Parenting troubled teens is expensive. The financial cost can be overwhelming but the emotional toll is not as easy to calculate. However, the cost for the teen can be life-long especially if left untreated or under-treated. As parents we want the best for our kids and when they reach the troubled teen stage it can be difficult to balance the financial and emotional with the outcome for the teen.
Parents the most important thing you can do to reduce the overall cost of parenting a troubled teen is to face their issues head-on and as quickly as possible. Each day you let slip by hoping they are going through a phase will increase the cost down the road. It is not pleasant to think about but it is the truth. However, another truth is as a human being you are likely going to have your own issues to face in the process. From preconceived notions about therapy or your own troubled past or present, you will save not only money but time by standing up as quickly as possible and finding your teen the help they need. Right now, this is your job as a parent and your kid needs you to do it.
Teen Depression—More Common Than You Think
Many parents are surprised to learn that 11-percent of teens between 12-17 years old have experienced a major depressive episode in the past year. What should be of greater concern to parents is of those teens experiencing depression only about 38-percent of them are receiving treatment. Not even 5-percent of depressed teens are getting the help they need. Parents, that just isn’t good enough. If we have any hope of keeping them away from drugs, out of legal trouble, and to avoid the high cost of residential treatment, we have to help them learn to manage their depression.
The Cost Of Delaying Treatment
The highest cost your teen can pay for untreated depression is suicide. Short of that, the fact is depressed people are hard to deal with. One person’s depression affects the entire family. Depression is highly treatable. The National Institute of Mental Health has found improvement in 3 out of 4 teens who receive medication and counseling. For teens it is especially important because through proper counseling they will also learn life skills to help them in the future. Treating your teen’s depression might also be enough to keep them from other negative teen behavior such as drugs.
Advanced Treatment For Teens
For teens who do not receive treatment or do not respond to treatment, the next steps can devastate a family financially and emotionally. Untreated depression almost always leads to drug and alcohol abuse; violence, illegal activity; and problems at school. Once teens reach this point they need the advanced, intense therapy that can only be found in a residential therapeutic treatment program. Occasionally, these programs are covered by insurance but in the event they are not the costs can be staggering.
Troubled teens are expensive but the longer you wait to get them the help they need the greater the cost. Take a Look at this infographic from Sundance Canyon Academy depicting the ways you can help your troubled teen. The life of your teen can literally be in the balance. Dealing with troubled teens is tough stuff but it is always going to be easier than mourning their life.