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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, Exposure to Sexually Transmitted Infections, and/or Teen Alcohol and Drug Abuse.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 06, 2012
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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