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Growth and Development, Ages 15 to 18 Years - When to Call a Doctor

Talk to your teen's doctor if you are concerned about your teen's health or other issues. For example, you may have concerns about your teen:

  • Having a significant delay in physical or sexual development, such as if sexual development has not begun by age 15.
  • Becoming sexually active. Teens who are sexually active need to be educated about birth control and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
  • Being overweight or underweight.
  • Having severe acne.
  • Having problems with attention or learning.

Call the doctor or a mental health professional if your teen develops behavioral problems or signs of mental health problems. These may include:

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  • Expressing a lack of self-worth or talking about suicide.
  • Acting physically aggressive.
  • Regularly experiencing severe mood swings, such as being happy and excited one minute and sad and depressed the next.
  • A significant change in appetite, weight, or eating behaviors. These may signal an eating disorder.
  • Dropping out of school or failing classes.
  • Having serious relationship problems with friends and family that affect home or school life.
  • Showing a lack of interest in normal activities and withdrawing from other people.
  • Seeking or having sex with multiple partners.

For more information, see the topics Depression in Children and Teens, Anorexia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, Sexually Transmitted Infections, and/or Teen Alcohol and Drug Abuse.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 03, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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