Puberty Period

Before describing the adolescence period, I would like to talk about concepts such as growth, development and maturation.

Growth: It is the increase in volume of organs in the body over time.
Maturation: With the growth experienced in the body, those organs reach the level to perform the necessary functions.

Development: It is the process of growth and maturation in the body in terms of cognitive and psycho-motor, social and emotional sexual, linguistic and moral aspects. The direction of development is from head to toe, from the inside out. In the body, first the head and then the internal organs begin to develop.

I recently had a psychological interview with a child. The boy had a large build in volume. He was also quite tall. His weight was just right. Although the child is 12 years old, the parents expected the emotions, attitudes and behaviors that we expect from a 20-year-old adult from the child. But the boy had not even entered puberty yet. That’s why I refer to it as a child. I explained the growth, development and maturation concepts above because of this example. A child may have grown in volume, but may not mature and develop at this growth rate, and usually does not, is not observed.

adolescence period; It can also be called youth or adolescence period. Puberty; It is a transitional period from childhood to adulthood. During this transition period, rapid and serious changes are experienced in physiological, psychological and social terms.

Introduction to adolescence; In general, it is 11 years for girls and 12 years for boys. I said in general because there are situations that go beyond this generality, which we call early adolescence and late adolescence. Precocious puberty is considered 8 years for girls and 9 years for boys. This precocious puberty negatively affects the physical appearance of the child, such as short stature and early hair growth. There are also some negative psychological effects of this precocious puberty. For example; A person who enters puberty while their peers are still in their childhood experiences difficulties in their social life. Has communication problems with peers. They do not understand each other. This leads to conflicts with their peers such as resentment, irritability, aggression, and alienation from the group. There may be problems in the body image perception of girls who enter the early adolescence period. This makes it more prone to psychopathologies such as eating disorders, depression, and suicide attempts. Some scientific studies also show that; Depression is common in girls who have entered adolescence relatively early compared to their peers. It is seen that habits such as alcohol, cigarette and drug use are more common in men who enter early. Late puberty is observed as 13.5 years for girls and 14 years for boys. Late puberty, like early puberty, is an abnormal and undesirable condition. Because his peers have entered puberty, he acts like a child and continues to feel like a child. This, in turn, causes psychological and social conflicts.

Adolescence is the period in which physical changes are experienced most rapidly, apart from infancy. The most obvious physical changes in this period are the changes in height and weight. During this period, there is a rapid elongation of bones, an increase in muscle and fat. During adolescence, an average height of 15-25 cm can be seen. While we observe the highest increase in height in girls around the age of 12, we can observe this increase in height around the age of 13.5 in boys. Therefore, if our young people want to be tall, they should pay attention to their nutrition and do their sports regularly. Almost half of the adult weight is gained during adolescence. In this period, our young people should stay away from ready-made foods, which we call fast-food, and benefit from healthier foods. Otherwise, it sends an invitation to various disorders or diseases such as obesity. In particular, one of the main causes of obesity is excess weight gained during adolescence. If a teenager in adolescence grows less than 5 centimeters a year, if the clothes he wears seem narrow or short for him, and he does not have difficulty in wearing them every year, and if he falls behind his peers in terms of physiological development, families should immediately consult a specialist doctor.

During the adolescence period, development in the circulatory and respiratory system, reproductive organs and secondary sexual characteristics occur. In addition, serious changes occur in the hormonal system. At the beginning of adolescence, gonadotropin-releasing hormone is activated. This hormone is secreted by the hypothalamus. This hormone takes action and stimulates FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone) from the pituitary gland. The increase in the secretion of these hormones indicates that the child is now out of childhood and starting the adolescence period. It is the secretion of FSH and LH hormones throughout the day that enables the production of androgen and estrogen hormones. Egg production begins with the secretion of estrogen and progesterone hormones in girls. In men, with the secretion of the testosterone hormone, the testis develops and sperm production begins.

There are some hormones that accelerate physical development and growth. For example; Somatotropin (STH), a growth hormone, is secreted from the pituitary gland and regulates the increase in the number of cells in muscle-like tissues. If STH is secreted excessively during growth and development periods such as adolescence, giantness occurs, and if it is secreted less, dwarfism occurs. Thyroxine hormone secreted from the thyroid gland also affects growth and development. The low secretion of this hormone during infancy causes growth and mental retardation in the baby. Leptin hormone, which plays a role in the reorganization of muscle and fat distribution, ensures the formation of a denser adipose tissue in girls.

During adolescence, Primary (Primary) and Secondary (Secondary) gender characteristics develop and become evident.

Primary Sex Characteristics: Sex organs such as penis, prostate, vagina, uterus, vulva.
Secondary Sex Characteristics: Changes other than reproductive functions, such as changes in body odor, hair growth in the armpits and genital area, and enlargement of the breasts in girls.

The first physical symptoms seen in men are; hair growth in the genital area, thinning of the skin of the testicles and a reddish color. There is a bifurcation in the voice at first, then it thickens and usually turns into a male voice at the age of 15-16. Hair growth in the genitals and armpits is followed by beard growth. At the age of 13-14, sperm ejaculation occurs for the first time. Breast budding is the first physical symptom in girls. It usually starts around 8-10 years of age. This is followed by hair growth in the genital area and lengthening. The first menstrual bleeding is called menarche. Menarche occurs 2.5-3 years after the onset of hair growth in the genital area. The average age of menstruation is 12-13. In girls, the increase in height and muscle density occurs 2 years earlier in girls on average; but in men this situation lasts 2-3 years longer. Boys aged 12-14 are shorter and leaner than girls of the same age. From the age of 14, men make an attack, close the gap and take the lead. Nutrition, genetic characteristics, environmental and behavioral factors are of great importance in the onset or development of all the physiological changes I mentioned above.

