When children become teenagers a multitude of issues bombard them. Puberty, which is the term for the changes the body undergoes while becoming an adult, brings with it emotional, hormonal, and physical changes. Many times a child will switch schools as he/she goes from elementary school to middle or high school. This, too, introduces new people and situations to the teen, and many times this challenges become stressful and intolerable for the adolescent. This can manifest itself in depression, drug or alcohol abuse, bullying, and even teen suicide. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for children between the ages of 15 and 24. It is estimated that 40% of teenage girls are either abused by their dating partner, or they know someone who is being abused. More young girls than ever are becoming pregnant during their teenage years. Some of these girls will go on to become mothers and will need to deal with school, finances, and the emotional responsibility of a child. Others will choose to abort the child, and they may regret and feel guilt over that decision for the rest of their lives.
Some contributing factors adding to the angst of teenagers are the new people around them, the decisions that must be made regarding how they will live their life, the urge they find to be independent from their parents, and more difficult schooling. How a teenager deals with these changes depends very much on parents, teachers, and the peers they choose to have around them. Generally teens who surround themselves with friends who choose to drink, use illegal drugs, and practice sex, will begin to see these actions as the normal coping mechanisms, and they will be more likely to turn to those outlets themselves. Contrary to that, teens who surround themselves with other teens who participate in sports, student government, and other extracurricular and positive activities, will find themselves looking to those outlets for their depression, body changes, and stress that comes from school and their social interactions.
Many teenagers do not seek help or guidance from their parents, teachers, or other adults. However, the kind of support they can offer is incomparable for teens struggling with issues. After all, they have been there as well, and they have gotten through it. There is also a wealth of information for teenagers on the Internet; articles on subjects ranging from alcohol use, sex, and school help. Following is a list of sites geared toward teens and the issues they face each day.
Body Image and Self Esteem
Nutrition and Weight
Suicide and Depression
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