YCteen publishes true stories by teens, giving readers insight into the issues that matter most in young people's lives.
What's New
Email Newsletter icon
Write for Youth Communication: Video
Behind the Scenes: Teen writers describe what it's like to work at YCteen.
Follow us on:
Share Youth Communication Follow Represent on Facebook Follow Represent on YouTube Follow Represent on Twitter
Follow Represent on Facebook Follow Represent on YouTube Follow Represent on Twitter
Health (100 found)
Note: These stories are from YCteen and its sister publication, Represent, which is written by and for youth in foster care.
author
Detailed instructions how to properly use a male condom.
author
The author feels intense pressure, so she begins taking pills that help her study. The drugs change her into someone she doesn't recognize. (full text)
author
These teens knew their anger was destructive—and took the necessary steps to get it under control. (full text)
author
The writer gradually begins to feel suffocated by her best friend, who constantly calls and texts her. (full text)
author
Studies that show how later school start times help teens have sparked a national debate, as well as a debate inside the YCteen newsroom. (full text)
poetry
A study released in January found teen birthrates fell by almost 6% as a result of watching 16 and Pregnant. Vanessa Lora reviews the show from a teen’s point-of view to see why it has such a profound effect. (full text)
poetry
Lucas thinks kids of his generation don’t take sex as seriously as they should and that they are mostly having casual sex. When his editor challenges him to find out if his assumptions are true, he does some research—and is shocked by what he finds out. (full text)
author
Julijana, who suffers from juvenile arthritis, uses writing to work through her pain. (full text)
author
To keep up at her competitive high school, the author starts abusing Adderall. When she realizes she’s addicted, she struggles to find new ways to manage her stress. (full text)
author
Rumonat takes on too much and gets burned out, until she learns to say no. (full text)
poetry
Elisabet thinks an ad campaign to combat teen pregnancy perpetuates negative stereotypes. (full text)
author
Peter’s friends tease him for being short and slightly pudgy. He wants to let them know that their words hurt, but worries that speaking up will drive them away. (full text)
author
Because her older sister is mentally ill, the author feels a lot of pressure from her family to support her sister but she knows at some point she should be able to focus on herself. (full text)
author
YCteen staff interview therapist Russell Sanders about coping with a mentally ill family member. (full text)
author
After the Sandy Hook school shooting, the author worries whether her own brother might be capable of a similarly violent rampage, and advocates for better treatment for mental illness. (full text)
author
New laws make it harder for mentally ill people to get access to guns--but the system needs to help people before they become a threat. (full text)
poetry
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection, but few teens know its risks—including its link to certain cancers. (full text)
author
Juana reports on the growing obesity epidemic among young people, and wonders who is responsible for reversing the trend. (full text)
author
The author believes she experienced a healing miracle and vows to no longer take life for granted. (full text)
author
Isaura is frustrated that her mom doesn’t take better care of herself to prevent her diabetes from getting worse. (full text)
author
Quaneyah gives tips on eating healthy. (full text)
author
Marci tries to be supportive when Deborah is hospitalized for anorexia, but gets the cold shoulder. As their friendship falters, Marci attempts once more to repair the friendship, this time with better results. (full text)
author
Jhanae wants to be the skinniest girl on the track team, but the results of her extreme diet are more dramatic—and embarrassing—than she expects. (full text)
author
Luis attempts to diet, but his mom's dismissive attitude and delicious cooking make it difficult. Eventually, he finds the support he needs to get healthy. (full text)
author
Playing the piano is an escape from the pressure Linda puts on herself to be a perfect student. When her self-criticism affects her music, she realizes she needs to ease up. (full text)
author
Destiny Smith conducts a Q&A with psychologist Sandra Pimentel about the different types of anxiety and ways teens can cope. (full text)
author
The writer is terrified when she experiences her first panic attack. She initially tries to hide the symptoms, but eventually seeks help. (full text)
author
As a child, Edward was afraid of everything. It wasn't until one of his fears came true that he was able to start working through his anxieties. (full text)
author
YCteen writers confess their phobias, both terrifying and hilarious. (full text)
author
Hidden hazards in your home could trigger an asthma attack. Find out how to clean up indoor air. (full text)
author
Chemicals in your shampoo, lotion, deodorant, and even hand sanitizer could be doing more harm than good. (full text)
author
