In the United States, melatonin is considered a dietary supplement that can be purchased in any dosage without a prescription – so TeenHealthFX is unsure whether you met with a medical health professional about your insomnia and he/she recommended you take a melatonin supplement, or you are taking this on your own initiative. If you were directed by a doctor to take a melatonin supplement daily, FX suggests you go back to him/her to find out whether there are any health risks for you given what he/she knows about your medical history. If you are taking this on your own without any direction from a doctor, then FX suggests you do meet with a medical care professional to find out if the melatonin daily is safe for you.
When taken as directed by a physician in low doses (and without increasing the doses) and for a limited period of time, generally a melatonin supplement is relatively safe for adults. However, due to hormone-like effects it is not suggested that people use a melatonin supplement for the long-term, especially if taken in higher doses. As for kids and teens, there are limited studies on the effectiveness and safety of melatonin supplements for people under 18. In addition, since it is not regulated as a drug, it can contain additives that have their own pharmacological actions and potential side effects. There have also been reports of adverse reactions in people with seizure disorders or who are taking oral anticoagulants. So, again, it is best to check in with a doctor who can determine whether there are any health concerns for you and whether this is an appropriate supplement for you to be taking daily.
FX also thinks it would be helpful for you to speak to your doctor about a more effective long-term treatment plan for your insomnia. The melatonin supplement may address your symptom of not being able to fall asleep, but it does nothing to address whatever underlying issue is contributing to your ongoing difficulty falling asleep. Your doctor can assess the situation and determine whether there are any medical issues contributing to your insomnia, or can refer you to mental health professional if it appears there might be an emotional health issue contributing. Rather than relying on the melatonin supplement, it would certainly be in your best interest to understand what is contributing to your insomnia and to have that underlying issue treated directly.
If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-6475 for an appointment or contact your local teen health center. You can also contact your insurance company for a list of in-network providers.
If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400. Outside of this area you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in your area. You can also contact your insurance company to get a list of in-network mental health providers or check with your school social worker or psychologist to get a list of referrals in your area.
For more information about melatonin supplements, read the following MedlinePlus article on Melatonin.
15-24 year olds account for half of all new STD infections. 1
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection. 2
"Transgender" is a term that includes the many ways that people's gener identities can be different from the sex they were assigned at birth. 3
Usually, puberty starts between ages 8 and 13 in girls and ages 9 and 15 in boys. 4
About 6-9% of children and adolescents have ADHD. 5
Tobacco smoking can lead to lung cancer, chronic bronchitis and emphysema. 6
Anorexia has the highest death rate of any mental disorder. 7
Studies show that people who eat breakfast do better in school, tend to eat less throughout the day, and are less likely to be overweight. 8
Young drivers (ages 16-20) are 17 times more likely to die in a crash when they have a blood alcohol concentration of .08% than when they have not been drinking. 9
Dating violence can take place in person or electronically, such as repeated texting or posting sexual pictures of a partner online. 10
Dehydration- not having enough fluids in your body- can cause headache, fatigue, crankiness and poor concentration. 11
National guidelines recommend that young people spend no more than two hours each day using electronic media for recreation. 12
A panic attack is a surge of intense fear and discomfort that usually peaks within ten minutes, but can last as long as several hours. 13
Suicide is the third leading cause of death among 15-24 year olds. 14
42.2% of female rape victims were first raped before age 18. 15
Pregnancy and birth are significant contributions to high school dropout rates among girls. 16
Females aged 15-19 continue to have higher rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea than any other age or sex group. 17
E-cigarettes are the most commonly used form of tobacco among youth in the United States. 18
More teens die from prescription drugs than heroin/cocaine combined. 19
Teens who consistently learn about the risks of drugs from their parents are up to 50% less likely to use drugs than those who don't. 20
20% of youth ages 13-18 live with a mental health condition. 21
Bipolar disorder is defined as a "brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks." 22
An obese child or teenager is one who weighs at least 20% more than their ideal body weight. 23
3 in 10 teen American girls will get pregnant at least once before age 20. 24
About 208,000 young people under 20 years of age have diagnosed diabetes. 25
Reversible methods of birth control include: intrauterine contraception, hormonal methods, barrier methods and fertility awareness-based methods. 26
Each day, nearly 3,000 kids under the age of 18 try their first cigarette and another 700 become regular, daily smokers. 27
Approximately 85% of people between the ages of 12 and 24 experience at least minor acne. 28
Most tobacco smokers begin smoking during adolescence. 29
90% of teens who are LGBT come out to their close friends. 30