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Puberty talk with the Doc Part 1 – Sex Education

Dr. Ankesh Sahetya, Gynecologist, emphasizes on the importance of sex education as he takes you through the puzzling lanes of puberty…

Puberty can be a lot like watching a horror movie. It is exciting, adventurous and yet there is that constant feeling of “Tread with caution” lurking around. If you are a teenager who is just beginning their walk down the puberty lane, you certainly have a lot of questions bothering you and lot of discoveries to make.

Dr. Ankesh Sahetya is here to help you through these discoveries...

On the importance of Sex Education

All teenagers need sex education. You need to know from the right source about what is happening to your body, why and how your bodies are changing. You teens need to be aware of your body and its changes so you can take the necessary care and responsibility for your actions. I think once you are 13, you need to talk to a trusted adult about any question you might have. You can educate yourself by asking questions to reliable sources like parents and experts.

I was working at a Municipal Hospital in Bandra and I had a case where this mother came with her 15 year old daughter because she had irregular periods.

Whenever a girl doesn’t get her period for over a month and half, we as professionals have to ask if she is sexually active to confirm any chances of pregnancy. Now in India it is not easy for a girl of 15 to come with her mother to a doctor and open up about her sex life.       

So I followed the protocol and asked if I could talk to the girl alone for 5 minutes with me and a female nurse sitting beside her. I ask the girl if she has a partner. She says; “no I don’t have a boyfriend and I am not sexually active either.” So I ask her if there are any chances of her being pregnant. She shrugged off any chances of pregnancy. So I concluded that it must be a hormonal imbalance, wrote her a prescription, asked for a blood test and the usual practice.

It was while leaving the cabin that the child tells me, “Doctor I want to tell you something. Nurse can you go outside for a minute.” So I say sure! She then opens up, “Doctor what you just explained to me about sex and the physical relationships, I have not had a physical relationship but when I was 6 years old, an uncle from my building had done that to me in the garage.” So the man had raped her. I asked if her mother knew. She said, no she was too scared to tell anyone then but now that she knows better, she has realized that she was raped. She was 6 then, now she is 15. So I made note of it in my personal notes, gave her a Sonography test to confirm she is not pregnant and did the needful. But an innocent child had already suffered because of ignorance.

It is extremely important that kids know about good and bad touch. You need to know the difference between affection and bad touch.  

If you are dealing with a similar issue or have a query, do write to us at expert@teentalkindia.com

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Peers to the rescue

Shamin Mehrotra from Ummeed talks about the power of peer support in coping with mental health issues among teenagers
Nishtha JunejaTeentalkindia Content Writer

A lot of teenagers struggle with their emotional well-being. They are not necessarily diagnosed with mental health issues such as depression or anxiety, but need some sort of help. In such a situation, peer support really works well.

One of the kids I worked with wanted to get into a specific design school. She was struggling with anxiety. Then I met a colleague in Pune and her daughter had got into this same design school. Even she went through spells of anxiety. I got the both of them in touch. They hit it off together so well. Her experiences helped my client in more ways than one.  

I’ve been with Ummeed, which is a counseling centre for kids aged 0-18, for 14 years. One of the things that we do is building a community where we encourage people to talk to each other and share their experiences. When other teens share their experience of being depressed or bullied with other teens, it is very empowering.

But how do you know if a teenager needs professional help?

There is a difference between experiencing something and then it becoming a diagnosable condition. For instance if someone dies in your family, you are going to feel sad. If that persists for say one year and you’re unable to socialize with people, then that is a diagnosable condition. Before an exam, you might feel anxious, but if you’re so anxious that you’re not able to get out of your house because of that, then it can be a problem.

Simply put, if the anxiety comes in the way of your daily functioning, then it becomes a problem.

Therapy in our country is considered stigmatized. But that is necessary. We use narrative therapy where we ask questions. We are facilitators. We ask questions to teenagers facing several issues and figuring out a solution for them. Therapy is about give and take. It takes a significant amount of time for me to trust you, for you to trust me, to feel comfortable.

How Teentalk will be helpful for teenagers

The website is a starting point to recognize teenagers who want to reach out. The fact that yellow pages have contact details of therapists will give teenagers resources to reach out for professional help.

If you have a story to share,Click Here

If you have a query,Click Here.

You can also chat with the counsellor by clicking on Teentalk Expert Chat.


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