In today’s time, the youth are faced with a series of problems.
Some of them deal with problems of mental health and others, physical health.
Pressure from peers and other worldly figures play a large role in developing
these problems. Adolescence is a period of change in a young person’s life
which may involve several health issues.
Adolescence means, "to grow into maturity."
Physical, emotional, social, and intellectual growth happens during
adolescence (Health 1021). Ages thirteen until twenty is considered the
teenage years, but from the standpoint of health, puberty, which is sexual
development and enables reproduction, is the beginning of adolescence (Health
1021). Around age thirteen, girls and boys both begin to develop sexually and
take the appearance of a young man or woman. By the age twenty, physical
development is usually complete. Adolescence is also when major mental changes
occur. Adolescents and his or her family both get frustrated with these
changes (Health 1021). Along with physically developing adult
characteristics, one’s social crowd may change, and interest in the opposite
sex occurs. Adolescence is when one changes into what he or she will be for
the rest of his or her life.
It is crucial that adolescents practice good
hygiene and health. "Adolescent health concerns include such normal
conditions as acne and body odor, as well as more serious problems such as
drug abuse, depression, and eating disorders" (Health 1021). Sexually
transmitted diseases, along with eating disorders are large adolescent health
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are ones
caused by little germs, microorganisms. These germs from STDs are caught
through sexual openings in one’s body. Sexually transmitted diseases are very
common in the population as a whole. Adolescents cover a great deal of that
number alone. Everyone’s case is not always the same due to the fact that
several different STDs exist.
Statistics show that STDs are very wide spread.
"...roughly one in seven teenagers currently has a sexually transmitted disease
(STD)..." (McCoy 26). Teens are not the only ones to have STDs, but they make
up a large percentage of those who do. "Two-thirds of STD cases occur in
persons under 25 years old. Three million teens are infected with STDs each
year" (STDs N.P.).
There are several different types of sexually
transmitted diseases. Some are bacterial and some are viral. Chlamydia,
gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis are all bacterial infections, which can be
cured with antibiotics. Herpes, HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), and HPV
(human papilloma virus) are all viruses. There is no cure for these, but
certain medications help control these STDs (Forman 174).
All STDs are spread through intercourse, but
there are other ways to pass them on. Rubbing, oral activity and just
touching in some cases can spread STDs (Forman 174). "STDs...are caught through
vaginal intercourse or through anal (rectal) or oral (mouth) sex" (Byers 7).
Blood contact is another way to pass a STD, though sexual body fluids are the
There are ways to protect against sexually
transmitted diseases. Condoms are a form of protection. One is putting his or
herself at risk when having sex without a condom (Health 1033). "There is no
such thing as safe sex, just safer sex" (STDs N.P.). When both partners have
sex only with each other in their lifetime, the risk of a STD is extremely slim.
The only way a person who has had no sexual contact with someone can have a
STD is if his or her parent was HIV positive or had the AIDs virus. This
would pass HIV to the child.
Different sexually transmitted diseases have
different symptoms. Some of them are similar, and some of them have no early
symptoms. "STDs can be painful, can affect your fertility without your even
knowing it, or can kill you" (Health 1034). Common health problems associated
with STDs are things such as genital warts, pelvic inflammation, and abnormal
discharge. "Nearly one third of teens think they’d be able to tell if they
had a STD without getting a test.... The majority of people with STDs show no
visible symptoms" (Forman 172).
Another major adolescent health problem is
eating disorders. "Eating disorders are conditions that develop because
people believe that their body image isn’t really what it should be" (Eating
N.P.). "Eating disorders... often affect teenage girls who want to achieve an
impossible degree of thinness. Some adolescents stop eating altogether,
literally starving themselves in the process of losing weight" (Health 1037).
Dieting is how many people try to lose weight,
but they only work five to ten percent of the time. More weight than before
is put on after quitting a diet (Baxter N.P.). Statistics also show a large
number of people, especially women, are suffering from an eating disorder.
"One in four or five women and one in 10 men struggle with an eating disorder
at some time in their life" (Baxter N.P.).
When one thinks of eating disorders, they
commonly think of women, but men also struggle with these disorders. "Ten
years ago, men accounted for only 10% of eating disorder cases, but recent
studies show that 16% of patients are men, and that figure appears to be
rising" (Cohn N.P.). Men struggle to have the "perfect figure" as well as
women do, but women make up the majority of
those with eating disorders. About ninety percent of anorexics are women and
about four and one half percent to eighteen percent have bulimia (Health
Men and women both struggle to have the perfect
idolized body. Men want to gain weight to build muscle for the nice arms and
chest, but they tend to lose the weight instead. Women want to lose weight for
that model figure, but gain it easily. One’s body becomes unhealthy and looks
bad. People with eating disorders tend to have low self-esteem (Cohn N.P.).
They try to exercise often. Women lose their periods. All of this starts
because one sees his or her body as fat, even though it may be extremely thin
Many things cause eating disorders. It may be
hereditary. People who are anorexic or bulimic feel secure knowing they can
completely control their weight (Baxter N.P.). "People with eating disorders
are obsessed with food and, in one way or another, abuse it" (Nardo 11).
"People...feel out of control around food or feel that food rules their life"
(Health 1037). They like to know they can control something when others
cannot. This causes weight loss, trouble sleeping, trouble with
relationships, and bad mood swings (Eating N.P.).
There are a few different types of eating
disorders, each with their own habits and health problems. Anorexia, bulimia,
and overeating are the most common eating disorders. Anorexics lose a lot of
weight by avoiding food. It causes serious health problems, which can cause
death. Bulimics binge, which is eating large amounts of food at one time, and
then they purge, which is getting rid of food. Their weight will go up and
down, which causes heart problems. Overeaters are those who cannot control
their desire to eat (Baxter N.P.).
On the average, teenagers are usually healthy, but checkups should be made
every year to check physical and mental health, to allow questioning, and to
discuss safety, family and peer conflicts, school, teenage pregnancy,
alcohol, drug abuse, nutrition, and STDs (Health 1022). Preventing any
illness possible is one step closer to a very healthy life.
adolescent can be a stressful or dangerous time in one’s life. There are
several choices to be made and several issues to be faced. The largest amount
of change, typically involving health issues, occurring in a young person’s
life is adolescence.