Stories about: teenagers

This week on Thrive: June 28- July 4

From offering advice to exhausted caregivers, to exploring whether or not early school times are endangering the physical well being of teenagers, it’s been a busy week here at Thrive. See what you may have missed and/or what others are saying about some of these issues.

Deciphering epilepsy: Epilepsy is a disease that remains stubbornly bewildering—to the nearly three million Americans who have it and the doctors who treat it. This week 60 Minutes aired a piece on the disease featuring research done by Children’s Frances Jensen, MD, recently named president of the American Epilepsy Society.

Caring for the Caregiver: Dixie Coskie is the mother of a child who lived through both a traumatic brain injury and cancer. In this blog post, Dixie writes about the stress that comes from being the primary caregiver of a sick child and the importance of taking care of yourself. The story really hit home with our readers. Check out some of the comments, and join the conversation.

“Thank you for sharing your story! As a caregiver for my son, I also did not care for my own health and suffered the consequences. I am now back in school to become a medical social worker to use our experiences to assist others with chronic medical conditions adapt to their new lives. Even though I had to learn along the way, I do not want others to have to learn the hard way!”

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Beware the werewolves of San Antonio!

wolfman-movie chaneyEvery generation has its werewolves. Today, of course, there’s the Twilight phenomenon, which has given us Jacob Black and his brotherly pack of lycanthropes. If you’re my age, you grew up watching the incredibly hokey Teen Wolf and Teen Wolf Two movies, plus the slightly less hokey An American Werewolf in London. And if you’re a bit older, you likely went to the local Strand Theater to watch Lon Chaney and Claude Rains in The Wolf Man or Little House on the Prairie star Michael Landon in I Was a Teenage Werewolf.

But, as you’ll see in the news clip below from KENS5 in San Antonio, there’s a group of Texas teens who are taking the obsession with wolfmen one step further, transforming themselves into real-life werewolves – complete with fake tails and teeth.

So what do you think, moms and dads: Is this type of self-expression a good thing, or a sure sign that these kids need to spend less time under the full moon?

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Addressing anxiety before it becomes a problem

afraidBy Gary Gosselin, MD, Medical Director of Inpatient Psychiatry at Children’s Hospital Boston:

Anxiety is the evolutionary survival instinct wired into our brains that allows us to adapt to dangerous situations. In essence, it’s there to help us survive. But it becomes a problem when it no longer allows us to adapt – when it actively interferes with our ability to function.

With baseball season starting this Sunday, the recent case of Texas Rangers’ infielder Khalil Greene is a perfect example. This is a man whose livelihood is completely based around his ability to perform on the baseball diamond, yet Greene recently contacted his team and told them he’d be unable to report for spring training due to his struggles with social anxiety disorder, which is an extreme fear of social situations. He was consequently cut from the team. Without treatment, maladaptive anxiety can have costly outcomes- in this case it may have cost Greene his career.

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Are parents legally responsible when their teens engage in sexting?

Michael RichMedia expert Michael Rich, MD, MPH, director of the Center on Media and Child Health at Children’s Hospital Boston, answers your questions about media use. Last week, he discussed whether or not vampire fiction can contribute to a child’s anxiety.

Here’s this week’s question:

Q: I just recently found some sexual pictures in my son’s phone and I am totally shocked and scared. I do not know what to do and if I should tell his girlfriend’s parents or not. Is this a crime punishable to the parents of these “sexting” teens?
-Asked by Trish on’s JustAsk forum, after reading the article Is Your Child Sexting? What Parents Need to Know

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