Problems and Concerns in Puberty: How to Deal and Cope with It?
As we grow older and start our adolescence period, we encounter different problems or alteration regarding to our health. Those problems includes in physical, social, mental, emotional and even changes.
In adolescence period some are confused why they encounter such problems that cause them to become stressful especially during puberty. In dealing to health problems, adolescents must identify health concerns during puberty, analyze, myths, fallacies, and beliefs related to adolescent health concerns and apply self- management skills in dealing with some health concerns during puberty.
Health Problems in Physical Changes
Boys and girls experience problems in terms of changes to their physical aspect. It becomes uneven because the outer parts of the body such as the head, hands, and feet grow first. With regards to those changes, they may feel it awkward because they see their hands and feet seem too big for the rest of the body. Adolescents start with puberty changes. It is the stage where the sexual development occurs among adolescents.
Remember: this development is normal and happened among teenagers. Also, teenagers of the same age may differ and vary in height and size.
This problem involves the size and shape of adolescents of the same age. This problem make adolescents make conscious to themselves as they compare themselves to the others. For example, during the growth spurt, adolescents or teenagers begin to grow at a rapid rate. There are teenagers who grow taller than others; it makes them feel more conscious to their height. There are also teenagers who slouch because they are not used to their new height and slouch to their chairs as they study.
Girls who develop their breast also may feel conscious to them and also may slouch. If adolescents tend to do this always, they may develop poor posture. They may not maintain body alignment and may not develop and help the bones and muscles to continue to grow properly.
Physical changes between boys and girls
We go through the changes of puberty at our own rate. Adolescents did not change at the same time. They may experience it sooner or later than the others.
Remember, the growth pattern of girls differ from the growth pattern of boys. Girls are taller than boys at the age of 11 or 12, and then, as they grow, the boys speed up their height while slows down in girls. After a few years, boys become taller than girls.
This difference between girls and boys causes uncomfortable feelings. Especially boys, they may feel embarrassed when their voice “cracks” because of the growth of their larynx. However, this is only a part of growing up.
Take note: every teenagers experience this changes. And these changes are very normal, so there’s no need to worry, and feel uncomfortable about it. Moreover, this uncommon and awkward feeling will vanish and disappear as they adjust and cope with these changes.
Body odor is one of the exotic problems of individual among the teenagers. During adolescent period, sweat glands become more active. Especially when they joined or engaged in sports or physical activities, and that may cause them to perspire profusely. And by that, if they do not manage or present these problems, it will cause to unpleasant body odor.
How a sweat gland does cause a body odor? Sweat glands are numerous and very unrare under the arms. It contains bacteria, and that bacteria in under arms may cause an unpleasant odor. In order to prevent and manage this kind of problem, you must practice proper hygiene, take a bath or shower daily and use soap and water to remove bacteria and excess oil on the skin. Always apply deodorant or antiperspirant, and bring extra clothes to change when needed. And by that, you will prevent having a
This problem is very common to teenagers. This problem includes the dental caries or tooth decay, the halitosis or bad breath, and gingivitis or swelling of the gums.
Dental cairies and gingivitis can cause and lead to halitosis. This problem occurs by not brushing, poor tooth brushing skills and drinking carbonated drinks and eating sweet foods. Those practices and lead to dental plaque where the colonies of microorganisms take place. This dental plaque can be harden into “tartar” if not eventually removed so brushing and flossing everyday can remove all food particles between the teeth.
There are also some tips to prevent dental problems:
- Eat nutritious foods
- Limit eating of sweet and sticky foods
- Brush your teeth and floss to remove plaque or tartar
- Visit your dentist regularly.
Lack of sleep
Our body has a chance to sleep while we sleep. Some part of our body activities slow down while some remain active. Our pituitary gland releases grow hormones while we asleep our body cells grow and repair themselves rapidly. So, lack of sleep during adolescent years, might interfere the proper growth and development.
