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Health Information For Teens
After hearing news of school shootings or other violence, it’s natural for students — no matter how old they are or where they go to school — to worry about whether this type of incident may someday happen to them or their friends.
When a tragedy like this happens, it’s normal to feel sad and anxious, and to want to make sense of the situation.
School violence isn’t easy to understand. There is no single reason why students become violent. Some are just following behavior they’ve seen at home, on the streets, or in video games, movies, or TV. Some are dealing with mental health problems, like depression. Sometimes, people who turn violent are victims of teasing and bullying who’ve hit a limit and feel like they would do anything to make it stop. They may feel isolated and rejected by their peers. These are only a couple of the reasons why a person may become violent.
There’s one thing experts do agree on, though: Having access to guns or other weapons makes it easier for some people to lash out against the things or people they don’t like.
Someone on the verge of violence may display warning signs. These can include:
If you start feeling unsafe at school, talk to a trusted adult. That person could be a teacher, parent, school counselor, or religious leader. It can be difficult to report violence — after all, we are taught not to tell on others.
But many schools have set up ways to report bullying or the possibility of violence anonymously. Maybe your school has (or could set up) an anonymous hotline for people to share concerns without worrying that they may be found telling on another student.
If you’ve witnessed or experienced violence of any kind, not talking about it can make feelings build up inside and cause problems such as depression, anxiety, and fear. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can develop in someone who has lived through a traumatic event, such as a serious car accident, physical or sexual abuse, or a shooting.
You don’t have to be hurt to have PTSD — for some people, simply watching a traumatic event or being threatened with great physical harm is enough to trigger it. That’s why it’s important to get help. School counselors can be a good place to start — they’re familiar with the issues in your school and can help you put things in perspective.
Bullying has everyone worried, not just the people on its receiving end. Learn about dealing with bullies, including tips on how to stand up for yourself or a friend.
Rape is forced, unwanted sexual intercourse. Rape is about power, not sex. Both men and women of any age can be raped. Find out what you can do and how to take care of yourself after a rape.
School counselors can give you all sorts of tips and support on solving problems and making good decisions. But how do you meet with a counselor and what is it like? Find out here.
If you suspect that someone is bringing a weapon to school or threatening someone else’s life, it requires immediate attention. This article offers some tips on getting help.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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