Josh* was introduced to me by his parents because he was struggling to find time for anything other than online gaming and smoking pot. Josh’s parents were concerned that he had become addicted to marijuana and online gaming. “Who knows?” they thought “Maybe he’s doing other things as well…” His parents shared that their relationship with Josh was deteriorating as a result of this. They said that when he did come out of his room, which wasn’t often, he would yell and be disrespectful towards them.
After meeting with Josh and his family it was clear to me that Josh did not know how to say to his parents that he was feeling very depressed. Rather than dealing with his feelings, he was stuffing them away. Instead of talking through his emotions, he was spending more and more of his time in his alternate online reality.
This scenario is reported frequently by the families we work with. Families we meet with frequently report that their teen is an addict. We believe this to be true in a small number of cases. We tend to see that the majority of the clients we work with are using drugs, alcohol, video games, and other process addictions as a way to bring attention to their struggles. Often, teens and young adults are unable to effectively communicate their pain in another way, so they communicate through their actions.
Regardless of whether they are using drugs, alcohol, sexting, online gaming, gambling, or other process addictions, all of these unhealthy coping mechanisms are effective at relieving stress in the short term. The problem is that they are not effective in treating the underlying issue that is creating the pain. This is why our clients will continue to participate in these risky behaviors.
The solution is to identify and treat the underlying issues. This may happen in individual therapy, group therapy and or family therapy. Whether you or your family are looking for therapists or treatment programs, Prepare To Bloom, LLC may be able to help you locate appropriate help. Please contact us at (650) 888-4575 or on the web at www.PrepareToBloom.com.
*All identifying information has been changed to protect the individual’s privacy.