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Questions, Answers and Resources for Teens
Use this resource for questions regarding your health, your relationships, your body and your sexuality.
While this site is informative, it is not a substitute for talking to your doctor, parents or other trusted adult.
Posted By iamincontrol | May 1, 2014
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Posted By iamincontrol | September 2, 2014
Last month’s poll question was:
Do you feel like people just group you into that one thing you’re good at? (i.e. jock, band nerd, artist, goth, etc.)
You guys overwhelmingly said:
- Definitely. People don’t realize there’s more to me.
Here’s how Hayley learned how to embrace feeling more than one word.
We all have that one thing we feel defines us. You could be an athlete, a musician, a mathlete, or a dancer. We often use this one word to describe us and measure our worth. However, we are much more than this one word.
In high school I was the cheerleader. That is until my junior year when I got cut from the squad. I was super upset knowing that all of my friends would be cheering without me. Although I missed cheering on my boys to a victory in football or basketball, not making the squad didn’t turn out as bad as I thought. I was able to get involved in other activities, and it was during this time that I met some of my best friends. I had fun in the stands at sporting events, and I was able to find new passions.
Although losing that one thing you identify with may be hard, it doesn’t always have to be bad. So yes, be the athlete, musician, or dancer, but know that there is more to high school and much more to life. One door may close, but countless others will be opened. Branch out, make new friends, and remember you are more than just that one word.
Posted By iamincontrol | August 28, 2014
Within my group of friends, there was this one friend who seemed to have it all together. She excelled in the classroom as well as in sports. She was involved in various clubs and organizations. She was very outgoing and responsible; our classmates and teachers liked her as well. At one time I would have considered her one of my best friends.
During the fall of my senior year of high school, my friend began to date a guy the grade below us. He seemed like a nice guy, a farm boy who caused some trouble, but nothing terrible. My friend seemed happy about her new relationship, and she quickly began to fall in love.
Posted By iamincontrol | August 21, 2014
I grew up in a pretty typical family: mom, dad, a brother, and a sister. We always had a dog and had a couple cats along the way. My mom worked at a high school, and my dad was a construction worker. Seems like a typical American middle class family, right? Well we were, but then at the end of my sophomore year of high school my dad got hurt at work. His machine had jerked and had hurt his back. He was in a lot of pain, and the doctors told him he needed surgery. Everything was fine, he’d have the surgery and the doctors said he’d need a couple days of recovery and then he should be able to walk out of the hospital. Well that’s not quite what happened. After about a week in the hospital, they wheeled him out in a wheelchair and he came home. He was still in a lot of pain, maybe even more than before the surgery.
This began a time in my life where my dad, tough, strong, and involved, became very distant. I had a lot of questions and no one to turn to. I’m the oldest, and I took on the role of doing as much as I could for myself. It was disappointing that he couldn’t come to my activities, but there wasn’t much I could do. People would ask how he was doing often and I would tell them, “Oh, he seems to be getting a little better,” or “He’s had a quite a few bad days recently.” In reality, he wasn’t getting better, and each day seemed just the same as the last. I’d go to school, sports, work, and then come home and nothing was different. He was still sitting there, maybe playing Xbox or sleeping. Distant. No one in my family talked about it much, and we definitely didn’t talk about how we were feeling. Depression. It seemed like a cycle in a bad story, and it was never going to get better. The way that I dealt with this was to try to do everything right and hold it all together, even though I was a wreck inside. Five years later, my dad is still in pain a lot of the time and still can’t be very active or go to many events, but he’s better than he was. He’s more present in our lives, but parents from the recliner.
My advice to anyone dealing with a parent who is chronically sick or injured or a parent who is just not all present: talk to someone, preferably someone older, like a school counselor, a teacher, a family member, or a family friend. Be honest about how you are feeling and how your situation is affecting you, because it does affect you or it will. I am still dealing with the effects of that time in my life five years later. It’s tough and it hurts, but I have to come to terms with the effects it’s had on me. I’m learning to accept that there are things that I might miss out on doing with him and that there has been time lost in this process. Time I can’t get back. I have friends and mentors now that I can talk to about that time in my life and sort out my grief for how things were “supposed to be.”
Posted By iamincontrol | August 19, 2014
My freshman year of high school I was involved in many sports, but it wasn’t until track season that I thought I needed to lose weight. The other girls on my relay team were not the same size as I was. I thought that because I was bigger than them, it was slowing me down. I began restricting what I would eat and when I would eat it. I wouldn’t eat lunch on race days because in my mind, there was a correlation between my weight and my race times.
I was frustrated when my times weren’t improving and thought the only explanation was because I needed to lose more weight. I had already lost around 15 pounds in 2 months, and my coaches began to notice my lack of energy. My race performance actually began to worsen.
Posted By iamincontrol | August 7, 2014
I don’t remember exactly when it started, but I think it was in 8th grade – the day that alcohol joined my friend group. I remember feeling shocked when I first found out that some of my friends had started to drink. At first it wasn’t very many of them, and we were able to maintain our friendships despite our differences. Then we got to high school, and everything went downhill quickly.
My friends started slipping under the control of alcohol. By the time we were sophomores, the majority of my friends, both guys and girls, were drinking almost every weekend. I didn’t approve of their choices, but I tried to maintain the friendships. However, it was really difficult to do that when I couldn’t hang out with them on the weekends, unless I wanted to drink. Slowly, they began to dislike me because I wouldn’t succumb to their peer pressure. I was different, and we all knew it.
By the end of my sophomore year, I was isolated from the group. I spent the remainder of my high school weekends with a much smaller group of friends going to dinner, movies, shopping, or having bonfires or sleepovers. They were all activities that were free from drinking, and we still had tons of fun!
Posted By iamincontrol | July 31, 2014
What does the word disability mean to you? For me, it means having to use a wheelchair for mobility due to the fact that I have Cerebral Palsy. Cerebral Palsy is a medical condition that has various effects on people ranging from slight to severe physical and/or mental conditions. Luckily, it only affects my physical capacities, and I received a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication from Iowa State University.
Despite my accomplishments, I have suffered from depression and anxiety for the past 10 years. When I was 16 years old, I had a major back surgery, which caused a significant amount of pain. The surgery, along with the general lack of mobility, deepened my depression and anxiety about the future. Since then I have been learning strategies to cope with these symptoms of mental illness. Coping strategies that have worked for me are:
- Focusing on how I can help others
- Being grateful for my friends and family
- Looking forward to the opportunities in the future
- My spirituality
- Reaching out to others with similar struggles and joining support groups
If you are struggling with depression, here are a couple resources to check out: