Help for Teens & Young Adults
  1. Life Changes
    Life Changes
    Life changes can happen at any stage of life and can be experienced in many different ways depending on the person's perspective. Parents' divorce, changing friend circles and moving to a new school are all seen by many as negatives. However, with each change there is the potential for a new experience. With a divorce comes challenges and a new way of relating to your parents. With every move comes the ability to start over, become what you wish people would see you as and each aspect of yourself has the ability to be shaped into anything you desire. Your ability to handle change is dependent upon your perspective. Change is hard, but it can be an opportunity to shine.
  2. Trauma
    Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape or natural disaster. Immediately after the event, shock and denial are typical. Longer term reactions include unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, strained relationships and even physical symptoms like headaches or nausea. While these feelings are normal, some people have difficulty moving on with their lives. Trauma can have an effect on a person's life long after the events have passed. Long after wounds have healed, juries have convicted and buildings are rebuilt, trauma symptoms can be present. Emotional scars are still impeding the normal functioning of daily life for those whose trauma have made lasting impacts on their psyche or have effected the ability to feel secure, to trust or to manage feelings. PTSD and other issues related to trauma can be treated and worked through to help alleviate the long-term pain from the events.
  3. Anxiety
    A feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome; can develop into a psychological condition that is expressed in compulsive behaviors and can lead to panic attacks and social issues. ~synonyms: worry, concern, apprehension, apprehensiveness, uneasiness, unease, fearfulness, fear, disquiet, disquietude, inquietude, perturbation, agitation, angst, misgiving, nervousness, nerves, tension, tenseness, heebie-jeebies, butterflies (in one's stomach), jitteriness, the jitters, twitchiness. Teens and young adults experience anxiety in many situations: test anxiety, performance anxiety (sports & performing arts), social anxiety, peer groups changing, bullying, fear of judgment, anxiety about future plans and expectations of parents.
  4. Relationships
    There are many factors that go into making a relationship strong. Two individuals coming together to unite in a way that is healthy, loving, giving and equal can be a balancing act. Learning to communicate, resolving conflict in a productive way, committing to each other, being loyal, honest and open about feelings, thoughts and plans are all part of the dance. It can be delicate at times, but with some work in breaking negative patterns, identifying conflict cycles and developing positive habits your relationship can become healthy, happy and thriving. Happy relationships don't happen by accident, but they do happen over time with consistent effort, openness and love.
  5. Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Issues
    Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Issues
    Everyone feels like an outsider at some point, but for the gay community it is often something that we struggle with for a long time. Until we figure out what's "different" and what "label" fits us, it can be difficult to understand where and how we fit into society at all. This is especially difficult for adolescents, young adults and those who have been exposed to radically opposing viewpoints on sexual orientation. Often times, it can be difficult for individuals to come to terms with their sexual orientation and be willing to come out. It is also a difficult things, sometimes, for families to deal with, especially parents of gay or lesbian individuals. Transgender individuals have difficulties as well with being misunderstood, judged and bullied. Acceptance and confidence are key to healthy self-esteem and feelings of belonging.
  6. Spirituality
    Spirituality and/or Religion can mean different things to different people. Often times religion is described as a set of beliefs and doctrine that brings a group together. Spirituality is often seen as the individual portion, rather in a group o personal situation. When a person is participating in a particular organized religion, there are times when beliefs of the whole don't align with the beliefs, values or actions of individuals. When this happens, individuals experience shame and guilt. Shame is the "I am bad" message we believe about ourselves. Guilt is the "I did something bad" that we feel. Depending on your spiritual path and beliefs, these issues are dealt with different ways, but still exist and are problematic in all cultures. Learning to manage your shame, guilt and to accept and give forgiveness and grace are part of life. Discovering who you are in respect to the universe and God / Higher Power is a part of life that everyone questions at some point.
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If you have an issue that you're uncomfortable / scared to ask about in person (to me or your parents or other adults), send a question here.  Give your information (which will be kept confidential) and include as many details about your question as you'd like to get a helpful answer. I will reply to your email with answers within 48 hours. *
  * Only on weekdays, within 48 hours. Please note, I may choose to share your general question (not in your words, to protect your privacy) and the answer given if it seems a common question or something that may be helpful to others. Please recognize that by submitting your question you are also allowing me permission to post your topic question and the response that I sent to you along with your first initial and age.  Thank you for participating.