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How to Keep Parenting When You Get Depressed

Depression is a natural emotional experience. When you finally get your addicted adolescent into treatment and they are out of the home, it is easy to fall into a depression. There is no more fighting, no more staying awake at night worrying, no more fretting about where they are and what they are doing. Once an adolescent or teen finally goes to treatment, it can feel like there is a hole in the household. Addiction is a family disease. Everyone is affected by addiction when a loved one in the family is overcome by it. Addiction has an impact psychologically and physically, even when you aren't the one addicted. With the extra time to spare, you are left to the realities of everything you and your family have been through. It can be overwhelming. It can be too much. In many ways, your adolescent going to treatment can feel like a loss. Depression is a natural part of the grieving process. Though your child is alive and on their way to wellness, you can mourn their absence in the home or the many years which have been lost to addiction. Letting go, processing, and moving forward can sometimes require a period of deep rest , which can feel like a depression. Here are five tips for making it through depression after your teen goes to treatment:  

Know that you've done enough

Ruminating thoughts and obsessive thinking are common signs of many different mental disorders, including depression. You might find yourself running over scenario after scenario in your mind about your loved one in treatment. Could you have done something sooner? If only you had known, would the substance abuse have stopped? The past is in the past. You did the best with what you had at the time. Now, your adolescent is safe in treatment, getting the clinical help they need. Together, you will work through family healing to find resolution and build tools for a happy, abstinent future. Often it is said that you become depressed when you spend too much time looking backward. Find yourself in the present moment where all is well. Your child is safe. Your home is healing. There is hope.  

Find a local Al-Anon meeting for support

Al-Anon was designed for the parents, spouses, family members, and friends of alcoholics or addicts. It is likely that the treatment center your child is in has a parental network and might have regular family meetings, specifically for family members of those in treatment. If you're not local, you are likely to meet other parents of adolescents in treatment at a local Al-Anon meeting. There, you can develop your own twelve step program for living while meeting other parents who can give you the specific support you need.  

Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center offers long term residential treatment programs to adolescents and teens in need of recovery from substance abuse. Through our healing program, our patients learn to manage their emotions by addressing underlying issues which contribute to addiction. Gaining life skills for an abstinent futures, our graduates leave with a plan for life in recovery. For information, call us today: 662-598-4214.