How to deal with problems affecting adolescents

Dr. Purushothaman
September 4, 2013

Adolescence, according to Erik Erikson’s stages of human development, is the stage marked between
puberty and adulthood, usually during ages thirteen to nineteen, though the age bracket may varydepending on different cultures, for example, in the United States; an adolescent is understood to beany person between ages thirteen to twenty-four. The World Health Organization (WHO) definesadolescence as the period of transition between ages ten and twenty.The bottom line is that adolescence is a change from childhood to adulthood.Many scholars have written expansively pertaining adolescence, and while they have focused on thechanges that occur or the problems that adolescents face, they often forget to point out how to dealwith the problems that come about during this vital stage in the development of the
. This paperwill focus on some of the tribulations associated with adolescence and how to deal with them.There are various problems that are associated with adolescence, however; this piece will explore threeof the problems and effective ways or solutions to the problems. The three to be discussed on this paperwill be;

Rebelliousness towards authority figures

Drug abuse

Rebelliousness towards authority figures
Many young people whilst undergoing the transition from childhood to adulthood tend to be rebellious,perhaps because of the rapid biological changes occurring in their bodies, or according to SigmundFreud, because of fixation at either stage in the development of personality, especially at the anal stage.According to Sigmund Freud, a renowned psychologist actually considered the father of psychology, inthe early stages of development that
is during the first six years of one’s
life that is when the personalityof a person is formed and developed. He hypothesized that one undergoes several stages that are vitalin molding his or her personality, and those are, oral, anal, and phallic. Rebelliousness could beexplained as fixation at the anal stage. The anal stage is usually centered round the eliminative functions(defecation and urination) and lasts during the second year of
life, usually after the first stagewhich is the oral stage.When toilet training is initiated during the second year of life, the child has now been introduced toexternal regulations of instinctual impulses to postpone gratification. How this new development affectsthe child will depend on the method of toilet training the mother uses. If the mother is understandingand pleasant in her approach to the toilet training, the child is likely to develop into a healthy andproductive individual. On the other hand, if the mother is excessively strict and repressive, the child maydevelop rebelliousness.

From the above assertion, we can infer that in order to be able to curb rebelliousness among teens, itwould be productive to deal with it at the onset, than after it has already formed and manifested itself through other ways.One proposed way of dealing with the problem before it arises would be to put the essential measuresin place, like being understanding and pleasant toilet training so as to avert the likelihood of teenrebellion during the later years in adolescence.
Drug abuse
When one takes drugs, either for medical purposes or recreation, there is a benefit or reward that one istrying to achieve.For example, pain medication is intended to bring relief to an injured or stressed area of our body. Thebeginning stages of drug abuse cause one to crave more and to use more. The unintendedconsequences of that is the need to take more and more of the drug to get the same result.There are many factors that can cause drug addiction, and as such, they range from, loneliness, family problems, anxiety, stress, peer pressure, curiosity, and sensation seeking (feeling high) and so on.A conglomeration of these factors or in some cases only one of them but on the extreme can cause orcontribute to drug abuse and later addiction.While the specific physical and psychological effects of drug abuse and addiction tend to vary based onthe particular substance involved, the general effects of abuse or addiction to any drug can bedevastating. Psychologically, intoxication with or withdrawal from a substance can cause everythingfrom euphoria as with alcohol, Ecstasy, or inhalant intoxication to paranoia with marijuana or steroidintoxication, to severe depression or suicidal thoughts with cocaine or amphetamine withdrawal. Fromthe view point of the broader spectrum that is society, some of the mentioned effects to drug abuse areat the least detrimental and inhibit the progress and well being of society. Adolescents are most prone to drug abuse, especially through peer pressure and because of the desireto fit in. As such, there ought to be effective ways of dealing with the menace of drug abuse, and as theold adage goes, prevention is better than cure. Treating cases of drug addiction resulting from drugabuse can be quite an uphill task, not to mention that the costs incurred in good rehabilitation centersare astronomical.What ought to be done, therefore, is to engage adolescents in activities that would ensure that they arenot idle, productive and engaging activities like sports are highly recommended, and also productivehobbies.
We all go through ups and downs in our mood. Sadness is a normal reaction to life’s struggles, setbacks,and disappointments. Many people use the word “depression” to explain these kinds of feelings, but
depression is much more than just sadness.

Some peo
ple describe depression as “living in a black hole” or having a feeling of impending doom.
However, some depressed people don't feel sad at all

they may feel lifeless, empty, and apathetic, oradolescents in particular may even feel angry, aggressive, and restless.
Whatever the symptoms, depression is different from normal sadness in that it engulfs one’s day
life, interfering with one’s ability to study, eat, sleep, and have fun. The feelings of helplessness,
hopelessness, and worthlessness are intense and unrelenting, with little, if any, relief.
Depression varies from person to person, but there are some common signs and symptoms. It’simportant to remember that these symptoms can be part of life’s normal lows. But the more symptoms
one has, the stronger th
ey are, and the longer they’ve lasted—
the more likely it is that one is dealingwith depression. When the symptoms are overwhelming and disabling, that's when it's time to seekhelp. The symptoms are; Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness,

loss of interest in daily activities,anger or irritability Loss of energy,

self-loathing, reckless behavior, and concentration problems amongother related problems.

Depression is a major risk factor for suicide. The deep despair and hopelessness that goes along withdepression can make suicide feel like the only way to escape the pain. Thoughts of death or suicide are aserious symptom of depression; it is advisable that one takes any suicidal talk or behavior seriously. It'snot just a warning sign that the person is thinking about suicide: it's a cry for help.What parents ought to do curb depression among adolescents is to try to talk to them and create arelaxed atmosphere with their adolescent teens so that as they go through some of the changes that areassociated with adolescent, they have someone with whom they can talk to and can advise themaccordingly. Lack of a figure to advise teenagers appropriately can cause them to engage in vices such asdrug abuse or others and later regret, and the whole process can lead to depression.Family history also counts when it comes to depression, and in a family with a history of depression,extra measures ought to be put in place to deal with the negative effects of depression. Also, when oneundergoes through deep negative emotional experiences such as the death of a parent or a closerelative, even in some cases of close friends, such events can trigger depression, the best option is toconsider counseling or psychotherapy, they can help a lot in dealing with depression.Having discussed three problems that face adolescents, their causes, effects and how to deal with them,it is hoped that this piece has shed light on some of the problems that affect adolescents and how todeal with them.

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