January 10, 2022
When you think of adolescence, you can’t help but think about your teen years, and what that meant for you and others you knew at that time in your life. Even the word puberty can bring on memories of acne, a first date, or how you might have felt awkward, overly sensitive, or rebellious amid adult authority, somewhere between an adult and child and not knowing where you fit in. Familiar? Maybe not. Adolescence, the developmental stage between childhood and adulthood, particularly between the ages of 10 and 19, can be difficult for some, yet a path of ease for others. The teen years are often fraught with insecurity and doubt for those who experience the angst that commonly accompanies the maturation process. Under normal circumstances, teenagers typically learn to adapt and adjust as they mature. However, when adolescents cannot cope with daily living because they are experiencing symptoms of abnormal growth, this could be a sign that a syndrome is present.
Adolescence Syndrome, often known as puberty syndrome, is typically caused when a malfunction exists in the glands that produce growth hormones responsible for the maturation process. This malfunction can lead to either abnormally early or late puberty. The normal timing of puberty is critical since it impacts a child’s development and mental health. When the timing is off, it can negatively affect the child’s physical, emotional and social well-being. Premature or delayed occurrence of such traits as body hair growth, height, sexual organ development, and menstruation can cause extreme insecurity around self-image and peer relationships. As a result, adolescents may exhibit impulsive or deviant behavior in an emotional effort to cope with their bodily functions and appearance.
There are two basic types of abnormal puberty development. They are Precocious Puberty and Puberty Delay. With early or precocious puberty, development in girls begins under eight years and boys under nine years. Conversely, puberty delay happens when puberty is not visible until age 14 in boys and age 12 in girls. Sometimes the origin of either is unknown but can be triggered by health issues, medical procedures, injury, lifestyle habits, or genetics. The following are some leading causes:
• Exposure to sex hormone medication
• Head trauma
• Thyroid disorders
• Malignant or benign tumor
• Irregular, missing, or extra chromosome
We cannot truly diagnose adolescence syndrome without looking at the function of puberty. Puberty is the physical maturation process of sexual and physical traits in the transition stage between child and adult, which is adolescence. The physical and emotional components of change affect each other, making adolescence and puberty very much interrelated. If there is abnormal pubertal growth, it will impact the child’s overall transition from child to adult. Therefore, we must recognize puberty syndrome as an issue that needs to be addressed and treated to help the afflicted young transition with ease through the entire process of adolescence. You cannot treat adolescence syndrome if you do not recognize puberty syndrome as a legitimate concern.
In some cases, the syndrome may resolve on its own with careful observation and a steady presence of positive role models. Other treatment methods, depending on the condition leading up to it, could be one or a combination of the following:
• Hormone therapy
• Pubertal blockers
• Encourage normal weight gain
• Keep children away from adult hormonal meds
• Seek professional counseling
• Engage with recreation and other meaningful activities
Adolescence and the process of puberty can be stressful and awkward times for many teens, especially for those who suffer from pubescent anomalies. However, juveniles tend to be quite resilient and can better adjust to adulthood with enough support and acceptance from family, friends, and professionals.
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