Teen alphabet soup

2015-05-12 06:00

Are you ODD? No really! Are you Oppositional Defiance Disordered? Do you suffer from PTSD? Are you ADD or ADHD? How about OCD or PCD? Is my list becoming more or less familiar to you?

The alphabet soup of possible teenage conditions is giddying. Frustrated parents anxiously bounce from pill to practitioner to find an explanation for or relief from the unexplainable.

Don’t get me wrong. The advances in research are staggering. More has been learnt about the brain in the past two decades than in the previous 100 years. Medical progress has made yesterday’s death sentence today’s “manageable condition.” Psychological research and studies over 30 years have vastly improved our understanding of the teen psyche.

So do we disregard, or interrogate at enormous expense and time? What we shouldn’t do is clutch our anxious brow with a “this too shall pass” attitude. Where to start? Well, for example, ADHD is real. The only scoffers are those who have never lived with or taught a teen with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. And so we could progress the debate through the full alphabet soup. That is not the point, however.

May I caution against the need to label and medicate any and every perceived “abnormality.” There is an entire industry that will gleefully accommodate your every twitch. Read voraciously, research your concern, talk to others, spend time with. That is, spend time with your teen, not the perceived condition. A loving parents’ instincts are seldom far off the mark.

May I caution against boxing and labelling a “condition” whose real and clear origin is relational and sadly, often seated firmly in the family. It is sometimes easier to label a condition than to acknowledge a more uncomfortable truth.

Psychosomatic factors underline much ill health. I believe that mental and relational health would put paid to our having to treat a range of physical conditions. That is no reason not to treat for ODD, but rather to have a broad-based approach which quite possibly includes counselling. Sixteen-year-olds who wet their beds persistently are very seldom suffering from a bladder infection

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.