How to Prepare a Teenager for their First Psychiatrist Visit

2 June 2021
 Categories: , Blog

Pediatric psychiatrists help young teens deal with depression, anxiety, tic disorders, drug and substance abuse, and eating disorders. However, parents need to be keen because stigma is associated with psychiatric care, particularly among adolescents. That said, the way you prepare your teenage child for their first psychiatric visit determines the effectiveness of treatment. This article highlights essential tips for preparing your adolescent child for a psychiatric visit.

Involve the Whole Family

Family plays a critical role in psychiatric care, and the absence of siblings and both parents during the first visit can have a domino effect. Therefore, a teen suffering from mental distress needs all the support they can get. The first place they look at for such help is their immediate family. Therefore, as you prepare your teenage daughter or son for their first visit, ensure that the whole family is present. The affected child will get the feeling that their family will support him throughout the treatment. Even if a psychiatrist recommends hospitalization, family support will keep your child grounded, increasing the chances of successful treatment.

Dispel Fear of Judgments

The number one reason teens do not want to visit psychiatrists for mental health treatment is fear of being judged by doctors, peers, or even family. In most cases, peers wrongly believe that teens suffering from mental issues are weak and seek attention. If a teen goes into a psychiatric session knowing that a doctor will be critical and judgmental, they will clam up. Therefore, it is vital to dispel any fears of judgment before you leave for a psychiatric clinic. Let your child know that no one will judge their actions during treatment. It will allow them to open up and tell a psychiatrist about their feelings.

Assure Confidentiality

Sources of mental health issues among teens vary and can include family. For instance, divorce can adversely affect a teen's mental well-being, and parents may not know it. Similarly, relationship issues with the opposite sex can lead to mental problems, and the affected teen might be too embarrassed to open up. Thus, parents must assure their adolescent child that everything and anything they talk about with the psychiatrist will remain confidential. Therefore, even if a teen tells a psychiatrist that their mental distress stems from their parents, they should be confident that whatever they say will remain confidential.

To learn more about how to help your teen, contact local psychiatrists.