Mental health awareness week ! Being a mama to a teen for the first time I am reading, watching and learning. Being a health practitioner I see teens in clinic with various health issues but most common ones are anxiety, OCD, self harm, annorexia, ADHD and this Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)...this has a name ..the fact that you are a leader dies not matter but you have ODD.
So one of my favourite doctors Dr. Siegel (whose quote I use in this image) explains that the teen brain is wildly creative. At this time in their life their dopamine levels (more on this neurotransmitter in my ecourse) can drop to their lowest and peak to their highest. Our own neurotransmitters are a 1000x more potent than the average street drug. Yes, you read that right. I studied pharmacology for my BSc and boy am I glad I did, It's been so handy
When the dopamine drops to it's lowest the teen gets bored and the reaction is to bring it up. How do they do this? By finding risky sports like skate boarding, parkour, climbing also they get bored of that 'safe home environment so they go looking for their 'new tribe' (think rights of passage when some would become leaders, others nurturers, others doctors (herbalists etc), hunters, gatherers, they each have a role, a purpose which elevates their dopamine. Some may try street drugs, alcohol, smoking to get this dopamine high...so understand the teen is ready for new things and exciting things...enough of the mummy-ing, ...they push away as the parent is boring (low dopamine) they are looking for their purpose.
What does society do to teenagers? What do majority of schools do to teens? They label them, after they realise they cannot be controlled. There is no place for a leader (the hunter) in a mainstream school, unless they connect with that teacher that inspires them.
If the teen brain is as amazing as science is finding it to be then these kids are the game-changers, shape-shifters, world-changers not kids with ODD or other pharma drug induced deficiency syndrome.
How do you see teens? Do you have teens? I am not saying it's easy but understanding them helps.