You have made your appointment with the psychologist or psychiatrist, and you have left with some disturbing news about the mental state of your teen. How do you respond?
For some parents, that response doesn’t sit well with them and they are left to wonder if this is in fact the right diagnosis.
I can first tell you this. It’s okay to question the diagnosis. It’s okay to get a second or even a third opinion.
In fact, to benefit your teen’s mental stability, it is best to research specialists in the field for that particular problem to confirm the diagnosis. Another words, you won’t send your teen to a clinic for addiction when they are dealing with a self-harming issue.
For example, your teen has an eating disorder. There are many different forms of eating disorders, so how do you determine which one your teen has as well as what treatment is the best for that particular disorder?
Your main goal should always try to find a specialist in the field of eating disorders primarily. The reason given is that they are more knowledgeable as well as successful for the various types of eating disorders that are known and unknown to most. Therefore, their success rate would be higher because that is their expertise.
If however, you do not have a specialist/program/clinic in that field to treat your teen, than you would need to find a psychologist/psychiatrist that does help teens who suffer from this disorder. The same goes for any mental disorder or addiction. The idea is to try to focus on the main crisis and get immediate help.
Parents often feel intimidated in asking questions of a doctor’s practice and their approach. My advice to you is to ask. By doing so, you are saving time and treatment for your teen that may benefit from that office or somewhere else.
As I recently shared with someone who was considering a program for their child, if you are wanting to buy a car, you ask lots of questions to the dealership before purchasing. Your reasons, are that you want to make sure that what you are buying is going to give you many good years of a product that will help your family. Like shopping for a car, you need to take the same type of approach with investing into a mental health provider. A car eventually gives out, but with a teen, they have the rest of their life to live. Invest in that!
If you are going to google programs or specific types of support such as eating disorders or addictions or mental disorder facilities and care, find out their success rates and what they have available for teens.
Next would be getting referrals and recommendations on the doctors and programs in your area that are honed in on the very issue your teen is dealing with. By doing so, you can be more proactive as a parent and be able to participate in any support groups for parents that are available.
In the long run, your main purpose and goal is to correctly confirm a diagnosis so that your teen can move forward with the right kind of help in attaining their healing.
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