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I AM in Control.org Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality

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.

May 1

Follow us on Twitter!

Posted By iamincontrol | May 1, 2014

Want to find out when IAMincontrol has a new post?  Follow us on Twitter @IAMincontrolIA for tweets about our posts and events for teens.  Retweet to share your favorite posts with your friends!
Oct 30

Who to Talk to?

Posted By iamincontrol | October 30, 2014

teen with question mark
By Kayleen

Growing up is tough.  There are so many experiences and changes you face throughout middle and high school.  Some big changes that arise have to do with your sexual health.  (If you aren’t quite sure what we mean by “sexual health,” the Act Together For Youth page on What is Sexual Health? may be able to help.)

When you have a question about sexual health, where do you go?  The first thing you may do is pick up your phone or use your computer to look up the answer on the Internet.  The Internet does have a few reliable and helpful websites, but it is not always the same as talking to someone about your question.

Who is the person in your life that you can ask questions about sexual health?  Friends/peers may be the first people that you go to, but they may not be very knowledgeable on the subject. They may be wondering the same thing as you.  One of the best people you can talk to, besides a family physician or nurse, would be a parent or trusted adult in your life.  Some teens are already close to a parent or trusted adult and have established a relationship where open conversation is easy. That is a great relationship to have.  Other teens do not that have relationship with a parent or trusted adult at all, but it’s never too late to establish one.

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Oct 28

Hard Lesson to Learn

Posted By iamincontrol | October 28, 2014

teenage girl
By Kayla

In 8th grade, I started the longest relationship of my life. I was 14.  It lasted until my freshman year of college!  I jumped into it thinking he was the one and never thought it would ever be bad.  About a year into the relationship, we started to argue a lot.  I could never go out with my friends without him assuming I was with other guys.  He was very insecure.  I always wanted to prove to him that I wasn’t hurting him and that I loved him.

Two years after that, we started breaking up, off and on.  When my freshman year of college started, I had enough of the way he was treating me.  I stopped caring about what he had to say.  I just thought about what my life would be like if I stayed and if he was ever going to change.  If he wasn’t, was I going to let him keep treating me this way? Was I going to be a boring, stay at home girlfriend who never went out unless it was with him?  I ended up spending more time with my mom and dad at home and ignoring his texts and his feelings.  I know my mom was very happy when we finally broke up.  She had seen me cry countless times and waste years of high school on him instead of having fun with school and friends.

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Oct 23

Money Matters

Posted By iamincontrol | October 23, 2014

piggy bank
By Jacalyn          

When I was in high school I had two jobs, and to be honest I made quite a bit of money. However, while still in high school, I was very privileged by my parents bill-wise. I did not pay anything. So I mostly spent my money on stupid things like getting my nails done, tanning, getting my hair done, eating fast food, going to expensive places with my friends and buying expensive purses or electronics that I did not need. I was also very privileged in the sense that my grandparents and parents bought my car as well as put money in a savings account for me for college. When I left to start college, all my incoming money came to a halt.

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Oct 21

Overcoming an Eating Disorder

Posted By iamincontrol | October 21, 2014

plate scale
By Ashley

I developed an eating disorder in high school. It didn’t happen right away, but gradually during my first semester. I had just transferred schools. I had always been pretty active, but I noticed myself working out a lot more than usual. I was so busy with homework, tests, and adjusting to my new school and life that I really didn’t think anything of it.

After being at school for a few weeks, my family started to notice me slimming down. They complimented me on my hard work and becoming more interested in my health. It wasn’t long before that planted a seed in my brain that if I was going to work on my health, I would need to start eating healthy foods too.

That’s when everything went downhill. I started keeping track of everything I ate. I was so obsessed that I used a calorie counter app on my phone so I could record my meals to know how many calories I was consuming. I gradually started cutting back on my meals to see how low I could get my calories to be that day. I would also record how much I would work out and be able to see how many calories I would burn. I never went in public to exercise.

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Oct 16

Dealing with Depression and Anxiety

Posted By iamincontrol | October 16, 2014

sad teenage girl
By Emily

Dealing with depression and anxiety can be a daunting task, especially as a teenager.  You already have so much going on with school, work, extra-curriculars and anything else you might be involved in.  And then you have this nagging feeling.  It could be sadness, anger, fear, tiredness or any other combination of feelings.  Mine started slowly. It just seemed like I was having an off day, which turned into an off week, then an off month until finally I realized something was wrong.  I didn’t want to say anything about it because it’s not like I was sick. I didn’t need to go to the doctor.  I just needed to get out of my funk.  Things I used to enjoy doing were now things I shied away from.  Hanging out with my friends now became a chore.  I wanted to stay home and not do anything.  I couldn’t figure out exactly what was bothering me or why I had started to feel this way, but it was affecting my entire life.

