How Including the Family in the Healing Process Helps Adolescents With Depression


How Including the Family in the Healing Process Helps Adolescents with Depression

Healing from mental health disorders, including depression, is essential for adolescents. It sets them up for a future where they know how to care for their needs and be successful in their endeavors. However, healing from depression has many challenges. Fortunately, including the family in this process can help. When treatment for adolescents with depression includes family therapy, both teens and parents learn to improve their relationships and develop skills that support the adolescent to heal and maintain their mental health. Additionally, family therapy improves overall stability at home.

Sustain Recovery incorporates family therapy as a part of its mental health treatment.

Depression in Adolescents

Symptoms of depression impact every part of a person’s life, and for adolescents, it can make daily life a challenge. Teens will face many challenges. However, adolescents struggling with depression will experience symptoms such as the following:

  • Consistently feeling sad, hopeless, or worthless
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities like sports, arts, etc.
  • Irritation, anger, and frustration that feels uncontrollable
  • Difficulty focusing and caring about school
  • Change of sleep habits or eating habits
  • High and constant levels of fatigue
  • Lack of interest in relationships with family, friends, or other loved ones
  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide

Every adolescent with depression will experience unique symptoms and a unique severity of symptoms. These symptoms can cause daily problems in an adolescent’s life. Therefore, it is important for teens to get the help they need to heal.

Including the Family With Family Therapy

The journey of healing from depression is unique for each adolescent. However, including the family in the healing process can help. Through family therapy, adolescents and their loved ones can work through their challenges together. This might include addressing issues in the family system like trauma, boundaries, and self-care. However, it may also involve the entire family learning more about depression, its effects, and how an adolescent can heal and maintain their mental health over time.

Benefits of Including the Family in Healing

There are many benefits of including the family in the healing process for depression. By helping both adolescents and their loved ones understand the signs and symptoms of depression, family therapy can affect the entire household. Additionally, it can help parents and adolescents know how to work together moving forward.

Improving the Family System

Adolescents are at a stage in their lives when they are learning new skills that will impact their future and, at the same time, are very reliant on their families. As a result, their family system makes a significant difference in their lives and affects their mental health.

Fortunately, through family therapy, adolescents and their loved ones can address problems in their family system that are playing a role in their challenges with depression. This may include learning to create and maintain boundaries, expressing emotions, and more. However, it may also include addressing traumas that have occurred in the home or outside.

Improving Support at Home

Adolescents rely on support from their loved ones. Their support can help them make changes that better their mental health, learn new skills, and ultimately heal from depression. However, parents and loved ones are not always aware of how to support their adolescents. It is a constantly changing process that can be improved with support in family therapy.

Through family therapy, adolescents and their loved ones can gain a better understanding of each other. Parents and loved ones can start to understand what their adolescent’s struggle with depression entails. They can learn skills that help them provide support and care that is helpful. While this will vary for each adolescent, it may include supporting them in learning life skills, medication management, problem-solving, and more. By working with mental health care professionals, parents will feel more confident in helping their adolescents in healing from depression and maintain their mental health.

Including the Family in Treatment at Sustain Recovery

Family therapy is not an easy process and requires that all members of the family actively participate. It often brings up topics that are challenging for the entire family to address. However, as a result, it also gets to the bottom of many difficulties in family systems.

Adolescents and their families attending treatment at Sustain Recovery have an opportunity to heal as a family. They will address trauma, improve their understanding of each other, and work through mental health disorders together. As a result, when adolescents return home, they already have a foundation built. This foundation helps to improve communication between parents and adolescents and gives adolescents a strong support system after treatment.

However, family therapy is only one piece of the puzzle. Treatment at Sustain Recovery incorporates many different modalities that help adolescents heal. Teens learn new skills while addressing trauma and other root causes of their challenges with depression and other mental health disorders.

Family therapy can play a very important role in the healing process for adolescents healing from any mental health disorder, including depression. While family therapy looks different for each adolescent and their loved ones, it works to help improve the family system and build a strong foundation for improved communication. At Sustain Recovery, we offer family therapy as a part of the healing journey for adolescents with depression and other mental health disorders. The skills learned in family therapy and treatment in general at Sustain Recovery give adolescents a second chance, and they will carry these skills forward into their lives. To learn more about our treatment programs, call (949) 407-9052 today.