As a parent of a teenager, you face the challenge of playing an active role in your teen's life without acting as though you're meddling. In many cases, your teen may not feel comfortable talking to you, but would feel up for talking to a medical professional. Given that you're probably in charge of booking medical appointments for your teen, you can book him or her to visit the family doctor if you notice anything that concerns you. These appointments are different than the annual physicals — instead, you can share what you're concerned about with the clinic when you make the appointment, and the doctor will gently discuss the topic with your teen. If you suspect these things, you'll want to set this appointment.
Many teenagers struggle with some degree of depression, and while you might be tempted to suggest that your teen should get over these feelings because his or her problems aren't yet "real world" problems, it's more supportive to arrange help. Your teenager might not wish to discuss depression with you — in some cases, issues with parents may contribute to this feeling. The teen may, however, be up for talking about what is bothering him or her with the family doctor, who will be able to assess the degree of depression, provide some suggestions for dealing with it, and write a prescription if necessary.
Unfortunately, teens of both genders can experience some degree of an eating disorder. A teen who is unhappy with his or her weight may be considered an anorexic, while someone who is struggling with other issues may binge eat to temporarily feel better. Eating disorders pose a serious risk to your teenager's health, so this isn't an issue that you should ignore. The family doctor is a good starting point for talking about this topic, and may also wish to refer your teen to a specialist.
Few parents like to think about their teen engaging in sexual activity, but this is a reality for many teens. This might not be a topic that you or your teen wish to discuss together, but it definitely needs to be talked about. This is an ideal time to involve your family doctor. He or she will be able to make sure that your teen knows about the steps taken for safe sex, as well as the emotional impact of sexual activity. Your teen will also learn about the importance of consent, and can feel relatively comfortable talking about this topic with the doctor because the doctor will keep the discussion confidential.
For more information, contact companies like Family Practice Diagnostic Center.