Teens Turning Green, an environmental organization, warns shoppers not to buy products with certain chemical ingredients. (full text)
author
Check out our guide to better understand some of the technical language in this issue. (full text)
poetry
To prevent unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, New York City distributes free condoms, including in many high schools. This article debunks the urban legend that the condoms are less reliable than those bought in stores. (full text)
author
Shameeka interviews a psychologist about how teens can deal with loss. (full text)
author
Dr. Alexandra Barzvi, a psychologist at the New York University Child Study Center, explains how depression affects teens and how it can be treated. (full text)
author
The author finds cutting helps her deal with a painful relationship with her father. Therapy, writing, music, and talking to others help her stop. (full text)
author
The writer interviews two mental health experts on how to help a friend who is depressed. (full text)
author
Like many people, Troy feels a little depressed and disoriented during the winter months. It's called Seasonal Affective Disorder, and he explains its symptoms and ways to deal with it. (full text)
author
Barry is surprised by how hard his dad must work in the U.S. to support their extended family in West Africa. He develops anxieties about living up to expectations. (full text)
author
Two HIV-positive youth describe what it’s like to live with the virus. (full text)
author
The writer feels ignored and abandoned by her mother, which leads her to cut. The support of others helps her stop. (full text)
author
Carmen loves fast food—until she reads Chew On This, a book about the dark side of the industry. (full text)
author
Megan has always been an obsessive thinker and worrier, but when her anxiety threatens her friendships, she consults a psychologist and begins to understand her anxieties. (full text)
author
Antwaun becomes dependent on drinking and smoking weed to deal with painful emotions, but gradually finds ways to deal with life without being high. (full text)
author
The writer lives in a poor neighborhood where junk food predominates. (full text)
author
A therapist explains how anger from your past can affect your future. (full text)
author
Confined to a wheelchair by a genetic disease, Tania faces many challenges but emerges stronger in spirit. (full text)
author
When Antwaun balloons up to 291 pounds, he knows it’s time to change his ways. (full text)
author
The author interviews a social worker about the symptoms, causes, and treatment of mental illness. (full text)
author
Jennifer interviews a social worker for tips on how to deal with stress. Her advice includes healthy eating, avoiding drama, and talking it out. (full text)
author
Miguel describes the programs that have tried to help him manage his emotions, and explains what works and what doesn’t. (full text)
author
Edwin smokes his first cigarette at 12 and becomes addicted. Now he can’t go a day without smoking. (full text)
author
The writer starts keeping a journal in the 9th grade to deal with family problems. By writing and re-reading her diary, she gains a better understanding of herself and how to handle her emotional problems. (full text)
author
Niya accepts a friend’s offer to try yoga for relaxation. She is skeptical at first but finds that yoga does relieve her stress and anxiety. (full text)
author
Alina suffers through a terrible depression, but she’s determined to fight back. A counselor and her family help her feel less alone. (full text)
author
The writer lives in a violent home and has to physically break up fights between her parents. She compensates by becoming the perfect kid, but her empty feelings lead to hallucinations and she starts seeing a counselor. (full text)
author
Christina cuts to relieve her depression, but she feels guilty afterward and wants to stop. Eventually, she finds she can feel OK without hurting herself. (full text)
author
Priscilla remembers her father as an "awesome guy." They went to ball games, made model airplanes, and cooked together. That's why she misses him so much. He couldn't kick the cigarette habit and died of lung cancer when she was 9. (full text)
author
Four relatives who live with Trenee are smokers, and she's sick and tired of smelling like an ashtray whenever she leaves the house. Her father continually warns Trenee never to smoke, but he's got nothing to worry about. (full text)
author
The writer starts throwing up her food to lose weight, but stops when a friend is hospitalized for bulimia. (full text)
author
It's a month before Allison's big bash, and her skin has suddenly erupted in itchy red spots that won't go away.
author
Diagnosed with arthritis, Chantel keeps a brave front but struggles inwardly to accept her condition. Eventually, looking beyond herself transforms her attitude.
author
Can money buy happiness? And how much control do we really have over our happiness, anyway? Jhanae explains psychologists' answers to these vexing questions.
author
After her beloved Aunt Euphita is seriously injured in a car accident, Annmarie helps support her through a painful recovery. Along the way, she develops a new appreciation for family.

