HealthDoctor Karen

My teen boy has fallen in with the wrong crowd

Doctor KarenBy Dr. Karen Palmer
Teen son has started hanging out with a bad crowd - is he depressed?
Teen son has started hanging out with a bad crowd - is he depressed?

Dear Karen

I think my boy (13) has fallen in with the wrong crowd. I caught him drinking and his behaviour is bad. I’m afraid he is depressed. Does he need help?

KAREN SAYS: This age group is challenging. There is a lot of pressure on teens today with social media etc, at a time when they are unsure of themselves.

Talk to him. Ask him about the alcohol. Is he coping with his school work? Has he other interests (sport, music) and has his performance fallen off in any of these areas? Is he sleeping? Do you find him irritable or tearful? Has he expressed any ideas of self harm or suicidal ideas?

If you feel he’s depressed he needs professional help. Otherwise, this may be a situation you can sort out. Understand what his issues are and address them.


Dear Karen

I’m 47 and I want to get pregnant. Do I need to be referred to a fertility unit?

KAREN SAYS: Unfortunately, time is not on your side. Natural fertility is waning, if not already gone at this age. You can get basic fertility bloods done pre and post ovulation with your GP. You can also get a blood test taken (anti-mullerian hormone) which will assess your ovarian reserve. This can be organised via a private lab.

If you went to the trouble to write this letter, you are clearly very keen. I would suggest getting a referral to your local fertility clinic where they can discuss possible treatment options with you. But I think it is only fair to say that it might be a longshot at this stage.