Those in mental health circles are already aware that the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Disorders, aka the DSM-5, came out on May 18th. The new DSM changed, reorganized, and introduced certain mental health diagnoses.
One disorder which was put into Section III- which basically translates into “This might exist, but we need more research”, is Internet Gaming Disorder. This disorder signifies that certain people may become addicted to playing online or video games in the same way people can become addicted to gambling (which is a diagnosable disorder). The theory is that when playing games, some people experience intense activation of the “pleasure center” of the brain, similar to that experienced when taking an addictive drug.
I should clarify that there’s nothing wrong with playing video and online games! It can be a fun way to spend one’s time, or time with friends online, and may even have cognitive benefits. However, when gaming begins interfering with offline life, families may need to intervene.
For some parents, it’s difficult to ascertain exactly what sorts of behaviors would indicate a gaming addiction, as opposed to a gaming hobby or habit. It can also be very hard to tell if someone has a gaming addiction, as opposed to depression or social anxiety, which might result in some similar behaviors.
I can’t tell you exactly what symptoms would indicate an online or video gaming addiction (and, to be fair, neither can the DSM-5). I can, however, give you some signs to watch for if you’re concerned about your teen and playing games. Some of these symptoms might indicate addiction-like behaviors, and some might indicate another problem, but all of them warrant attention and a conversation with a mental health professional. Read full post »
My last couple of posts have been on fairly serious issues… so for this week, I’ll take a break from the news and discuss a pretty uncontroversial skill I believe teens need to learn.
Some teens love cooking. The first cooking project I took on was bread, because I liked hot bread and had a copy of “The Joy of Cooking“. After tasting homemade bread for the first time, I was sold. By my senior year, I was cooking some family meals and having a great time experimenting with different ethnic cuisines.
Some teens aren’t interested in cooking. They’re quite happy to rely on you or someone else to cook. If there’s nobody around, they might make a peanut butter sandwich or microwave a frozen pizza. Read full post »
As people living busy lives, we don’t typically think that we might suffer the loss of a loved one and how that loss can affect not only us as parents, but our children. I’ve been away from the blog for a couple of weeks because my own Dad passed away. I was definitely a Daddy’s girl: I called my Dad daily, almost to the point of being a nuisance! The pain is very raw and I still can’t believe I’ll never be able to call him up and tell him I love him again. I am going through the grieving process, which has made me more aware that many of my patients have experienced or are currently experiencing the loss of a loved one as well.
Though we can never truly prepare for loss, we can recognize its impact on our family. No one mourns a loss in exactly the same way. We understand the permanence. Teens know this as well, but it may be more or less challenging for them to get back into their routines. Next, I’ll summarize some common aspects of grief, outline what signs a teen may show that indicate a need for help, and some tips that have provided me with comfort as I process the death of my Dad. Read full post »
Plan B, aka the “morning-after” pill, has been in the news a lot lately. Plan B is another name for the medication levonorgestrel, which can be taken up to 72 hours after intercourse to prevent conception from occurring. For a long time, it was available without a prescription only to those 17 and over.
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Recently we’ve reviewed the topic of concussions in teen athletes. A new study came out from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital that contains good news and bad news. The good news is that teen athletes are well-educated about the signs and symptoms of concussion, as well as the serious consequences of returning to play after one occurs. The bad news is, about half of the adolescents with this knowledge would go back to playing in the game anyway. Read full post »
Guest Author David Breland, MD MPH
Males in general, seek medical care less often than females. This is true for adults and teens alike, but in addition to providing routine screening for issues like high blood pressure or diabetes, the annual check up can be a great source of information. We asked Dr. David Breland, who specializes in treating adolescent male patients, tips for parents on male health. Read full post »
About a year ago, we wrote a piece about the “Cinnamon Challenge”, a new Youtube phenomenon. Almost a year later, it’s apparently still going strong. While teens are likely to suffer nothing more than some discomfort, the Cinnamon Challenge can have serious consequences, especially for teens with asthma or other lung disease. It’s worth taking a moment to talk to your teen about the risks.
Read our post: Taking On the Cinnamon Challenge
It’s finals week at the University of Washington, and I am walking around in a daze, spending all my free moments studying (note: it’s no longer finals week, but it was when I wrote this!) It brings back memories of all the exam stress in high school, and the days and nights I spent huddled over my textbooks, desperately trying to cram one more piece of information into my tired brain. I wanted to spend a little time discussing ways to help your teen deal with that stress while still studying effectively. (You may wish your teen was a little more stressed out about exams, in which case this will be less helpful.)
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Teenagers encountering and viewing pornography is not a new phenomenon. When I was 13, my friend found a pornographic movie in her parents’ closet. We watched it with a mixture of fascination and alarm, carefully rewound the videotape to where it had been when it was discovered, and spent the rest of the afternoon giggling about how gross it had been.
A year later, another friend discovered her father’s stash of pornographic magazines, which we read with the same mixture of curiosity and dismay. Most people I know had similar experiences in their adolescence. However, pornography has gone from being something hidden away by some parents, to something available to anyone with an internet connection. Read full post »
It’s been almost two years since we launched the Teenology 101 blog in May of 2011. And we’re proud to announce that, due to our efforts, teenagers no longer have any problems at all.
The CDC, WHO, and United Nations will be presenting the Teenology 101 authors with their highest accolades in the coming months. “We cannot thank Teenology 101 enough,” said Ban Ki-Moon, the secretary general of the United States. “There are literally no teenagers in existence with any problems whatsoever, and that’s all due to the Teenology 101 blog.”
Seattle’s local teens are celebrating with an ice cream social, during which they will compare homework tips, discuss ways to improve their communities, and share a lighthearted competition over whose parents are the most wonderful. “I’m really looking forward to the party, although I’ll only attend if I’ve studied enough for upcoming tests, cleaned my room, and helped my parents with all the chores around the house,” said Janet Smith, a 15-year-old from the Ballard area. When her cell phone buzzed, she said, “Oh, I’m sorry, what a rude interruption,” and continued talking politely to interviewers for 20 more minutes. Read full post »