Even when your teen is ready to admit they have an addiction or that they’re struggling with mental health issues, it can be intimidating to start the recovery process. There are certain myths about recovery that make it challenging to seek professional help. Here’s a look at a few of those myths and the realities behind them.
There’s Only One Type of Recovery
This myth likely stems from Hollywood and media stereotypes. In actuality, there are many, many different types of recovery options, and some will work better than others for each individual and their personal situation. Even within rehab programs, there are short-term, long-term, residential and outpatient programs. Within each of these, there are unique options as well. A good counselor will help develop different coping strategies according to each person’s needs. In other words, there is certainly no “one-size-fits-all” model for recovery. Instead, the best solution is to speak with a mental health professional who can set your teen on a recovery path that works best for them.
Recovery Won’t Work Until You’ve Hit Rock Bottom
“Rock bottom” is difficult to define, and it isn’t an appropriate measure of the effectiveness of someone’s recovery process. What truly needs to happen is that a person has to have had enough of their situation—whatever that might be. No matter what stage your teen is at with an addiction or mental health diagnosis, there are treatment options for them. They certainly don’t have to wait until it gets worse to seek help.
A Relapse Is a Normal Part of Recovery
While a relapse isn’t necessarily abnormal, your teen shouldn’t expect that they will relapse when they’re in recovery. Unfortunately, this myth has led to implications that individuals won’t successfully recover until they relapse. For example, while relapse rates for addiction recovery range from 40–60%, that’s certainly still far off from 100%. A relapse can happen, but it’s not a necessary part of recovery.
Treatment Is a One-Chance Deal
Some people might assume that they get one shot and one shot only at treatment. Worse yet, if that particular type of treatment doesn’t work for them or if they do experience a relapse, some people feel as though they are hopeless and incapable of recovery. This is certainly not true. For some, recovery can be a long (even life-long) process, but it is not impossible. There are professionals who are eager to help and support any teen struggling with addiction or other mental health issues.
Feature Image: Joshua Earle