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Eight major issues teenagers everywhere struggle with

Got a problem, any problem, you need a bit of help with? This week on The Surgery on Radio 1, we're throwing open the phone lines to any problem you want to discuss. Anything at all.

During the show's Wednesday night slot we've dealt with a lot of different issues that affect a lot of different people, but there are some issues that will probably affect us all, that we all need to deal with at some point in our lives.

Growing up can be tough but there is help out there - even if it's just knowing your friends (and millions of strangers) are going through the same thing you are.

We're sure you'll have struggled with at least one of these eight common dramas at one point in your life.

1. Heartbreak. That really sucks

Throughout life, friends and partners come and go. Some don't take much getting over while others will rip your heart out and leave you crying your eyes out.

Guys tend to hold it in, they tend to keep in the pain
The Script

Heartbreak is hard and everyone goes through it at some point, even A-list stars who some people might think have a perfect life.

"I tell you now, you can have the strongest man in the world - your Conor McGregors, your baddest man on the planet - and they all have dark moments," The Script told us when they visited Radio 1 as part of Live Lounge Month 2017.

"They all have the bravado but in their dark moments I'm sure they all wish they were able to express their feelings."

And they think things can be worse for men when it comes to dealing with the end of relationship.

"Guys tend to hold it in, they tend to keep in the pain, they tend to keep in all the emotion that they're feeling," they say.

2. Social media is all fun and games until it’s not

Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter are essential to our everyday lives but they can also be a major source of stress and for some, a place where bullying is at its worst.

If you ever feel that pressure just, I know it's hard, but don't look at your phone
Rita Ora

But one thing to remember if you're having a problem on a social network is that you can always switch it off and walk away (virtually speaking).

"We’re all connected so the pressure's really always intensified," Rita Ora told Radio 1 recently.

"I think if you ever feel that pressure just, I know it's hard, but don't look at your phone."

She says that if you need to make steps in your settings to make your life a little easier, then just do it.

"I know you have options now to take comments off and things like that, so I think if that is what's bothering you then take the comments off and post what you feel."

3. Starting a new school or college is peak stress for anyone

Whether starting a new school, sixth form or university, it's going to be a stressful experience. No one likes jumping into the unknown, no matter how many times you're told you're going to be just fine.

Don't worry if you don't feel like everything's sorted after the first few days
Dr Radha

Radio 1's Dr Radha says every new student needs to remember that they are not on their own and everyone else is in the same position they are.

"It takes time to settle in so don't worry if you don't feel like everything's sorted after the first few days," she says.

"Talk to someone like your teacher, parent, brother or sister if you have any worries about your new school - it helps to talk it through."

4. A lot of people talk about gender identity, but it can still be super confusing

LGBTQ+ rights, transgender visibility and the rise of pansexual and non-binary people has made gender and sexuality a much more common thing for people to talk about.

I want to encourage conversation around a topic that’s difficult to tackle
Olly Alexander

But just because you hear about it more, doesn't mean it's any easier to understand when it is troubling you.

Ally Alexander from Years & Years is one of pop music's most outspoken advocates of LGBTQ+ rights, and he made a documentary for BBC 3 earlier in 2017 to bring some of the issues teens go through into the spotlight.

"I want to encourage conversation around a topic that’s difficult to tackle," he told NME when he launched the documentary.

"As queer people, we’re used to the narrative that you’re in the dark in the closet, then you come out – which can be a traumatic process," he added.

"Once that’s over, there’s a pressure to prove to everybody how happy and successful you can be and that you aren’t scarred and damaged.

"No one’s saying being gay gives you mental health issues – it’s growing up in a world that makes you feel like you’re wrong."

5. And you'd think getting a good night's sleep would be easy enough

Sleep isn't just quite a nice thing to do at the end of the day, it's incredibly important for our physical and mental health. So when it goes wrong, it can be a nightmare (quite literally) - just ask Lady Gaga, Demi Lovato and Justin Bieber, all of whom have admitted to suffering from insomnia.

Sleep is absolutely vital for our physical and mental wellbeing
Dr Radha

"There are lots of reasons why we sometimes find sleeping difficult that range from having an irregular bed time routine to low mood or anxiety," says Radio 1's Dr Radha.

"Sleep is absolutely vital for our physical and mental wellbeing - it's a time when our bodies and brains rest and maintain themselves.

"Worry, stress and anxiety can cause poor sleep. So try to get your worries out of your head by writing them down, talking to someone well before bedtime and doing something relaxing in the evening so you help your mind settle."

6. You can guarantee you'll get spots at the worst possible moment

There is nothing worse than having something go wrong on your actual face. Whether it's acne, a rash or any other blemishes, it's always a massive NO.

I had bad skin when I was younger and that was always my insecurity
Miley Cyrus

But even the most beautiful and famous people in the world have woken up with a huge spot on their nose or a big red mark across their cheeks.

Kim Kardashian has admitted to struggling with psoriasis, Emma Stone says the pressures of Hollywood brought on stress-related acne, while Lorde shared her acne trauma with her followers on Instagram.

And it can have a big impact on confidence as well.

"I had kind of bad skin when I was younger and that was always my insecurity," Miley Cyrus told Elle magazine in 2014.

"I went through a time where I was really depressed.

"I locked myself in my room and my dad had to break my door down."

She advises fans to leave it to the professionals and not to 'mess up your face' by popping spots yourself.

7. Thinking you look rubbish is totally normal

If you've never looked in the mirror and thought badly about what you've seen - WHAT'S THE SECRET?

It’s always going to be a battle in my head
Sam Smith

For most people, finding flaws in your own appearance is a common problem, for people including Sam Smith, who has lost a huge amount of weight since the release of his debut album.

"I still feel pressured to look a certain way,” he told the NME in 2015. “For women, the pressure in this industry is horrendous and it’s got to stop. But it’s the same for guys, even though they won’t speak about it."

But even after making major changes, he admits he is still not happy with his own appearance.

"Just because I’ve lost weight doesn’t mean that I’m happy and content with my body

"It’s always going to be a battle in my head.”

8. Sex scares everyone at one point

As long as you keep sex safe, it's fun for everyone involved.

Many stars, such as Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake and more have spoken openly about the importance of safe sex.

Harry Styles has as well, revealing how he was once worried he could be on a fast-track to fatherhood.

"The first time I had sex I was scared I got the girl pregnant. That was despite the fact we were safe," he told OK magazine in 2012.

"Luckily we were fine... I would never risk not wearing a condom; it's too much of a risk."

Listen to The Surgery on Radio 1 at 9pm on Wednesday

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