The adolescent stage of life is filled with energy, exuberance, exploration, risks, failures and successes. It is a tremendously dynamic time. It is a time for holding on and for letting go. Confusing.
It is a time for carving your own way. Which way?
Where do I fit in?
I feel lonely and unpopular and not good enough. Do my friends like me?
Many of us prefer to put aside these painful memories and in doing so, we are sometimes blind to how inner turmoil can manifest.
No wonder that depression and anxiety are no strangers to the teenage and adolescent period of life!
During the period of adolescence, the imaginary audience is at its most powerful. I think it follows us throughout our lives but in these years it rarely leaves us.
The idea that we are constantly on stage – being judged – being watched. Adolescents are watching themselves, being self-critical (their own harshest judge).
Self-harm, self-hate, self-injury – punishments for not being good enough.
Body image – am I lovable?
Why does he/she not ask me out?
Should I have sex with him /her? Can I say ” No”? ……. How badly do I want to be liked?
How often are my thoughts too much – causing me to want to blot them out – with alcohol, Tik, dagga… whatever I can find…?
What do I do with my anger? Turn it inward? or outward?
The therapist can provide a safe non-critical, non-judgmental space to allow a time to vent these confusing and tumultuous emotions in a safe way.
Therapy can help with learning new ways of how to cope with extreme emotions that can hamper the enjoyment of this tender stage of life.