Perhaps no time is more complicated in a person’s life than adolescence. Adolescence serves as the physical and mental transition period from childhood to early adulthood and is marked by plenty of changes. From the hormone-fueled mood swings to the hormone-fueled sexual intrigue, the developments that enhance and threaten adolescence can have a profound effect on not only the personality of the individual during adolescence, but well into adulthood too. For experts on psychosexual disorders, adolescence requires a cautious balancing act. Psychosexual disorders and anxieties that stem from early childhood begin to intensify during the psychosexual development stages. As a result, as adolescence is a period of transition, it is an ideal time to address the issues before the individual enters early adulthood and carries problematic psychosexual disorders in adolescence to early adulthood. Of course, the complication is in getting adolescents who are undergoing an identity crisis with or without psychosexual disorders to discuss the disorders, and without creating new problems by expressing them.
Reaction to puberty is perhaps the most unpredictable aspect of not only a parent’s life, but the individual who undergoes it. Biologically speaking, it is a complex series of bodily occurrences that changes the body into an adult one capable of reproduction. Puberty has everything to do with sexuality – therefore, to not properly address puberty as a possibly essential role in the development of psychosexual disorders is disingenuous and erroneous.
The popular hypothesis that has guided the field is that psychosexual disorders are created long before adolescence. Sigmund Freud asserted this when he described the psychosexual development stages that preceded adolescence. Meanwhile, biological theorists accredit prenatal hormones for the psychosexual differentiation which are merely intensified during an individual’s life, most notably when they are adoescents.
For example, psychosexual disorders in adolescence that are increasingly becoming mainstream and researched are gender identity disorders. Gender identity disorders are characterized by individuals who want to be members of the opposite sex. The signs for such desires are generally mild during childhood, a fascination with cross-dressing for example. But they are intensified by the psychosexual demands that are attached to puberty. As Freud theorized, puberty coincides with the ‘Genitalia Stage’ of psychosexual development in where greatest focus of an individual’s attention went to their respective genitalia. Significant cross-gender identification explodes during puberty when their bodies, in addition to their minds, can attempt to reject their own physiological parts. Though from a biological perspective, for example, larger exposure to a prenatal hormones like androgen can affect a females likelihood to be attracted to gender identity disorders, further research and engagement with this phenomena seeks to demonstrate how the mind is in control by affecting the decisions of the body.
Other psychosexual disorders in adolsecence, such as sexual perversions, are often viewed as a product of childhood. Sexual perversions are often described by those who suffer from them as beginning when the body aches for sexual activity during adolescence. Sexual perversions and deep-rooted anxieties often stem from issues of abuse or neglect. This view has been somewhat tainted when rapists and murderers use it as a defense for their actions, such as John Wayne Gacey or Ted Bundy; there is merit to this argument. The correlations identified by psychiatrists with the number of adolescents under their care that have been physically and sexually abused by elders provide ground that the formative events of childhood do play a real role in the psychosexual disorders that are exacerbated during adolescence.
[ad#downcont]Adolescence with identity crisis is a difficult time as it is. Suffering from psychosexual disorders makes it all the more confusing and unpredictable. However, if dealt with properly, adolescence is the greatest window of opportunity to healthy development into adulthood.