Are you allowing your child to be a part of his care plan? Studies have shown that treatment is much more effective when the parents and the child are influential in the development of the child’s care. This is especially true when they are in there teens. The more that they feel they have a say the more they will buy into their own care. If they aren’t on board they are not going to put in the necessary effort. There is so much that I would do differently, hindsight being 20/20 and all. But this is a big one. If you have never had to take psychiatric medication, you may not realize the awful side effects that your child may be experiencing and unable to articulate. And surprisingly many psychiatrists do not fully know the side effects of the medication they are prescribing. I know this first hand because I asked my psychiatrist about some side effects that I was experiencing only to be told that medication doesn’t cause that. Yet later I learned that those were some of the primary side effects experienced by people. For many people, the medications cause weight gain and for them to not feel like themselves any longer. Where they once were energetic, they become somber and lack the energy to do things that they once loved.
I think for myself I wish I could go back and listen a little better about what my son’s feelings were and what his thoughts were on how he would have liked his care to progress. I have learned since our time navigating the mental health system that children with more input into their care stick with it and put in more effort because they feel like they have helped decide how they would like to be helped.
As always I will attach some links. These are on the importance of family and client driven care. As a side note, he did not receive the right therapy either. I truly believe had we had the right team of providers things would have been much easier for him and us. Please learn all you can. Connect with other parents through organizations like https://www.nami.org/. Through sharing with each other we learn so much faster than trying to go it alone. And it helps to know others have been where you are and have come through it intact.