author
Elsa and her friends take a junk-food vacation with no adult supervision.
author
Horrified by how animals are treated after watching a video on slaughterhouse practices, Suzy tries to become a vegetarian.
author
A look at the difference between highly processed food and healthy alternatives.
author
A former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, explains that most packaged and restaurant food contains sugar, fat, and salt to get us hooked.
author
Six teens keep food diaries and are surprised at what they learn. A nutritionist evaluates the diaries and suggest ways to eat healthier.
author
Viveca has asthma and fears an attack. She isolates herself from peers, until she realizes she’s making her situation worse.
author
Donald is self-conscious about being tongue-tied. But when he has an operation to correct the condition, his life isn’t drastically changed.
author
Gamal interviews an expert on stuttering to find out what causes it and whether it can be cured.
author
Gamal, 20, has stuttered since he was 5. He learns some techniques for overcoming his stutter, but has a hard time sticking to them.
author
Natalie interviews an asthma expert about the causes of the disease and what can be done about it.
author
Carmen interviews Eric Schlosser, author of Chew on This.
author
A program at a youth organization teaches teens about health and nutrition, alternatives to junk food and fast food, and helps them master basic cooking techniques.
author
Megan interviews a doctor about the effects of obesity among teens.
author
A psychologist explains anorexia and bulimia.
author
Striving to look like the skinny girls in her school, the writer embarks on dangerous periods of restricting her food.
author
Zaineb explains the basics about the virus and how to treat it.
author
Common myths and facts about HIV and AIDS.
author
Adam takes a look at why so many young people are still getting infected with HIV.
author
Evelyn hates cigarette smoke, and can't get her father and boyfriend to quit.
author
When the writer’s father is diagnosed as HIV-positive, she is in shock: how could it happen to someone in the family?
author
Shavone takes up strenuous physical exercise to lose weight and be accepted by her peers.
author
The writer describes his struggles with eating disorders.
author
Rubie describes how she felt many confusing emotions when her grandfather died. She interviews a grief counselor, who explains that anger and guilt are a normal part of grieving and need to be expressed.
author
After contracting chlamydia for the second time, the writer resolves to start protecting herself.
author
Mimi interviews males and females, ages 14-22, to find out their excuses for not using condoms (and counters them with the cold, hard facts).
author
With his fourth therapist, Norman finally finds someone he can open up to.
author
A social worker talks about how cutting helps to relieve intense feelings of frustration and shame.
author
She's a little nervous at first, but a tour of Planned Parenthood eases her anxieties, and Madeleine is glad she has her first GYN exam. She learns a lot about her body and how to keep it healthy.
author
The writer describes a long, strange night on LSD.
author
The writer decides to get an HIV test after learning that the virus can be transmitted through oral sex and that you may not know you have it.
author
When Nicolle’s mother suffers a stroke, Nicolle is gripped by the fear of losing her.
author
Yamina, 16, sneaks her first cigarette when she's 12 and within two years is up to three packs a day. Cigarettes keep her sane and calm, but she can't catch her breath during volleyball and is broke from the expense, so she cuts down to half a pack and hopes to quit for good.
author
A friend introduces the writer to cocaine. Within two months she’s doing drugs several times a day. A year after quitting she’s still suffering the consequences.
author
Two mental health professionals give advice on what teens can do to help someone who is suicidal.
author
The writer's uncle is a married bisexual who contracts HIV, but no one in the family talks about his sexuality or his illness until after he dies from AIDS.

For Teens
Visit Our Online Store