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How to Deal with Teenage Depression?

Questioner

U (42-female-Australia)

Reply Date

Dec 26, 2018

Question

As-salamu `alaykum.What's your advice to parents with teenagers who self-injure themselves? I am a parent with no financial resources available for counseling, but I want to help my teenager with all this deep anger, depression, and pain?

Counselor

Answer


In this counseling answer:

“In terms of your rights as a step-parent, we suggest you locate a book entitled, The Family Structure in Islam by Hammuda Abd Al-Ati to help you. It is not clear what you mean when you say when the biological parent is not there. Do you mean that they have passed away or that they are neglectful, or separated, or divorced? Each of these situations will have different implications for the kind of relationship you can develop with the child.”


as-salamu `alaykum.

Children who self-injure must receive immediate professional intervention. You write that financial resources do not allow you to seek counseling for him. Depending on where you live, there are always counseling services available where there is a sliding scale fee (pay what you can afford according to your resources) or a payment plan (pay in convenient installments).

This is not a situation that you can ignore nor allow to continue without some very unfortunate circumstances. Your son could severely injure himself and you need to get help for him as soon as possible.

In terms of your rights as a step-parent, we suggest you locate a book entitled, The Family Structure in Islam by Hammuda Abd Al-Ati to help you. It is not clear what you mean when you say when the biological parent is not there. Do you mean that they have passed away or that they are neglectful, or separated, or divorced? Each of these situations will have different implications for the kind of relationship you can develop with the child.

However, when it comes to selecting a suitable therapist, you have to be very careful. A professional who works very well with one individual may not be a good choice for another person. Before going with your son to the therapist, ask the therapist some questions, either by phone or in person.

You may want to inquire about his or her licensing, level of training, expertise, approach to therapy and medication, and participation in insurance plans and fees. Such a discussion should help you sort through your options if you have found more than one and must choose one that you think you and your teen might interact well with.


Check out this counseling video


The personality and expertise of the therapist, and his or her attitude toward your son all may help, in sha’ Allah, in dealing with the problem, but be mindful that there are different methods health professionals use or recommend in working with teens and their families. Try to read about them to help you guide your son toward what he is going to expect during the treatment journey.

In addition to that, why not use the Internet to find contact information about organizations, support groups, networks, specialists, and experts dealing with the issue? On the Net you may want to limit yourself to free services or just services given by Muslims.


Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information that was provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, it’s volunteers, writers, scholars, counselors, or employees be held liable for any direct, indirect, exemplary, punitive, consequential or other damages whatsoever that may arise through your decision or action in the use of the services which our website provides. 




About Mona Younes

Mona Younes has an extensive background as teacher and supervisor in both English Language and Arabic Language schools, before which she obtained her B.Ed at the American University in Cairo, Egypt.Mona attended and participated actively in a long list of conferences and seminars dealing with Family and Parental Issues. Currently, Mona Younes is doing her Masters on Online Education at the Southern Queensland University, Australia.

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