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

Tag: suicide

Dec 30

New Year, Let the Resolutions begin: Top Ten News Years Resolutions for Teens

Posted By iamincontrol | December 30, 2014

The New Year is fast approaching and that means its time to think of your New Years Resolution. IAMinControl is coming at ya with a Top Ten New Years Resolutions to ease your way into the New Year.

Top Ten New Years Resolutions for Teens

Have a Good Relationship with My Body- Enjoy parts of your body and embrace what’s been given.

  1. Change my Attitude about Food-Treat food as something needed to nourish your body, so do those Cheetos® do the trick or that apple?
  2. Stay in touch- a 2010 study showed that if you don’t have a connection to social ties and they are broken you are more prone to mental health issues.
  3. Exercise More- We all know that exercise helps with our health but also makes us feel good about our selves.
  4. Volunteer- A 2010 study found that people with positive emotions (such as volunteering) were 20% less like to have a heart attack and were more resilient and resourceful
  5. Get more sleep-Lack of sleep causes your skin to age, forget things, gain weight, makes you dumber.
  6. Set goals for ourselves- It’s easy to accomplish things when we have goals. It’s also meta to set goals as your new years resolution. Right?
  7. Have more confidence-join a group at school, ask someone to hang out, make more friends
  8. Cut toxic people out of my life- Negative people can bring you down, identify if they are needed in your life. Parents do NOT count.
  9. Spend less time on Twitter, Instagram, and Kik-Studies show that increase time on social media can lead to depression and other things 


    Now its time for you to decide, but let us know what you do decide. Our poll next month will ask:


    Does your New Years Resolution involve?

  1.  Nutrition (Cut back on drinking energy drinks and/or soda,  Eat less Cheetos, etc)
  2. Body Image (be happy when I look in the mirror, embrace my love handles, etc.)
  3. Mental Health (smile more, look up Classic Joke Wednesday on Ellen and share them, etc.)
  4. Exercise (Dance around to “Shake it Off” by T. Swift for thirty minutes a day)
  5. Sexual Health (Find out about different contraceptives, figure out how to use a condom)
  6. Life Skills  (Start a savings, embrace my haters, etc )
Dec 11

Don’t Be S.A.D. this winter!

Posted By iamincontrol | December 11, 2014

Sad. Isn’t that how we all feel to some extent during the winter, as the days get shorter and shorter? As we keep adding layers of clothing to leave the house, and spend as little time outside in the frigid cold as possible?

But being ‘SAD’ is a different story than just being lower-case sad. SAD stands for ‘seasonal affective disorder,’ a type of temporary depression that occurs during specific times of the year—most commonly in the fall and winter. It is estimated that 10-20% of people in the United States experience SAD each year and that it is more common in females.

Although many people—especially in northern parts of the U.S. like Iowa, where the winters are long and cold– get the winter blues, seasonal affective disorder hits a little harder. Symptoms of SAD include drops in energy, weight gain, sleeping a lot more than usual, and not wanting to be social.

The following are tips adapted from the Huffington Post to help combat SAD. These suggestions can help anyone feeling a little blue in the winter—but if you are feeling depressed, don’t be afraid see a doctor or counselor about your symptoms.

  • Get outside. Yes, even though it’s cold, try to get outside at lunch, open period, or after school. Natural sunlight will improve your mood, and since the days are so short during the winter, it’s important to grab the sun while you can during the day!
  • Get moving! As Michelle Obama says, ‘Let’s move!’  Exercise releases chemicals called endorphins that will naturally increase your mood. It’s also a good way to burn stress, and if you’re exercising in a gym or as part of a sports team or club, it provides social time– which also helps with depression.
  • Get social. Especially during the Thanksgiving and winter breaks, when school is out and it’s tempting to sit around at home and watch Netflix, try to get out of the house. Go to a movie or dinner with friends. It will help to get you out of a funk.
  • Sleep well. Although it may be hard to wake up every morning in the darkness, or to stay awake after school when the sun is already setting, resist the temptation to sleep late or nap throughout the day. Sleeping more than you usually do will only make you feel more sluggish and tired overall.
  • Be patient. Winter in Iowa is long, and fighting SAD may take time– but embrace the activities and people who make you feel better. It will pay off in the long run. If your symptoms do not improve, don’t be afraid to seek professional help—SAD, like depression, is a real disorder and can be treated!


