Writes of Passage

Welcome to Writes of Passage, a blog written for adolescents, young adults, and the people who care about them. This blog is dedicated to safe transitions, surviving adolescence, and promoting health and happiness on the path to adulthood.

All About Erections

We’ve had several blogs about female sexual health issues, so here’s a blog dedicated to the dudes.

One of the most common male sexual health concerns I get from adolescent and young adult male patients is about erections. In early puberty, it is common for young males to have spontaneous erections and nocturnal emissions (“wet dreams”). My young teen patients often ask about this.  It’s totally normal and healthy. In order to have an erection, your brain/hormones, circulatory system (veins, arteries, etc), and parasympathetic nervous system have to work together.  As the teens get older, the concerns turn away from the embarrassment of the quantity of spontaneous erections and more towards the quality of erections.

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Preventing Lifelong Impacts of Stress

Stress is a normal and inevitable component of our lives. A little stress can be positive. It helps us prepare for things like a big exam or an upcoming interview. However, teenagers are under increasing amounts of negative stress today with issues such as gun violence at school and cyber bullying on the rise. The National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence indicated that 60 percent of children have been exposed to violence either directly or indirectly in the past year.

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Transgender Rights: The (bath)Room Where It Happens

Suffice it to say that bathrooms have recently leapt into the spotlight. The past several years have brought controversy to restrooms through a number of bills written to regulate who accesses bathrooms labeled for men or women. These bills have seemed to specifically target transgender people, often including legislation that requires that people use the bathroom that would align with the sex that they were assigned at birth. (If you’re not clear on terminology related to gender identity, like transgender or cisgender, check out our previous post with some introductory information.) It’s certainly not a new issue; as transwoman and transgender rights activist, Laverne Cox, stated, “Trans people have been going to the bathroom for a very long time.” To catch you up, we’ll start by going over a brief history of recent legislation and federal guidelines, then discuss some of the arguments raised in this debate.

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The Intersection Between Eating Disorders and Mental Health

It’s that time of year again: Feb 26- March 4, 2017 is National Eating Disorders Awareness week (#NEDAwareness). This year’s theme is: It’s time to talk about it! The goal is to increase the conversations about eating disorders to decrease their stigma. Previous eating disorders blogs I wrote have discussed prevalence, warning signs, focusing on healthy habits instead of weight, males with body image issues, and even a first-person account of living with an eating disorder. This year I’m going to focus on the intersection of eating disorders and other common mental health conditions.

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Shocking Increase in Overdoses

Terrifying (health) headline of the week: 52 overdose emergency calls in 32 hours in Louisville (and a whopping 151 overdoses in 4 days). What on earth is going on in Kentucky? Well, it’s not just the Bluegrass State that’s having issues. Use of heroin and other opioids (prescription painkillers, including hydrocodone, oxycodone, etc) has increased pretty much everywhere in the United States. Nationally, data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show the number of heroin-specific deaths rose 23% in 2015, and opioid deaths rose 16%.

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