January 5, 2004
Happy New Year.
Self help books have been
big sellers for years. Now it seems that more and more are being
marketed to teens. Dr. Phil wrote a book, and his son wrote a similar
one for teens. Another son wrote: "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective
Teens", based on his father's "The 7 Habits of Highly
Effective People", but that is only the beginning...
Search for "self help"
books at amazon.com, and you will get 49,433 results.
Search for "'self
help' and teen" books, and you will get 7,827 results.
Help yourself. Take responsibility
for your life. That is the trend.
"Along with your physical
changes, you are also becoming more independent. You are starting
to make more choices about your life. You are relying less on your
parents and more on yourself and your friends when making decisions.
Some of the biggest choices that you face are those about your health....Now
is the time to take charge of your health by eating better and being
more physically active. Even small changes will help you look and
feel your best!"
You've decided that you
want to start the year off right. You want to make some changes
and improve your life. You want to take responsibility. Where do
you start? If you are looking to books or websites for help, does
it still count as self help?
Realizing that you can't
do it all on your own is part of helping yourself, but before you
look for guidance, be sure that you are looking to a trustworthy
Whether you are looking
for: "Five Ways to Heal a Broken Heart"
"If you feel like your heart
has broken, you're not alone...."
Or you could "really
use some advice on how to de-stress both your body and your mind?
Knowing how to deal can be half the battle!"
Have a temper?
way to deal with your anger (one that works great with parents in
particular) is the cool down approach. Here it is in four easy steps..."
While the sites listed
above are trustworthy and reputable, they may not be just right
for you. "Four easy steps" may work for someone else,
but it may take you eight difficult steps to make the same progress.
If you are dealing with a major problem that is seriously affecting
your life to the point where you know you need help, three pages
of online information can only be a start...
We often think of self
help as getting our behaviors and attitudes on the right track,
but what about medical information? With more and more medical information
available online, can you get what you need without ever visiting
a doctor? You can even "Search by Symptom" to see what
you might have...
The familiydoctor.org website,
is also one that you can depend on for reputable information. One
indicator that a site is reputable is that if your symptoms match
those that might be cause for concern, it will tell you to see your
To help yourself, it helps
to know what you're talking about.
"Learning to Help Yourself
You may be able to tackle many school problems on your own....With
some problems, you may need to ask for help."
Part of taking responsibility
for your life, and for improving your life, is realizing that you
might not know how to do everything yourself. That is where some
assistance from self help books and websites can be useful, but
before you start to follow someone else, make sure that they know
more than you do, and they are worth trusting. Also, know that you
don't have to do it all alone.
Questions of the Week:
When can self help books and online information be a good resource?
How do you determine which sources to trust, and which sources are
untrustworthy? How do you know which resources are right for you?
How do you decide when to seek help from other people, not just
books or websites? How do you decide when you need to consult a
doctor or other professional specialist?
Please email me with any ideas or suggestions.
Note: Due to increasing amounts of SPAM sent to this account, please include "QOW" in the subject line when sending me email.
I look forward to reading
what you have to say.
Health Community Coordinator
Access Excellence @ the National Health Museum