Day 195: What's Really going on in a Teenager's Head?
thoughts, feelings, and emotions to their origins as the definitions, beliefs, ideas, memories behind them, it's shocking to see how little is understood by what is Accepted as the authority on reality and the human, which is Science."When their grumpy teenager is in the throes of yet another sulking fit, most parents would give an awful lot to know what’s going on inside their head.And soon they’ll be able to – without resorting to a guilty peek in their diary.Scientists at Cambridge University have begun a £5.4million study to understand the workings of the teenage brain.They will scan the brains of 300 participants, currently aged 14 to 24, over several years to see how they change as they grow older.Teenagers are typically impulsive, argumentative and sullen – as personified by Harry Enfield’s teenager Kevin, whose catchphrase is ‘it’s so unfair’.Ed Bullmore, a professor of psychiatry at Cambridge University, believes that the wiring of the brain gradually changes as teenagers approach adulthood, which eventually allows them to control their emotions and act less impulsively.‘MRI scans will give us very good pictures of how the anatomy of the brain changes over the course of development,’ he said. ‘We are particularly interested in how the tissue at the centre of the brain, known as white matter, might change over the course of development.’Professor Bullmore believes that changes to the white matter, the communication cables between brain cells, increase the mind’s ability to think ahead. He explained that changes to the brain’s wiring will be related to emotional, behavioural and cognitive changes."
For example, year after year, decade after decade, scientists probe the Brain, employing sophisticated and expensive machines and techniques to study little flashes of light and electrical movements, seeing which parts of the brain 'light up' in response to certain stimuli, hoping to find clues as to how the brain is apparently creating Human Behavior, how the brain is apparently creating our Thoughts, Feelings, and Emotions.
But, I can now say, in looking at my own teenage years, in terms of my behavior and 'moods' I started experiencing, that such patterns were not a result of 'my brain' -- but were the direct result of my own Definitions, Values, Beliefs, and Ideas I formed within my own mind, most of which originated earlier on before my high school years, and which were like brought to the surface / activated through a form of trauma in my environment.
Let's take the point of the development of apathy toward homework assignments, which for me became quite a prominent point in my high school years, and which is a prominent point in many high school students.
In early elementary school I loved school, really enjoyed being in class and participating. I didn't have any problems with the assignments at that stage.
What changed, is that in Middle School, I was in a situation where I was faced with multiple different subjects, in multiple different classrooms, with different teachers, and different students in each class. And here, specifically in Math class, what I found was that the class simply moved too fast -- I didn't have time to understand what was being presented before we moved on to the next concept, and I would be in a situation where in order to complete / understand the current assignment / material, I would have to already understand the previous assignment / material - which I found I had mostly forgotten already. So, what happened is that this started to accumulate more and more, and I more and more started to react within this, believing that 'I'm just not good at math', and 'I'm not a math person', and 'the other kids are smarter than me', and 'I don't like math', and 'math is hard' -- within this comparing myself to the other students, and judging myself as inferior to the other students, the teacher, and the material.
So basically whereas in elementary school I enjoyed math because I was able to keep up with the pace of the curriculum, now I was experiencing math as unpleasant, as difficult, as bad, having all these reactions of emotional experiences coming up within me. I felt powerless. And within this I started to experience more and more frequent depression and frustration -- and blaming school for what I'm experiencing, within statements like 'why do I have to do this?', and 'this is stupid, I don't need to learn this'.
And year after year this same scenario would repeat, and not just in Math but in other classes as well, and within this those reactions of frustration, depression, blame, inferiority started to become more and more prevalent as a point of my Personality in relation to School and Learning and Homework.
What eventually emerged within this, was a greater and greater Apathy toward School. Because, I had all these reactions of Emotions within me coming up, and, at that stage I had no way to deal with them, and I believed that - it's actually School, Teachers, and Homework that is causing these experiences within me, and that -- the reason I'm having these experiences is because it's just 'Who I Am'.
