It’s very simple: that their well-being is priceless.
I was recently privileged to attend a discussion in which teen gave their thoughts on various health care issues. It was engaging, enlightening, and eye-opening. One unexpected thing I heard- from multiple teens- about getting health care was that they wished it didn’t cost their parents so much money, and that they felt bad being a burden.
I and other health care providers present were taken aback. Our society tends to paint teens as self-centered and even selfish. Listening to a teen talk about how they might not tell their parents if they were ill, hoping to save them money on an expensive medication, was heartbreaking. Read full post »
A new study in JAMA Dermatology will come out this week that shows an association between tanning and teens being engaged in other risky behaviors. We have long known that tanning but this study provides us with more evidence that they may be risky for other aspects of our lives as well. Read full post »
A new study in Pediatrics (the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics) published an interesting study last week. The study looked at 4,000 kids, interviewed them in 5th, 7th, then 10th grade to see how bullying might affect them. What they found was not surprising to me. Kids who are currently being bullied or who have been bullied in the past and are still being bullied had poorer health outcomes. Read full post »
The breakup of a romantic relationship is almost always hard. Even as adults, we might mourn, weep, question our worth, and wonder if we’ll ever be happy again. The Holmes and Rahe stress scale (for adults), which seeks to score big life events in relation to how they affect your overall stress level, rates divorce as second only to the death of a spouse. While teen breakups are not nearly as long or complicated as a divorce, they still can bring sorrow, guilt, emptiness, low self-esteem, and anger.
In fact, some people who have been through divorces might get angry at me even comparing a teen breakup to a divorce. As adults who have watched friends and family divorce, or divorced ourselves, we know the two are very different. But a teen has never been married or partnered, has never been divorced, and may well have never been in a relationship lasting longer than three months. To you, it’s a blip on the radar. To them, it’s the end of the world.
How do you help your teen get over a breakup? Read full post »
Eating disorders affect people from many walks of life. The media recently spoke of the singer Kesha being treated for anorexia nervosa and there are often reports of other celebrities seeking treatment. In this video we talk about how our society may influence the perpetuation of eating disorders.
A current study in Pediatrics say: No.
The argument that the HPV vaccine will somehow encourage teens to have risky sex has always seemed strange to me. It brings to mind a teen thinking, “I wanted to wait, it’s what my family, my religion, and my personal values tell me… but now I have a much lower risk of getting cancer in a few decades, so I might as well just start having sex.” Or alternately, a teen who’s not thinking, in a passionate situation with a romantic partner, suddenly remembering the possibility of an increased cancer risk in middle to late life, and stopping everything. Read full post »
The untimely death of respected actor and father, Philip Seymour Hoffman is bringing more media attention to the dangers of substance use. Mr. Hoffman won an Oscar, he was a devoted father, and had a promising career ahead of him. His death reminded me of 2 very important messages I learned as a teenager: anyone can become addicted to drugs and just saying no might not be enough. Read full post »
This week a friend emailed an article about a toolkit for male health. It got me thinking: why don’t boys go to the doctor? It seems that for teen girls, there are numerous reasons that lead them in for medical evaluations (menstrual cramps, acne, concerns about weight, reproductive health). There are screening guidelines that encourage women under age 25 to seek medical care routinely, but our teen boys are often left out. It’s not that teen boys are more or less healthy, it just seems that we’ve been less likely to consider that boys need medical visits too! Read full post »
Horror film aficionados know that there are many classes of horror movies. There is supernatural horror, psychological horror, sci-fi horror, religious horror, horror-comedy, etc. Some of the most disturbing horror films for many (including me) are body horror. Body horror is basically a subgenre in which terrifying things happen to bodies. They grow, change, mutate, and/or self-destruct in particularly terrifying ways.
Obviously, going through puberty is different from having an alien burst out of your chest. However, at Dr. Kastner’s lecture last week, she reminded us that puberty is not only a time of emotional upheaval, but of physical upheaval as well. The further we get from puberty, the more it simply seems like a normal time of life that was rather difficult. We know that it happens to everyone and is pleasant for few. Yet while many of us looked forward to puberty and becoming more grown up, the changes our bodies presented us with were often confusing, unpredictable, unwanted, and more trouble than we’d expected. Read full post »
It has been an interesting week in pop culture! I am the first to admit I know nothing about North American football. In my house, football means soccer (my husband is Mexican American and I’m just not a sports fan). I had to ask a friend if the NFL games had 4 quarters or 4 periods, but despite this lack of sports knowledge, I watched the game that took the Seattle Seahawks to the Super Bowl for only the 2nd time in franchise history. I witnessed the play that won the game (a tip at the end zone so the opposing team didn’t get a touch down) and also noted that the Seahawk’s player, #25, tried to shake the hand of the 49er’s player (Crabtree) and received a hand in the face. Read full post »