Parents learn from internet searches that teens with depression express that those feelings through irritability, extremes of emotion, aggression and erratic behavior. When I tell them their kids aren’t depressed, they’re abusing drugs, the air is sucked out of the room.
They have absolutely no idea.
Even the most competent parents justifiably dissolve into puddles of guilt.
- I ask them to make a choice: wring their hands and blame themselves or get busy.
- I ask them, “How do you want to use this energy?
- I ask them to make a choice right now, right here.
We develop an initial plan and put it into motion immediately. Health and safety are the foremost issues. Parents see a therapist to deal with the situation and the family is on their way to recovery. Don’t be fooled. Drug abuse is the ultimate shape-shifter.
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