What to Expect: You’re Coming to Treatment

What To Expect Going To Treatment


Your parents have told you that you’re going to treatment. Most of the time, kids have a lot of mixed feelings about this. A lot of the time, kids and teenagers feel angry, worried, or sad. Sometimes, they feel kind of hopeful. Most of the time when kids are coming to treatment, they have tried a lot of different things to help themselves feel better, and it has been really tough to find things that work and are safe. Hopefully, coming to treatment will ultimately help you go and stay home.

Earlier this spring, I asked kids in programming here what other kids should know about coming to treatment. Here are some of the things they had to say:

  • “Coming to treatment doesn’t mean that you’re a bad kid, it just means that you need some help with things.”
  • “The food isn’t awesome… just prepare for that.”
  • “You can be yourself in treatment, staff don’t judge you.”
  • “Residents can have headphones for music in their rooms.”
  • “There might be older kids in treatment with you and younger kids in treatment.”
  • “Bring a blanket from home, or a couple things that make your room feel cozy. It’ll probably make you feel better in your first couple of days.”
  • “The residents support each other.”

Staff members had support to share too. They said:

  • “It’s okay to need treatment, even if you’re in a spot where you don’t think you need it yet.”
  • “Your parents are going to be working on things to help, too. It’s not all on you.”
  • “It’s okay to have a meltdown in treatment. It’s what we’re here for.”

It’s okay to feel unsure, angry, sad, hopeful, relieved, disappointed, and any other feeling about coming to treatment. We’re glad you’re coming, and welcome to Paragon.

Dr. B (and thanks to Paragon residents May 2018 for helping develop this post)