issues are happening at the same time and must be addressed together in order to achieve long-term recovery.

Depression and substance abuse treatment in Redlands, CA

Depressed father leans his head on the wall while his teen son is on the other side wearing headphonesSeeking professional treatment for co-occurring disorders is a critically important step for parents with substance abuse and mental health challenges. Recognizing the need for help and taking action to receive professional treatment is not only a step towards personal healing but also an act of love towards their family. It demonstrates a commitment to breaking the cycle of dependency and improving family dynamics.

Liberty House Recovery, located in Redlands, California, offers a compassionate and comprehensive approach to dealing with dual diagnosis cases. This integrated treatment is crucial because it addresses both the substance use disorder and any underlying mental health conditions simultaneously, offering the best chance for a full and lasting recovery.

Engaging in family therapy is an integral part of the recovery process at Liberty House. This therapy fosters understanding, healing, and communication within the family unit, helping to repair relationships.

Additionally, Liberty House emphasizes the importance of support groups as part of the recovery journey. Participating in groups with others who are facing similar struggles can provide a sense of belonging, reduce feelings of isolation, and enhance the motivation to remain sober. It allows individuals to share their experiences, challenges, and successes, fostering a community of mutual support.

Reach out to Liberty House Recovery today and learn more how you can heal yourself and your family from the devastating impacts of depression and substance abuse.