Doug walked in the door, and his grandparents could see the results of a tough day.

His frustration was building. His grandparents feared the family was returning to square one, and the more frightened they grew, the more frightened Doug became, starting a downward spiral.

The last time Doug’s family was at square one was six months earlier. When Doug and his grandparents were referred to Trillium Family Services, Doug was a 10- year-old boy suffering from deep depression and threatening violence. Doug couldn’t make or keep friends. He was disruptive in school and at home. His tantrums were the kind you see in a 2-year-old, only in a 10-year-old body.

Our treatment team assessed Doug’s needs and designed a complete treatment plan. Therapy staff learned that Doug’s depression stemmed from a chemical imbalance that was exacerbated because he couldn’t sleep. Treatment staff addressed Doug’s sleep problems early. By sleeping well, Doug gained the physical strength to begin the therapy process.

Other medication helped with the depression, and he built his self-esteem through positive experiences, such as participating in our therapeutic horse program. Family therapy involved the grandparents in the process, and in-home skills trainers taught the grandparents how to manage Doug’s condition.

When Doug returned home to stay, the turnaround was remarkable. He improved at school, began making and keeping friends, and took part in activities once closed to him.

The family didn’t want square one again. But unlike six months earlier, Doug’s grandparents knew where to get help. They called a Trillium therapist who talked the family through the techniques they had learned. There would be no turning back.