Our adolescents are experiencing rapid psychological changes during this period. The adolescent has an unstable mood. He may not like a dress or a piece of jewelry that he liked the day before, the next day, and may have difficulty explaining this to his interlocutors. However, who knows how much he insisted on his mother and father to buy that dress or that jewelry or anything. Our young man who cried an hour ago can laugh an hour later. While there was a bouncing bouncing person just now; After a while, he becomes a person who gets stressed, depressed, says that his soul is bored, and does not know what to do because of boredom. Yes, indeed, the feelings, thoughts, desires, likes and dislikes of our young people change so quickly that it is very, very difficult to keep up.

During adolescence, our young people experience their emotions very fully and intensely. Due to the excess of this emotional intensity, he may show resentment to anything that does not fill the hazelnut shell and even cry from time to time. While chatting with his friends or playing games, he may be offended by a friend’s word, attitude or behavior. That’s why we can see a lot of resentment, resentment, resentment and crying in this period.

One of the phenomena that we frequently encounter during adolescence is “shyness”. Individuals may have difficulty in lecturing on the board. They may prefer to stay behind from taking on the task of reading poetry in front of people. In particular, a boy may hesitate to talk to a girl or a girl to talk to a boy. Such situations can be considered normal at the beginning of adolescence, but if such shyness still continues in the following periods, support from a psychologist should definitely be sought. Otherwise, the person will form a shy personality in adult life. This can lead to different psychological and social disorders.

Another phenomenon in adolescence is the phenomenon of imaginary audience, he thinks he is observing. He is worried that as soon as he enters the school gate, all his other friends at the school are looking at him, everyone notices the watch he just bought, and he will grade whether it suits him or not. He thinks the same about his hair that he has just cut or styled. I’m not even telling you the shoes or the dress she’s wearing. Only at school? When he enters the bus, he feels as if all the passengers on the bus have stopped working and are looking at him. Therefore, from the moment the individual steps out of the house, he feels that other people are watching him and observing him. Because of this feeling, thinking, he spends most of his time in front of the mirror. He examines his face, combs his hair and combs it again. Because there are hundreds of eyes out there watching him. So, did he have a pimple on his face? That day, all hell breaks loose at home.

What about the “I am a legend” phenomenon? During this period, our adolescent thinks that he is the smartest, most intelligent person in the world. He thinks all other people are idiots, idiots. If there is a smart one, it is himself. The individual, who cannot overcome this situation in a healthy way, reads what he knows in adulthood and does not give importance to the thoughts of the other person. Because he is the smartest person.

During adolescence, hands and feet grow and develop disproportionately. Therefore, we are slightly more likely to see clumsiness in our adolescents. It is natural that we encounter this situation at the beginning of adolescence. Over time this will improve. Parents think their children are distracted or in love. In fact, sometimes they say, did you become my son leyla or my daughter fell in love? However, the situation is due to physiological development.

During adolescence, our adolescent starts a rebellion against the world. This rebellion is a struggle to be an individual. In this struggle, parents either stand by their child and support him and make him an individual, or stand against this struggle and as a result, cause him to be someone who thinks that he will find himself in the future by smoking, drinking or making bad friends. Yes, all people want to be appreciated and noticed, but we see this a little more in adolescents.

While changes in the hormonal system create a tendency to unhappiness and depression in girls, it manifests itself with extreme irritability and anger in boys. He gives importance to the posters in his rooms. They do not allow anyone to interfere with them. We may also have adolescents who want to create deviant personalities. Let’s just say it’s a very different band. He does research on it. He tries to know all his songs, follows his concerts. He tries to prove himself to his friends. He says I am different from you.

Friends are very important for our adolescent. He does what his bros say, not what his parents say. Conflict with parents reaches its peak at age 13. Our adolescent thinks that his elders do not understand him. From time to time, he gets the idea that he is a stepchild. He tries to find evidence to confirm this in his mind. There is a decline in academic achievement. He doesn’t want to study. There are those who prefer to sleep or play games on the computer instead, and those who want to do activities with their friends. It pushes the limits of the parents as they push. She says it’s her right to go out late at night. She gives examples of her other friends. Maybe he will try to keep a diary and write poetry, which he will never do in any other period of his life, in this period.

Adolescence has a great imagination. Although our adolescent is in the 7th grade, he married a girl/boy in the fantasy world, he is doing the job he wants, he has a house and a car, and he even has a child going to the 7th grade. However, he is in the 7th grade. But as you can see, he finished secondary school, high school and university in his dream world; now he has married and has children, that is, he has passed all the stages of life.

Yes, all people want to experience positive-positive emotions and be happy. After all, isn’t that what all our struggles in the world are for? Again, all people want to avoid negative-negative emotions and to experience these emotions as little as possible. At this point, families need to think about what kind of negative-negative feelings they cause to the adolescent. In fact, we all need to review how we treat our loved ones and relatives and what we go through. We should take precautions accordingly, and we should not forget to get support from a professional if necessary.

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