Growing up is hard and often confusing. Your body is changing. Perhaps these changes are happening faster or slower for you than they are in your friends and peers. These physical changes might concern you.
During puberty, changes in your body and brain also can make feelings more intense. Even if you haven’t experienced strong emotions before, you can find yourself reacting to things differently now. Events can cause you to react strongly. For example, if you aren’t getting enough rest or are having problems at home, your feelings may be hard to control. You might argue, cry, freeze up, become silly or feel totally out of control. Usually these feelings settle down when you realize what’s going on.
It’s important for you to know that your emotions and concerns are normal. However, sometimes if you can’t shake a feeling or worry, you might need help in finding a balance.
Talking about personal matters with your family members or friends can be difficult. Remember, you can always ask your parents to schedule a visit to speak with your pediatrician. You don’t need to be sick or hurt to see your pediatrician.
Your pediatrician can answer questions about everything from physical changes and fitness to peer pressure and family conflicts. Hopefully the answers you get will help you make the right decisions for you and your health.
When you come in for your preteen or teen visit, your pediatrician will probably first talk with you and your parent together. Then, you spend some time alone with your pediatrician. This is important because it will help you learn how to take control of your own health.
Most things you talk about with your pediatrician are confidential, meaning that the information you share will stay between you and your pediatrician. There are only a few extreme situations when your pediatrician will need to involve your parents. For example, if your or someone else’s life is in danger, your pediatrician is obligated by law to get additional help.
Remember: Your pediatrician is here to help.
Written by: Elizabeth Joy Ancheta, MD
Reviewed by: Nancy Brown, PhD
Last reviewed: August 2019