Information for Parents
Life is full of many challenges;
finding help when you need it
should not be one of them.
The New Foundation is dedicated to helping you through the process of hope and healing for your loved one. Our resource page offers information about mental illness, substance abuse, and recovery. We believe that if we are not the right fit for you, we want to help you find your path to recovery.
Information for Parents
It is not uncommon for parents to wonder whether their child is acting like a normal teenager or behaving differently due to mental illness, drug use or behavioral difficulties. Normal teenagers are often moody due to hormonal and physical changes that happen during puberty. However, when mental illness is involved, it may be difficult to differentiate “normal teenage behavior” from the symptoms of depression, anxiety and other emotional difficulties.
How do I know if my child is Depressed?
According to suicide.org, a teen takes his or her own life every 100 minutes. Suicide is the third-leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24. Approximately 20 percent of teens experience depression before they reach adulthood, and between 10 to 15 percent suffer from symptoms at any one time.
Here are some of the signs:
- Irritability or anger
- Continuous feelings of sadness and hopelessness
- Social withdrawal
- Increased sensitivity to rejection
- Changes in appetite — either increased or decreased
- Changes in sleep — sleeplessness or excessive sleep
- Vocal outbursts or crying
- Difficulty concentrating
- Fatigue and low energy
- Physical complaints (such as stomachaches, headaches) that don’t respond to treatment
- Reduced ability to function during events and activities at home or with friends, in school, extracurricular activities, and in other hobbies or interests
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Impaired thinking or concentration
- Thoughts of death or suicide
Depression may respond better to treatment early on, so it’s important to keep an eye out for the signs of depression in case your child needs help. Talk to them and ask them if they are okay. Don’t force the conversation but at least if you bring it up, they’ll know you are there for them and can support them when and if they need it. If depression is impacting on your child’s everyday life and you need further support, don’t hesitate to call The New Foundation (480) 945-3302 to see how we can help. If your child is having thoughts of suicide or is in crisis call the Crisis Line at (602) 222-9444.
Is my child using Drugs?
Youth that are using drugs often try to conceal their symptoms and downplay their problem. If you believe your child might be abusing drugs, look for the following warning signs.
- Bloodshot eyes, pupil larger or smaller than usual
- Changes in appetite or sleep patterns
- Sudden weight loss or weight gain
- Deterioration of physical appearance, personal grooming habits
- Tremors, slurred speech, or impaired coordination
- Drop in attendance and performance at work or school
- Unexplained need for money or financial problems-may borrow or steal to obtain drugs
- Engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors.
- Sudden change in friends, favorite hangouts, and hobbies
- Frequently getting into trouble(fights, accidents, illegal activities)
- Unexplained change in personality or attitude
- Sudden mood swings, irritability, or angry outbursts
- Periods of unusual hyperactivity or agitation
- Lack of motivation; appears lethargic or “spaced out”
- Appears fearful, anxious, or paranoid with no reason
What to do if you think your child is using drugs
- Drug test kits can be purchased and your local drug store.
- Drug tests can also be done at your primary care provider
- Have a conversation with your child: Talk, Listen, Validate.
- For tips for parent-teen communication http://substanceabuse.az.gov/substance-abuse/resources
- See if The New Foundation is the right treatment program to address your child’s substance abuse concerns.
Facts and Figures:
What is the Nurtured Heart Approach?
The Nurtured Heart Approach (NHA) is a social emotional strategy that instills greatness and transforms negative behaviors into positive behaviors, increases interrelatedness and connectivity among family members, couples, teachers and students and builds “Inner Wealth” more commonly known as character strengths and virtues. The Nurtured Heart Approach has been shown to create transformative changes in children diagnosed with ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Reactive Attachment Disorder and other behavioral, emotional and anxiety related symptoms – almost always without the need for long-term mental health treatment.
To learn more go to http://difficultchild.com/
I have AHCCCS insurance coverage so how do I get my child enrolled in Behavioral Health Services?
Books that may help?
Communication is the key to supporting your child.