So, by the time I reached High School, and what I found as I moved through the grades, was that -- hey, this is not getting any easier, and in fact I'm just getting further and further behind. And this like, compounded my reactions of depression, frustration, inferiority, powerlessness, and comparison, and what started emerging more and more within this was a fascinating thing which is that my choices, my decisions in relation to school became more and more aligned with 'how can I get out of this', and 'how can I avoid this', and 'I want to do what's easy and fun', and 'fuck this I can't do it anyway' -- where, all I wanted was to not experience these reactions and this inferiority and this difficulty, and at that stage I just didn't care about the homework or the material at all, because from my perspective I've already 'failed school', and this became a personality - a personality of Failure within School / Learning, and finally when I was old enough to legally drop out of school, that's what I did.
And, obviously at that stage I had ZERO interest in going to college, because within myself, school and learning was basically Equal to -- Misery. And - I didn't want to be miserable -- I wanted to have Fun -- and, in my world at that stage, Having Fun meant avoiding any point of Responsibility or Deadline or Obligation -- because, all of these things within myself were only associated with the Misery of frustration, depression, inferiority, failure.
Since then, through my application with writing and Self Honesty and Self Forgiveness and Self Corrective Application - I've been able to Change myself within this points, going back and looking at the memories from those years, identifying all those moments where I had Accepted and Allowed myself to form Ideas, Beliefs, and Definitions of myself in moments where I Reacted for instance to not understanding an assignment, and Re-Align myself within those moments, with a Practical Re-definition of the words associated with those memories - for example Math, Homework, Assignment, Deadline, Study. I went back and I identified and removed all the points of Comparison and Self Judgment for instance, looking at the practical reality of what was going on, realizing -- it was never Personal, it was never that there was something 'Wrong' with me. And within looking at what Studying and Learning actually practically entails / means. And, what I found within this is that -- wow! I can now study and learn about things without Reacting, without having these Emotions come up within me of Fear and Resistance and Anxiety based on all these memories of moments that happened years ago.
And also within this seeing that -- there's a problem in the Education system because there is not enough time for the teacher to give sufficient one on one support to each student to make sure all the material is grasped and understood before moving on to the next point.
So -- also within this I was able to identify and remove the points of Blame and Resentment toward Teachers and School - realizing, the problem was not the Teacher, or Me, but the actual System of Education, and that -- to Prevent what happened to me - would require a Solution of both Providing sufficient support to make sure all the material is understood, and also that the child have effective Self Support tools to make sure such destructive Reactions of Self-Beliefs and Ideas and Definitions do not form -- so that the child does not form Personalities and Character points that would sabotage their education and decisions later on -- as with what happened to me in High School with the events leading up to me dropping out. Now, I've corrected this point, and I'm able to make Decisions that are Supportive, I'm able to Direct myself within walking the Practical steps of Studying, instead of being Directed by Energy as Reactions of Emotions coming from Memories.
So, the point here is that simply through applying the tool of Writing, and Self Honestly investigating my Thoughts, Feelings, and Emotions -- I was able to deconstruct my entire Character / Personality in relation to School / Learning -- in seeing how / when / where / why my Teenage / High School Behavior Patterns in relation to School for instance, were created.
And -- it was not the Brain that created my Behavior! You can see how the Brain within this, is really not so relevant in understanding Behavior -- because, Behavior can be defined / written out as Words, and these Words can be traced back to their origin points within the life of a person, to see what Definitions / Values were formed by the person, which then formed the foundation of the Behavior / Personality traits.
So, the best way for a parent to understand the Behavior of their Child, would be to join the DIP Lite online course - which is Free -- within which you'd be assisted in developing these skills of Self Investigation, to be able to understand the origins of your own Behavior and Personality within your own process of, over time as you were growing up, forming particular Beliefs and Definitions based on Reactions within specific Scenarios -- because, then you'd be able to understand how your Child is forming their own Behavior, and you'd be able to effectively assist them.
In the Journey to Life, we're walking the Science of Self in a real, practical, tangible way that anyone can apply. You don't need fancy brain scanners and million dollar laboratories -- you just need yourself and your computer to begin. The question obviously is -- are you actually interested in understanding yourself?