A couple years ago our son, age 14, started acting out by smoking, using drugs, changing his friends and dropping out of church. He has made a lot of progress by attending Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings but he still seems to be negative about everything. We are so afraid he will regress, what can we do?
Just as one factor didn't create his problem, neither will one answer solve his problem. Certain drugs like LSD and marijuana cause the levels of seratonin, a brain chemical, to lower and this can cause depression. It may also be that your son still harbors guilt and anger which can also cause depression. Here are several suggestions:
- Outpatient counseling - individual or group therapy.
- Non addictive antidepressant medication to help rebuild seratonin levels.
- New positive activities to help build his confidence.
- Positive role models. It may be helpful to seek a youth pastor in a church who may be able to refer your teen to people who have "been there and done that."
Remember that parents cannot walk the road for their children but they can help pave it.
Answered by: Dr. Robert Rice