Children can be really mean to each other, but teenagers can be even worse. Adolescent bodies and brains are changing so quickly, it’s almost impossible to keep up with what’s going on. And the pressure to fit in is so strong. Whether it’s a learning disorder that means you need special accommodations (and everyone knows about it); not having enough money to buy all the “right” clothes and accessories; or having PCOS, it all makes life more difficult.
I mean, PCOS is the worst! There’s so much about it that makes you different and is grounds for teasing:
- Carrying extra weight…because of PCOS;
- Taking medication and going to the doctor when nobody else is…because of PCOS;
- Having to miss out on pizza, soda and birthday cake…because of PCOS;
- Acne…because of PCOS;
- Facial hair – a girl’s worst nightmare…because of PCOS; and…
How do you psych yourself up to deal with all of this?
- Start by checking out my “Just for Teens” page on pcoswellness.com – there’s information just for you and your parents on what it means to be living with PCOS.
- Prepare a list of everything awesome about you, and keep it on you at all times. It could be handwritten, or in the notes section on your phone. Look at it whenever you start to feel down. Nothing is too small or silly – how well you take care of your dog, how you really are kind of a math genius, the way you can knock out three dozen cupcakes for a bake sale in under an hour – whatever makes you smile or feel good about yourself when you think about it.
- Before you go back to school this fall, create a vision board – a big poster board full of images of what you want your life to look like this school year. Cut them out of old magazines and collage them. Use words and pictures. Give it a title that means something to you. Take a picture of it so you can keep it with you always. When things feel tough, it will help you refocus on the positive when you look at it.
- Choose your friends wisely. People who tease you, call you names, or focus on things that you can’t control (like your height or your family) are not friends; they’re mean people, and you’re better than that. You deserve to hang out with people who are real friends – the kind who pick you up when you’re down, offer support and advice with love, and care about you for the right reasons.
- Remember that everyone has a hard day sometimes, but it will change pretty quickly.
- Peer pressure is real. Don’t let peer pressure make you do things you don’t want to do. Clarify your personal values, and make sure that your decisions are aligned with YOUR values, not someone else’s. This will make decision-making so much easier in the moment. And the hard choices won’t feel so difficult.
- If you feel like you’re actually being bullied, don’t hesitate to tell your parents, your teachers, or other school officials.
- Don’t spend all your time focused on PCOS stuff. PCOS is a lifetime thing, and you should definitely aim to be eating healthier, getting good sleep, etc. But you don’t have to do everything all at once.
- Be flexible. Change your goals, visions, and dreams to fit what’s really going on in your life – not what you wish it would be like.
- Speaking of sleep, prioritize it. Ideally, nine hours a night. This will leave you feeling so much stronger mentally, it is unbelievable! Plus, it feels good.
- If you’re feeling overwhelmed or deeply depressed, ask for help. Put these numbers in your phone right now:
Suicide Prevention Toll-Free Hotline: (800) 273-8255
Suicide Prevention Toll-Free Textline: text TALK to 741-741
Trained volunteers staff these hotlines 24/7, 365 days a year. They will not shame you for your feelings. They will help you figure out how to get through a rough patch.
- Talk to your parents regularly. Their job is to protect you and help you grow up to be as healthy and happy as possible. If they don’t know what you’re experiencing, they won’t know how to help. They’re the ones who need to get you to the doctor or a therapist when things aren’t going well.
- Be nice to yourself. When you are kind and gentle to yourself, you will naturally behave with others in ways that are kind and gentle. This will improve your relationships and all of your interactions.
When all else fails, remember that being a teen is only a temporary condition!