Aug 12

Having the “Chicken Pox” from Ages 7-15: A Journey to Loving Myself

Posted By iamincontrol | August 12, 2014

teenage girl
By Anonymous

Growing up, I had a lot of health problems. My biggest issue was a skin problem. I was itchy all the time, covered in sores from head to toe. People were always asking me, “Do you have the chicken pox?” Some people just stared, and others just blatantly asked what was wrong with me. Since I always got these questions and weird looks, I began to hide my body by wearing sweatshirts and jeans all year round, even if it was 100 degrees outside. I could not handle the looks and questions I received from people. It would cause me to break down crying.

No doctor could figure out what was wrong with me. One dermatologist said it was eczema, another said it was atopic dermatitis; others said it was allergies, and some believed I just scratched myself because of anxiety issues.

Since no doctor knew what was wrong, I just told people I had the chicken pox. It seemed easier to tell them I had the chicken pox than say, “No one knows what’s wrong with me.” Otherwise I would scare people away. I told everyone that from the ages of 7 to 15.

Read More

Apr 10

Overcoming Bullying and Depression

Posted By iamincontrol | April 10, 2014

Teen girl
By Jenna

Being the target for bullying and dealing with depression were two of the hardest obstacles I have ever had to face.  I am writing this post with a smile on my face because I am proof that although these are difficult times, they can be overcome and life does become easier.  If someone had told me this in eighth or ninth grade, it would have been difficult to believe.  No matter what your age is, and no matter how sad you feel, remember there is light at the end of the tunnel.  I remember feeling alone, very sad and unloved during these times.  I also remember wondering if I left this earth if anyone would miss me.  If anyone reading this is asking this same question, the answer is always yes.   You are a unique person who is special in different ways and loved more than you know.

In junior high, I started hanging out with different people, and my best friend at the time did not like this.  Rumors were spread on both our ends.  However, my ex-best friend took it to another level.  There was a big sleepover at a girl’s house, and I was not invited due to the rumors.  I had a few friends over.  The large party kept calling me, screaming at me, bullying and leaving harsh voicemails.  My once so-called “friends” had called me every name in the book, informing me that no one liked me and everyone thought I was a “whore.”  I remember bawling the next day, wondering what I did to deserve this.  At school, I did not feel comfortable talking to anyone and I could feel people whispering about me when I walked by.  This situation, along with a few other tough times such as my close sister moving to college, and seeing my how my uncle’s suicide affected my father and family, spun me into a deep depression.  I would eat everything in sight, hoping that would make me feel better.  I became very obese.  I stopped enjoying activities I used to love doing.  I did not talk to anyone and did not feel myself.

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Mar 20

Battling Depression

Posted By iamincontrol | March 20, 2014

Depressed teenage girl
By Jenna

One day you wake up, and you’re just not the same. Depression hit me hard my freshman year of high school. I started to see myself in a whole different manner, and suddenly, my life was spinning out of control. Feeling empty, worthless, and sad became a part of my everyday life. It was the beginning of the hardest thing I’ve ever faced in my life.

To escape what became my ugly reality, I began cutting for emotional release. To me, feeling physical pain felt better than the emotional pain. It was an addiction. I hated myself and believed that I screwed up everything. Nobody could tell me any differently; I just couldn’t believe that I was loved by anyone or that anybody would care if I were gone. The worst part of the whole thing was that nobody knew I was suffering except me. I would come home from school and cry for hours. If crying didn’t make me feel better, I’d cut myself just enough to numb my pain for a while. Then, I’d put a “mask” back on and pretend like everything was fine again.

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Jan 23

Get Inspired

Posted By iamincontrol | January 23, 2014


Everyone pulls inspiration from different parts of life. Maybe you’re inspired by an idol of yours, like a great basketball player, a beautiful work of art, or a quote that gets you through the day.

One place we can’t forget to look for inspiration is in our peers. Seeing others just like us doing great things can inspire us to do great things as well.  Today we’re sharing a page from the Huffington Post that shares stories from inspirational teens, like the ones below.

Kevin Breel, 19-Year-Old, Explains What It Feels Like To Be Depressed In Beautiful TEDxYouth Speech

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Jan 16

NFL Player and Bullied Teen Team Up

Posted By iamincontrol | January 16, 2014

Today we’re sharing a story of hope and overcoming obstacles.  Victor Cruz, wide receiver for the New York Giants, was discriminated against and bullied when he was younger.  Now he’s helping someone else who’s been bullied: a gay teen named Joey.  In the video below, Victor invites Joey to join him in the New York Giants locker room to help him overcome his fear of being bullied there.

