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Teen Health

Features Related to Teen Health

  1. Complementary Treatments: Nutrition, Exercise, Heat, and Touch

      My patient Olivia had terrible cramps that started when she was about sixteen. When even prescription-strength ibuprofen didn’t work, I suggested the other standard prescription for severe periods—oral hormones (aka birth control pills). Olivia and her mother both looked a little nervous when I me

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  2. Going to Pot: The Risks of Smoking Marijuana

      One of my patients, Beth, sixteen, smoked pot several times a week. Her mom knew about it but was afraid if she told Beth to stop, it would make things worse. “Then she’d just do it behind my back,” her mother told me. I told Beth the facts about marijuana and encouraged her to quit. “The health r

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  3. Brain Poison for Teens

      Medically speaking, even small amounts of alcohol are not OK for teens. Because teen brains are still developing, they’re much more susceptible to potentially addictive substances and behaviors than adult brains. Drinking as a teen does far more damage to your brain than drinking in your twenties

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  4. Help for Mood Disorders

    If you think you or a friend or family member might have depression or another mood disorder, tell someone—a parent, an adult friend, a teacher, or a doctor. If you don’t tell someone, things probably will get worse, not better. To diagnose a mood disorder, a doctor talks to you about your feelings

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  5. Dealing with Friends

      A funny thing I’ve noticed: Although I talk to thousands of patients every year (many of those just before or just after they lose their virginity), none of them, not one teenage patient, has ever said to me, “Oh, Dr. Ashton, I love my boyfriend so much, and I really want to sleep with him because

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  6. Be Street Smart About Street Drugs

    If you think all drug users are gang members, rock stars, pro athletes, or homeless people, guess again. Hard-drug users are also suburban housewives, doctors, movie stars, and even high school students, like my patient Leslie. Smart and pretty, Leslie tried cocaine at age sixteen when her friends t

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  7. Depression

      True depression isn’t just feeling sad—it’s a partial or total transformation of your personality. Sadness, hopelessness, and despair flood your life and affect your every thought and action. If you’re clinically depressed, you might cry all the time or constantly feel anxious. You might withdraw

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  8. Just a Bad Day? Or a Mood Disorder?

      We all get in a bad mood sometimes (I sure do—just ask my family!). But most of the time we get over it. The good news is, as you become more mature, you also get smarter about what helps you get out of a bad mood. One patient of mine realized that she got bitchy whenever she stopped exercising—no

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  9. Date-Rape Drugs: It Happened to Me

      Here’s another bad thing that can happen when you consume alcohol: You’re more vulnerable to predators who spike drinks with so-called date-rape drugs. Sedatives and mind-altering drugs like GHB have no color, no odor, and no flavor. They render you unable to speak, walk, defend yourself, or remem

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  10. Birth Control Briefing

      Don’t expect to learn all you need to know about birth control in school. Many schools provide no instruction in birth control methods except for abstinence. It’s a shame, because there are more birth control options than ever, many newly approved for teens. Of course, condoms are still the only w

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