Children & Family

Teen Issues

The teenage years can be full of pressure, uncertainty, and change. But you’re not alone and you can feel better. These resources can help you (and your parents) tackle common challenges—from depression to bullying and eating disorders.

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Teen Issues FAQs

What is gender dysphoria?
Gender dysphoria is a sense of distress or discomfort that a person feels when their biological sex doesn’t match with their gender identity. For example, if you don’t identify as a man, you might feel uneasy if you’re addressed as “sir.” If you don’t identify as a woman, you might experience discomfort if someone calls you “ma’am” or suggests you should wear a dress. You may also feel gender dysphoria when looking in a mirror.
Are nootropics (“smart drugs”) safe?
Nootropics, otherwise known as cognition enhancers or “smart drugs”, are often used to boost brain performance at school or work. Those sold over the counter, such as Panax ginseng or L-theanine, are generally safe for most people, and the side effects usually only mild if you follow dosage recommendations. However, prescription nootropics that are often used to treat a specific medical condition, such as ADHD or narcolepsy, can have dangerous stimulant effects when used to boost mental performance. These include drugs such as Ritalin, Adderall, and Modafinil. As with all prescription medications, they can have serious side effects and should only be taken under the guidance of a doctor.
What is ASMR?
ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) is often described as a pleasant, tingling sensation that results from hearing or seeing a specific trigger, such as tapping, crunching, or crinkling. Some people report that ASMR is useful for stress relief and coping with conditions such as depression and chronic pain. On video-sharing sites and platforms, many viewers tune into ASMR videos for a pleasurable experience.
Is sexting healthy in a relationship?
Sexting—exchanging sexually explicit text messages—can be a way to feel intimate with your romantic partner, even when you’re physically distant. However, it isn’t a risk-free activity and can lead to instances of revenge porn, sextortion, and other cybercrimes. To protect yourself, only sext with a person you truly trust, and be sure to have a conversation beforehand about your boundaries. If you don’t feel comfortable sexting, resist any pressure to do so. Make sure the method you’re using is secure, and be mindful of what information is revealed in your pictures and videos in case they fall into unwanted hands.
Is broken heart syndrome real?
Broken heart syndrome is a real condition, and is sometimes referred to as stress-induced cardiomyopathy or takotsubo cardiomyopathy. The condition comes with shortness of breath and chest pain. As the name implies, it can be caused by intense emotional stress that affects one of the heart’s pumping chambers. Stressful events, including a breakup, the death of a loved one, sudden financial hardship, or an unexpected accident, can act as triggers. While in rare instances broken heart syndrome can be fatal, most people recover within weeks.