It doesn’t matter what it’s for: bullying hurts.  By banding together and standing up to bullying like Victor and Joey and did, we can make it easier to get through it and work to stop it.  It’s important to stay strong and remember that it gets better.  Learn how you can take action and stand up against bullying at

Read about more NFL players who have overcome bullying and are helping others here.

If you want to learn more about Joey’s group, The Equality Project, visit their website or their Facebook page.

You are in control of standing up to bullying.

Jan 2

Hotline Round Up

Posted By iamincontrol | January 2, 2014

You never know when you’re going to need to talk to someone.  Today we’ve put together a list of some numbers you might find helpful when you’re going through something.

Teen Line 1-800-443-8336
You can call the Teen Line 24/7 to ask any questions you have about your health or a problem in your life.  They will answer your questions or connect you with someone who can.  You can also chat online with a counselor 8AM-8PM Monday through Friday.

Your Life Iowa1-855-581-8111
This 24-hour, confidential hotline is available to anyone who wants to find information about how to identify and deal with bullying or the topic of suicide. You can also text 85511 3-11PM everyday or chat online.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
This 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Calls are routed to the nearest crisis center in a national network of more than 150 crisis centers.*

The Trevor Lifeline (for GBLTQ Youth)1-866-488-7386 (1-866-4-U-TREVOR)
Providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.*

National Sexual Assault Hotline1-800-656-HOPE (1-800-656-4673)
Sponsored by the Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN). Online Hotline is also available (click the link).*

National Runaway Hotline1-800-786-2929 (RUNAWAY)
24-hour crisis line. It’s anonymous, confidential and free.*

Love is Respect: National Dating Abuse Helpline1-866-331-9474 (TTY 1-866-331-8453)
24-hour help for teens and young adults. Peer advocates are trained to offer support, information and advocacy to those involved in dating abuse relationships as well as concerned parents, teachers, clergy, and others.*

CDC-INFO 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) or TTY 1-888-232-6348
Formerly known as the CDC National STD and AIDS Hotline, counselors at this hotline sponsored by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now respond to questions about personal health issues, not just HIV and sexually transmitted infections. Available 24 hours a day, in English and Spanish.*

National STD (STI) Hotline1-800-227-8922
The hotline is available Monday through Friday, 9 am to 6 pm EST. The American Social Health Association website offers information about sexual health, healthy relationships, STIs, and more. Check out – a site developed for teens and their parents.*

Always reach out to someone when you have a problem or just feel like you need to talk.  You are in control of your life.

*Hotline description from

Dec 31

You’re Never Ready

Posted By iamincontrol | December 31, 2013

You're never ready
By Taylar

The Loss

You’re never ready to lose someone. For me, it was heartbreaking. I found out my grandfather had completed suicide three days after my baby sister was born. Before my mom’s marriage when I was six, my grandfathers were my only father figures; they were my role models, my best friends. On a Wednesday in 2003, I learned one of my best friends had left my life and was never coming back.

Dealing with Loss

The pain of that loss was unbearable. I went through so many different stages of dealing with my grief. At first, all I could do was cry. I remember a few weeks after his funeral I kept thinking, “No, he’s not really gone. He’s going to knock on the door tomorrow and be able to hug me again.” I was wrong. Years afterward, I put a lot of blame on myself, as many survivors of suicide do. I thought if I had just said, “I love you,” one more time that maybe it would have been enough to make him feel better and want to stay. Eventually I learned there really was nothing I could have done. In recent years I learned more of the details of what was going on that day and what led to his decision to end his life. That information brought a lot of anger to the surface. The only way I dealt with all those feelings I had was to talk about them. I talked about them out loud to myself when I was alone, I wrote about them, I visited my grandfather’s grave and talked to him; I did anything to get the troubling thoughts out of my head.

Read More

Nov 14

Video Contest Winners: Governor’s Bullying Prevention Summit 2013

Posted By iamincontrol | November 14, 2013

Governors bullying prevention summit 2013
We have a winner!

The Governor’s Bullying Prevention Summit took place this week in Des Moines.  They had a video contest going on, and 30 amazing high schools and middle schools across the state submitted entries.

The top three winners were:

1st– Algona High School

2nd– Northwood-Kensett Junior-Senior High School

3rd – Clarion-Goldfield Middle School

Congrats to the winners and all the great entries that were submitted!  You can check out the winning videos and the 27 other entries by visiting this site.  Once you get there, click on the drop down menu that says “All Channels” and choose “Bully Prevention Entries.”  We hope you watch the videos and become inspired to stand up to bullying in your school.

You are in control of making your school a safe, supportive environment.