As parents, our love for our children is unwavering. We want what’s best for our children, and we only want to see futures and scenarios for our children in which they are happy, healthy, and successful. Sometimes, however, hopeful optimism can lead to blind denial. If you have suspected that your son or daughter may have a mental health or substance use disorder, be honest with yourself about their struggle, because the outcome of denial, can be deadly.
The Outcome of Doing Nothing
Too often when parents realize their son or daughter has an addiction, or is suffering from a mental illness, their initial reaction is to do nothing. This response can have severe initial and long-term consequences. Whether the issue is addiction, depression, or anxiety, the longer the issue progresses, the more damage it can cause on your child’s life. Early intervention is the best way to treat addiction and mental illness before the risk of a serious injury or impairment becomes severe.
The Outcome of Silence
While some parents may decide to take action, they may make the mistake of believing that they do not need outside, or professional help to treat their child’s addiction or illness. Addiction and mental health disorders are serious, and complex conditions that require the expertise of trained professionals. Fearing the stigma of seeking help may only worsen the addiction or health issues your child is facing. For those who attempt to implement their own rehabilitation initiative, know that doing so could severely damage your relationship with your child.
The Outcome of Denial
If your child is suffering from a mental health disorder, such as depression, anxiety, anorexia or bulimia, or bi-polar disorder, his condition could put him at risk for physical health issues, suicide, or death. Your child could face similar dangers if he is suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction. Car accidents, incarceration, accidental overdoses, and death are frightening real-life consequences of substances abuse that addicts face daily.
Let Go of Denial
Acceptance will be the first step for recovery and well-being for both you and your child. If you want to truly help your child to live a healthy and productive life, get real, let go of your denial and become a positive influence for change by following these steps:
- Recognize that you are in denial.
- Recognize that the problem is real, and not just a trend, phase, or typical part of adolescence.
- Do not blame yourself for the challenges your child is facing.
- Decide to focus on the health of your child, not on the social stigmas associated with addiction and mental health issues.
- Arm yourself with information and education from reliable, professional health care sources.
- Seek professional help for your child. A treatment plan or recovery program devised by a mental health or substance abuse expert will offer the best chance at a healthy outcome.
- Stay engaged with your child. Make sure you know who their friends are, where they are going, and what they are doing. Being knowledgeable about potentially risky behavior will help you to guide and support them in their wellness goals.
If you are ready to close the door on your state of denial and get your son or daughter the help they need to begin a wellness recovery strategy, talk to the substance use disorder and behavioral health experts at Horizon Health Services. Call (716) 831-1800 today.