Research suggests that the first 60-days of your son’s life post-discharge greatly impacts his longer-term habits. If you can help your family establish a healthy routine within the first 2 months, your son’s chances of maintaining his treatment gains dramatically increase.
Many parents are puzzled by regression post-discharge. Why, after all this support, time, work, and money, is my son gravitating back to unhealthy habits? Has he learned anything at all? Was this all a big waste?
Consider a man who has suffered from morbid obesity. He is aware that his life is at risk and decides to take positive action-he enrolls in an inpatient weight loss clinic. Initially, the support is very intensive. His stay in the clinic is intensive and focused on healing the major systems of the body-the staff are saving his life. Over time, as his weight decreases, the support is pulled away. He goes from the intensive care wing to the maintenance unit, from the maintenance unit to home. Now, think about that period of time when this man leaves the security of the clinic and arrives at his house. In spite of his massive weight loss, old habits are waiting. There is the couch, just as he left it. His favorite television shows are still on. His cupboards are stocked with the goodies that have sabotaged him again and again. What is the likelihood that this man will gain at least a few pounds back? Now, ask yourself this question: Why? Why would he gain some weight back? The answers you come to apply to your son as well.
Regardless of the quality of the treatment, or the depth of the change, all students experience some regression post-discharge. Though alarming to parents, this is a normal part of the treatment process. The key to successful long-term gains is to remember the principles you were taught while at Telos, and “weather the storms” of your son’s ups and downs with thoughtful confidence.
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