To Medicate or Not to Medicate (Teens and Mental Health)

medicating mental health issuesThe suggestion of medication to assist with mental health issues can be a difficult one for many, especially teens. As a Youth Services therapist, the most common reason I hear for a teen not wanting to take medication is that it will change who they are. This concern is completely understandable. But many youth have found that medication can actually help bring out who they really are.

Let’s take Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as an example. If your mind wanders often or you have a million thoughts going through your head all at once it can be difficult to do what you need to do. Others around you may think you’re just not trying, that you don’t care, or worse yet, that perhaps you aren’t very bright. On the contrary! The truth is that individuals with ADHD are often very bright and very creative — they just have a difficult time staying on task.

This is where medication can be helpful and can assist the individual in showing others, and themselves, that they really are capable. Of course, medication isn’t for everyone and I support other alternatives as well, such as regular excercise.  Whatever method is used, however, has to be done consistently to work. That is where many individuals struggle when they are trying to get their symptoms under control.

Bottom line: Whether you and your family decide on medication or an alternative option you need to consult with a professional who understands the in’s and out’s of the treatment you have chosen.

What are some alternative methods you have used?


About skywatcher7544

I am a therapist with SLCO Division of Youth Services. I have worked at Youth Services for over 18 years in one capacity or another. I currently do In Home Therapeutic Services and love it. I really enjoy working with teens and their families!!!
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