The teenage years

Adolescence is a period that follows childhood and extends into adulthood. It is an important phase in which the child is neither fully an adult nor a child. It usually lasts from the age of 14-20 for boys, and from 12-18 years for girls.

It is a fickle, disruptive and critical period which both parents and children are afraid of. Parents, because they usually ignore the reactions of the child in this period and do not know how to handle him, and the adolescent because he fears a lack of control over his own life.
Parents find it difficult to understand that children eventually grow up and can think and act for themselves. For rebellious teens, maturity is often all in the head.
All those from my generation remember our own teenage years, in which we experienced unexplained character changes, those bodily sensations that were beyond our understanding and that urge to eat everything.
Our first cigarette, our first drink, our first kiss and our first disappointment in love.
Adolescents are usually impetuous and seek new experiences, believing they are larger than life and sufficiently intelligent to overcome all obstacles that come in the way of achieving their goals.
But very often, it seems that everything goes wrong. In addition, they often feel they can only trust their friends because their parents have stopped understanding them.
The status quo ceases to exist, parents no longer protect the child and he has to face different challenges in life that lead to the adult world.
In this way, they often face other teenagers whose family ties are not too strong, whose parents are no longer concerned about them, or simply those suffering from a behavioural disorder.
No matter how grown-up and strong
he may pretend to be, the teen is still fragile. With this assumption, I want to get to a very common theme within the group - juvenile delinquency.
We call a young person who is found guilty of an offence that would qualify as a crime if an adult had committed it, a juvenile delinquent. The most common crimes are related to vandalism of property and violence.
Different theories have been put forward to explain the phenomenon. Among them is contact with other criminals, peer pressure, and seeking popularity or adventure.
The prognosis of offenders is not too good because they usually live in slums and if they are not removed from that environment, it is very difficult, almost impossible for them to leave crime.
When it comes to behavioural disorders, the best therapy is behaviour modification while the therapist works with the immediate environment to achieve a change of attitude.
Teenagers need a secure family life, which provides a suitable environment for finding the stability that will lead them into maturity. Disoriented by their internal contradictions, they seek approval and affection to be able to understand what's happening.
The world suddenly opens up and that is how a teenager explores it, without order or logical start; time passes quickly and he has a lot to absorb. Parents may be left perplexed by their energy levels and search for spiritual values and understanding.
Teens want to be popular, be admired and trusted, and mimic adults to achieve their goals.
Parents will need a lot of patience to deal with this disruptive period. They must enforce the rules and value their teen's emotions at the same time.
This is the key to achieving a balance so that when the child grows up, he can look back on his adolescence and remember it as one of the best stages in his life, and not the worst.

Anxiety neurosis

Anxiety neurosis is a mental disorder characterised by an almost constant state of restlessness, anguish, fear, etc., which is like a malaise. The affected person is in constant tension and has a fear of something that he may not be able to define.

He often has negative feelings and has no control over them. This state of mind changes the person's life to an extent where he is not in sync with reality. His life and relationships are also affected. A change of job, home, marriage or any other situation involving change can lead to a state of great anxiety and agitation.
A patient of anxiety neurosis feels the need to constantly do something in order to get away from his emotional turmoil. People who are anxious, apprehensive and nervous often have difficulty concentrating and reflecting upon things.
They are agitated and have difficulty sleeping or sleep fitfully because of frequent nightmares. They may be light sleepers, which leads them to feel tired or low on energy during the day.
They experience bodily sensations such as excessive sweating, tachycardia, respiratory disorders, stomach pain, intestinal disturbances, poor digestion and other changes of the autonomic nervous system. Sometimes this state of mind aggravates other situations such as allergies, dermatitis and other problems.
Anyone can experience anxiety, especially in these times. It has become a constant factor in the lives of many. Depending on the degree or
frequency, it can become pathological and lead to many related problems. Therefore, it is not always pathological and can be situational as well.
For example, some people start biting their nails when they are anxious. Anxiety causes the sufferer to lose a good part of his self-esteem. He may stop doing certain things because he thinks he will be unable to perform them. In this way, the term anxiety is somehow connected to the word fear, and the person is afraid of making mistakes when performing different tasks, without even trying.
Very high levels of anxiety, especially when presented with shyness or depression, prevent the person from developing his own intellectual potential. It interferes not only with learning in the case of traditional education, but in social intelligence as well. The individual will not know how to behave in social occasions or at work, which can lead to career stagnation.
Psychotherapy can help deal with this situation, as well as relaxing activities like yoga, tai-chi and other physical exercises which release stress and lead to relaxation. Therapy helps in identifying the causes of anxiety so that they can be eliminated.
Anxiety has a lot to do with the personality. People  inherit it from their parents or other relatives, or it may be a learnt behaviour. Loss of loved ones can often aggravate this condition, and so can other stressful situations experienced throughout life.
To summarise, we need to know what causes anxiety and also how to handle it, so that the affected person can continue with a normal life after psychotherapy.

Children’s Drawings

For a child, drawing is, in addition to a means of recreation, also a mode of communication. Before starting psychotherapy, or in case a child faces problems in school, a psychologist will use drawing in order to understand what is going on.

Throughout the treatment, the psychologist collects drawings by the child to get a clear idea of the child's state of mind and, at the same time, ensure that psychotherapy is having the desired effect.
Evolution of children's drawing
Around the age of 18 months, a child begins to take interest in making pencil strokes. Scribbling usually starts with making circular shapes. In the beginning, their drawings are devoid of meaning.
Only strokes that are made at a given moment, through even a slight resemblance to reality, are meaningful for a child. If you ask the child what he drew, he can tell you that it was a plane, but it could change to a table or even a cracker later.
Sometimes strokes do not represent anything in particular, so he will give you an interpretation that is most relevant at that moment. Around the age of two or three, children begin to draw vertical, horizontal and parallel lines.
At this stage, their designs are intended to be realistic, but can't be for both physical and mental reasons (The child has little or no control over his movements and his attention span is very limited).
What is most difficult to understand in children's drawings is the proportions. It is common to see designs that have only arms, or hair that is longer than the legs. Strange little figures may come up, with the legs to the side of the body, or the eyes shifted. Children often fail to take into account the elements of each drawing.
Between the ages of three and six, drawings are very different from those of an adult. For a child, a realistic drawing is one that contains all the elements he associates with an object. Houses often have transparent walls, with the furniture and occupants visible.
Human figures are often mixed up. For example, the head, arms, bodies and legs may be drawn differently. Adult observations on drawings can often be counterproductive, as they will impair spontaneity.
If you say that a profile picture drawn by a child is not appropriate because it features both eyes, for example, he may not like it. The different perspective of a child must be appreciated and is a way of encouraging creativity.
Around the age of seven, a child begins to criticise and seek feedback for his own drawings. This stage begins gradually and is not without setbacks. At this age, he can make drawings that are intellectually and visually realistic. Around the age of 12, the intellectual realism is perfectly honed.
Symbols in drawings
In dreams, symbols become meaningful when they are related to personal associations. Drawings also gain meaning in the same manner.
One of the best-known symbols is the sun, often associated with a father figure. The moon is a classic example of a female symbol. Containers and other objects such as jugs, jars, boxes and pockets are distinctly feminine symbols.
Water is commonly associated with life. Colours are associated with different feelings. For example, red is the most emotional colour and is associated with aggression, destruction and sexual awareness.
Blue, being a cool colour, is symbolically associated with depressive feelings. The same goes for the colour black. Yellow symbolises joy, strength and vitality.