In order to manage this, teenagers must have nine to ten hours of sleep at night. Avoid staying and playing computer games or watching television late at night to avoid having in sufficient and negative on your growth and development.
Do you have suffered depression during your puberty period?
Health problems on social changes
During adolescent stage, we spend mostly our time to our friends. They become important to us. We seek or search people who will become our very good and loyal friend. We meet many people and form new relationships.
Problems with relationships
Teenagers cannot deny that their relationships with other people changes, and they change friend as they develop new interests. This change may result in breaking up with old friends. They create and form new relationships to the others. However, this is common and very natural to the teenager because they want to know where they actually belong.
Practicing and developing social and communication skills will tend to have healthy relationships with family, friends, classmates and other important people in your lives. And that is by having, effective communication skills.
This skill may apply to real event or situation in your life:
1. If you and another person disagree on something, give him a chance to speak and say what he want to say and also let him know and listen to your point. So, it will prevent having miscommunication.
2. If you are out with your friends, let your parents where you are and ask permission to them if you want to stay or sleep over in your friend’s house. That action will show that you are responsible enough and acting safely.
Health problems on mental problems
Teenagers change the way they think and perceive the world. They encounter complex problems more than they were children. Their thinking skills develop and understand other peoples’ point of view.
Mental health problems are caused by the following:
- Head injury
- Chemical imbalance
- Stress from feelings of not being accepted
- Being poor or different
- Death of love one
- Separation anxiety
Health problems on emotional changes
Within adolescent period, teenagers also change their emotions. And by those changes they encounter and experience some problems.
Mood swing/intense emotions
Have you ever feel, when you happy then feel sad the next? Some teenagers especially boys experience mood swings. They feel sad and lovely but there’s no problem and happy suddenly sad then cry. This mood swing might be misunderstood by friends or family. Remember, moodiness among girls may be due to changes in their estrogen level while among boys due to changes in their testosterone level. That hormones cause emotion to be very intense and swing rapidly.
You must accept that emotional changes are normal part of your growth and development. Having knowledge about their changes will help to better understanding what you are experiencing.
Some positive ways to cope with this problem:
- Arts and crafts
Health problems on sexual changes
Boys have differed sexual changes than girls. Boys experience “wet dreams” or nocturnal emission. This is involuntarily ejaculation of semen during sleep. It is very common teenage boys though this is quite embarrassing.
Girls experience the onset of menstruation. Having menstrual period causes them to be more conscious about their hygiene. There is no reason why about the old belief that it is bad to take a bath or wash the hair during menstruation period. There is no absolute reason with those beliefs. Actually, it’s nice to wash your hair or take a bath or shower. It relieve menstrual changes and premenstrual. Preferably, you must avoid cold water because it causes uterine contraction that could increase cramps.
Take note: talking to your parents, responsible adults or to expert is the best thing to do when you experience puberty at an early age.
Health problems during adolescence should be dealt with properly to prevent and avoid negative consequences. Teenagers should learn the coping skills/ self- management skills just to face these challenges positively. Coping skills are skills that help you to deal with sad, difficult and stressful situations/ experiences in your lives.
These coping skills are:
You can talk to your friend who can do something about it, who can give advice to you, who can sympathize with you and who can help you.
Positive problem- solving strategies
Treat the problem as a challenge, make action plan and solve the problem creatively.
- Avoid being with people
- Expect the worst thing
- Wish that the situation is over
- Exercise or eat
- Forget the whole thing
Positive Reframing Strategies
Self-talk – this is a way to change your negative to positive thoughts. Some self-talk statement that is useful to face some stressful problems.
A.When in a stressful situation
- I know I can do it.
- I have succeeded with this before
B.When facing challenge or problem
- I can do my best
- It’s okay to make mistakes, no one is perfect
- I will take it slowly—step by step
C.When you are in fear
- Relax! It will end
- Lord, help me!
- I will survive.
- I did it!
- Every day in every way I grow stronger and stronger
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