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Oct 14

My Journey to Self-Acceptance

Posted By iamincontrol | October 14, 2014

smiling teenage girl
By Jingyuan

For a very long time, I used to think I was ugly, morbidly obese and a creature of the shadows – neither to be heard nor seen. I was two hundred and forty-two pounds at just seventeen years of age. Today, I feel very comfortable with my weight, but my smile serves not only to show my appreciation of myself and my body image, but also to hide the many scars and wounds I have had to endure for most of my life. I am beautiful, regardless of what other people think. I know and believe this to be true. Anyone out there who has been told that they are not attractive or pretty enough, simply because of their body image, their shape, their height or anything related to their body, should remember that they are beautiful.

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Oct 9

Changing Friend Groups

Posted By iamincontrol | October 9, 2014

teenage friends
By Anonymous

When I was in high school, I had a good group of friends my freshman and sophomore year. We would do everything together and would always hang out on the weekends. However, once we hit junior year, some of my friends started drinking, experimenting with drugs, and hanging around older guys. I did not want to do this because it wasn’t an interest for me, and it went against my morals. When my friends started doing these things, they would encourage me to do the activities as well. At first I would just go along with them to the parties and kind of be the person who would look after them and be a sober driver. After a while though, I got so tired of doing this and was not having any fun going out. I felt like my friends had changed. They slowly stopped calling me because I did not want to engage in drinking alcohol and doing drugs. I felt very hurt, lonely, and just lost. I felt like I had lost all of my good friends.

My mom noticed that I wasn’t hanging out with the same girls anymore and encouraged me to meet other girls by getting more involved in clubs at school. I took her advice and joined the choir at school. I met many great people through the choir, and I ended up being best friends with some of the girls I met. I also reached out to other people at my school who I had never talked to. I had more friends than I had before, and I was a lot happier. I felt renewed and felt like a better person overall. Even though losing some of my good friends from earlier in high school was hard, it made me a lot stronger. I realized that they were not the right friends for me. The friends I made in my junior and senior year are still some of my best friends to this day, and I am very glad that I met all of them! They made my life so much better.

Oct 7

Credit Card Debt

Posted By iamincontrol | October 7, 2014

credit card
The results are in! 

Last month we asked you guys:

Do you have a credit card?

You guys strongly related to “I don’t have one yet, but I’m going to get one as soon as I can.

Credit cards can have benefits if you understand and are experienced with them, but they can be dangerous too.  It’s easy to overspend, and Rachael’s story below perfectly illustrates that.  Read on to learn how she got into (and then out of) credit card debt.

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Oct 2

Working through the Aftermath of Divorce

Posted By iamincontrol | October 2, 2014

teenage girl
By Anonymous

Divorce: the legal dissolution of a marriage by a court or other competent body. Growing up with divorced parents wasn’t entirely bad. I’m grateful that it happened when I was younger so I don’t remember the fighting and pain my older sister went through.  Looking back on how my family essentially ended, I almost wish I could go through the pain my sister went through. That way I wouldn’t have to deal with it eight years later. After my parents split, my mom started dating and that is where it all started.

Depression: severe despondency and dejection typically felt over a period of time and accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy. After my mom and her boyfriend got married is when the depression really began to take over. I found myself having these horrible thoughts that I could only share with my soon to be counselor. I stopped hanging out with friends; I was lying in my bed a lot doing nothing but having these thoughts run through my head. This darkness I called it. The darkness was always there. It was there to remind me that my family wasn’t a family anymore, and I couldn’t do anything to change it.

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Sep 30

Overcoming an Eating Fear

Posted By iamincontrol | September 30, 2014

salad
By Cambria

In 4th grade, my aunt told me a story about a relative who almost died choking on a food item. Not only was I terrified, but I started to think that I might die if I ate solid foods. From that day, I quit eating anything solid. I only ate ice cream, soup broth, milk, and water. During school, I would get my lunch tray filled with food, but pass the items to other students. At home, I wouldn’t eat and told my parents that I was not hungry.

One day at school they were serving one of my favorite desserts, a granola bar with chocolate frosting. I picked it apart to get smaller pieces. As I tried to eat, I spit the item back out and ran to the nurse’s office. I thought a piece of granola got caught in my throat. This probably only lasted 3-4 weeks, but it got so bad that my parents were going to take me to the hospital. When my mom told me that I would have to be stuck with needles and have tubes down my throat for me to get nutrition, I got more scared. As a kid, I was terrified of needles, and I was even more afraid of needles than I was of choking.

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