YCteen publishes true stories by teens, giving readers insight into the issues that matter most in young people's lives.
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Write for Youth Communication: Video
Behind the Scenes: Teen writers describe what it's like to work at YCteen.
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Health (69 found)
Note: These stories are from YCteen and its sister publication, Represent, which is written by and for youth in foster care.
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Detailed instructions how to properly use a male condom.
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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)
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When Samira is sent to a mental hospital she feels trapped, until a sympathetic social worker helps her open up. (full text)
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The writer recounts the steps she takes to manage her obsessive-compulsive disorder, an illness that causes you to have recurrent thoughts or impulses to do things over and over. (full text)
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After Perla is hit by a car and forced to spend a year in a wheelchair for a broken leg, she experiences life from the viewpoint of a disabled person. (full text)
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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)
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Kaela is very close with her Uncle Luke. When she finds out he has cancer, she does her best to help him through his illness and show her love. (full text)
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Shameeka interviews a psychologist about how teens can deal with loss. (full text)
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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)
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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)
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The writer interviews two mental health experts on how to help a friend who is depressed. (full text)
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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)
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Two HIV-positive youth describe what it’s like to live with the virus. (full text)
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The writer feels ignored and abandoned by her mother, which leads her to cut. The support of others helps her stop. (full text)
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Carmen loves fast food—until she reads Chew On This, a book about the dark side of the industry. (full text)
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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)
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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)
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The writer lives in a poor neighborhood where junk food predominates. (full text)
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Natasha asks a therapist to explain how anger from the past can affect your future. (full text)
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Confined to a wheelchair by a genetic disease, Tania faces many challenges but emerges stronger in spirit. (full text)
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When Antwaun balloons up to 291 pounds, he knows it’s time to change his ways. (full text)
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The author interviews a social worker about the symptoms, causes, and treatment of mental illness. (full text)
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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)
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Miguel describes the programs that have tried to help him manage his emotions, and explains what works and what doesn’t. (full text)
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Edwin smokes his first cigarette at 12 and becomes addicted. Now he can’t go a day without smoking. (full text)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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The writer starts throwing up her food to lose weight, but stops when a friend is hospitalized for bulimia. (full text)
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Chris is bullied relentlessly in middle school, which makes it impossible to learn. The school won't help him, so he finally transfers to a school that doesn't tolerate bullying. (full text)
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Erica ages out of care pregnant and has three more children. The foster care system provides her with services to help her parent better. (full text)
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An abused, traumatized person is much more likely to thrive with at least one close, trusting relationship. This issue looks at how those connections are made and how they help. (full text)
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Sharlene chooses to go into care when her mother is diagnosed with schizophrenia. She gets a good foster mom, but she acts out and has to move. (full text)
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J.G. introduces the issue on well-being, and how self-awareness leads you to take better care of your body, mind, and soul. (full text)
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A.C. goes into care and gets put on powerful psychotropic drugs. She is sad and lonely, but not, she tells her therapist, mentally ill. (full text)
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Dr. Fadi Haddad explains why and how he makes the decision to put psychiatric patients younger than 18 on psychotropic medication. (full text)
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Victor describes the methods he's used to control his anxiety and depression, including therapy, medication, exercise, and mindfulness. (full text)
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The author has trouble paying attention in school. She is put on various drugs, but educational and emotional supports end up helping her more. (full text)
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Jessica interviews Dr. Pamela Peeke, author of The Hunger Fix, about how certain foods can help your mood and thinking. (full text)
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The author gains weight and is bullied. She briefly tries throwing up her food, until she has a health scare and takes off the weight slowly with exercise and healthy diet. (full text)
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Yaselin is diagnosed with celiac disease. She educates herself -- and us -- about what people allergic to gluten can eat. (full text)
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Natasha interviews therapist Rebecca Weston about how to keep family trauma in your past from messing up your new relationships. (full text)
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After having suicidal thoughts and cutting herself, V.N. is committed to a psychiatric hospital, but she doesn't think she's crazy. Harming herself seems to help her escape the trauma of sexual abuse. (full text)
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Young adults who weren't taught as children how to handle difficult emotions are more likely to develop mental health issues as adults. (full text)
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Trauma is an experience so upsetting that the mind cannot make sense of it. By learning to tell the story of your trauma through therapy, you can begin to put it behind you. (full text)
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Therapy and trusting relationships with people can help teens manage stress and difficult emotions, and recover from childhood trauma. (full text)
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Cynthia experiences panic attacks and dissociation, a foggy state where her mind separates from her body. A therapist helps her realize that these are defenses against trauma from the past, which she can now begin to face. (full text)
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Dr. John DiLallo describes how psychotropic medications work, why they can be helpful, and also their limitations. (full text)
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A therapist explains why therapy is important, how it works, and why it can be better than talking to a friend or family member. (full text)
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Represent writers share tips on how to relieve stress, from meditation to writing to watching comedies. (full text)
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Otis is teased in school because he has cerebral palsy. He attempts suicide, then uses therapy to find better ways to communicate and express his anger. (full text)
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Desmin admits he's no angel in school, but feels his teachers unfairly single him out, waiting for him to do something wrong so they can pounce. He wants to succeed, but can't break the cycle of anger that has him in danger of being tossed out. (full text)
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As a child, Natasha escaped into an imaginary world to deal with pain. Now she wonders if the habit has outworn its usefulness. (full text)
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Aquellah works hard in therapy to release her inner child—the feelings and longings she was never allowed to express. (full text)
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Natasha interviews a therapist to explain how therapy works and why it’s important for kids who’ve suffered trauma. (full text)
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Maya has been in therapy for years, but has had a hard time finding a therapist she feels comfortable with. (full text)
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La’Quesha learns about a kind of therapy, CBT, that helps people change their behavior by changing how they think about it. (full text)
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Because of an abusive past, the writer dissociates from reality and cuts herself. Yet she has the tiniest bit of hope that all is not lost. (full text)
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To deal with her abusive past, Christine mentally dissociates and begins to cut herself. Letting out her feelings helps her stay present.
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A therapist explains why people cut themselves and how they may be able to stop. (full text)
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Charlene explores why foster youth are often resistant to therapy. (full text)
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Gloria enjoys therapy until she’s switched to a therapist she doesn’t like and is put on medication that makes her feel like a “lab animal.” (full text)
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A therapist describes the pros and cons of anti-depressant medication. (full text)
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A psychiatrist talks about the pros and cons of medication and therapy. (full text)
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When Samira is sent to a mental hospital she feels trapped, until a sympathetic social worker helps her open up. (full text)

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