You are currently viewing Adolescence is a particularly vulnerable transition period
Adolescence is a particularly vulnerable transition period

Adolescence is referred to as a particularly vulnerable transitional period for the adolescent who is neither a child nor an adult. This seems to involve difficulties due to substantial changes in biological, social, cognitive, as well as emotional ties.

The exploration of sexual identity, including the increased use of technology, seems to contribute to the marginalization of the family, and psycho-emotional exclusion from both the familiar and the social environment.

Globally, it is estimated that up to 20% of young people experience some form of mental disorder, with more than 50% of them developing by age 14 (WHO, 2018). When it comes to adolescent disorders, high rates of deregulation of emotions such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD; Selwyn et al., 2019), eating disorders, suicidal ideation, and personality disorders have been found.

The researchers found that the characteristics of separation of emotions (Alexithymia) were much more widespread in the general population of adolescents as a behavior than previously imagined. In fact, they found that teens growing up in a dysfunctional family or in a critical or indifferent environment tend to be prone to secondary Alexithymia behavior.

Secondary Alexithymia position and adolescence

Secondary Alexithymia position and adolescenceSecondary Alexithymia position and adolescence

What drives them to escape a virtual space?

Why do they find it difficult to talk about their feelings?

What is their relationship with their parents?

How Can We Understand Adolescent Secondary Position?

What behaviors do we apply that can act as protective agents for teens?

These questions, due to the complexity of the patterns reproduced in the family and social environment, may be difficult to answer with just one definition.

An auxiliary view may be that a common feature that adolescents have with their parents is that the former worry that they do not understand them, and the latter that they do not. And although the similarity of needs is almost identical, the way of communication seems to bring distance and separation of emotions from both sides. Clearly, then, by understanding adolescent Alexithymia as a behavior in specific adolescent needs we can say that it is a start to improve access to support services and treatment outcomes, as these symptoms are deeply ingrained habits and are difficult to recognize and change them themselves. The good news is that Secondary Alexithymia is controllable and reversible when supportive care is given.

Note: Difficulty describing emotions is a hallmark of paranoia. In fact, the word "Alexithymia" is translated from Greek as "without words for emotion" (Sifnos, 1973). Other characteristics of paresthesia are difficulties in locating emotions and a style of thinking that focuses on external events rather than internal introspection and imagination.

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Kyriaki Mertzani

Relational Psychotherapist MSc

Individual - Group Relational Therapy

Adolescents - Adults - Couples

Researcher for the reproduction of intergenerational mental traumas.

Coordinator of Adolescent - Adult groups