Being a Teen with Epilepsy

Navigating your child’s teen years can be a challenge. Some topics are simpler than others when it comes to offering advice. Dating, puberty, and driving can be major milestone events for your teenagers and no doubt they will have questions. Let’s discuss everything from your teenager’s fear of rejection to menstruation and its potential effect on seizure frequency.

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We Are Our Own Worst Critics

Our own worst critic

This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness week (#NEDAwareness), and this year’s theme is “Come as you are.” This theme sends a message to individuals at all stages of body acceptance and eating disorders recovery that their stories are valid. It also speaks to people with body image issues to “be you,” instead of “being the unattainable version of you that the eating disorder voice is urging.” In patients with eating disorders, these unattainable goals are often not limited to weight or looks; many also aim for flawlessness in grades, sports, and other activities. As many of my patients say, “I need to be perfect.” This blog is dedicated to them.

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More than “No means No” and “Yes means Yes”: A Deeper Look into Consent

Stop what you’re doing right now and go listen to Radio Lab’s recent 3 part series “In the No” (here’s the link to episode 1. Beware, strong language and some graphic detail about sex).  Not often does something leave me speechless. This did. I still am thinking about this weeks after hearing it for the first time. Some aspects made my skin crawl. Some aspects made me question everything I thought I knew about consent.

The year 2017 gave rise to a powerful new movement, the “#metoo” movement. Decades of sexual harassment, abuse, trauma and exploitation are being uncovered and a global reckoning has emerged.  It is a thrilling and important cultural revolution that we are witnessing—the discussions and consequences surrounding sexual harassment and abuse of power have been long overdue. In the midst of stories of sexual violence allegedly (as few have gone through judicial system other than the court of public opinion) perpetrated by high profile public figures (Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, and Kevin Spacey to name a few), there have also been a few stories profiled in popular media which blur the lines between sexual assault and poor communication regarding consent.

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Sexual Health for Girls who like Girls

Sexual Health for Girls who like Girls

“I don’t need to be tested for STDs, I only date other girls,” is a statement I hear at least once a week in clinic from an adolescent or young adult female.  There are lots of statistics, clinical practice guidelines, and overall medical attention surrounding health consequences of men who have sex with men, but what about these patients? Don’t the ladies deserve some attention?

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Healthy Relationships

One of the best parts of my job is when I get to speak to groups of teens about fun topics. Recently I talked with a group of 8th graders about healthy relationships.

What words come to mind when you think of healthy relationships?  Here’s my list:

  • Respect
  • Communication
  • Honesty and trust – feeling comfortable sharing your thoughts, dreams, etc. without worrying that your secrets will be shared with other people
  • Equality – no one has more power in the relationship than the other
  • Individuality – meaning you are able to maintain your own interests, friends, etc. without having to change them for your partner
  • Acceptance of partner’s boundaries
  • Safety – feeling fear in a relationship is never ok

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