Teenage crisis is not mandatory

The belief is vivid: becoming an adult would go through a radical rebellion at puberty. The psys and our three witnesses are formal: the crisis of adolescence, in its most noisy form, is not a necessary step.

Laurent Clay

How? You did not have a teenage crisis? "This question, Adeline, 34 years old, often hears when she tells of her childhood, no, she did not conflict with her parents, did not revolted against school or against society, had no excessive behavior (alcohol, cannabis, running away). " Sometimes I feel like I'm not quite normal, she admits. I feel at odds with those who say "their high school and high school years, I even feel some guilt about being so wise, but deep inside I take my reserved character. other people who are problematic to me. "

" In our society, we inevitably expect a teenager to have a crisis, which has almost become the norm, "says Daniel Marcelli, a child psychiatrist and professor of psychiatry. at the University of Poitiers. And there is an insidious but tenacious belief that one can not be an adult fully fulfilled, completed, accomplished without having gone through a period of radical questioning at puberty. "We live in a time that idealizes transgression, in a very romantic way, "says Marie Rose Moro, psychiatrist and head of the House of Solenn, in Paris, which welcomes adolescents in pain. Thus, the bestseller of recent years has the title Indignant! (and not obey!), the figures most valued by the media are those of artists and people in rebellion, the corporate world celebrates the visionary bosses and strong heads, such as Steve Jobs or Xavier Niel, social networks and reality TV encourage the most outrageous and uninhibited self-exhibition, in the manner of a teenager who puts his sneakers on the table ... In these conditions, the one who did not say "shit!" to his parents seems suspicious, a tad coward, soft, conformist. "It even happens that one predicts a crisis later, in the middle of life, when all this repressed violence will re-emerge from his unconscious, it is a little exaggerated! " Daniel Marcelli breathes.

Because psychiatrists and psychoanalysts are formal: the adolescent crisis, in its noisy form, is not a necessary step in life. "Adolescence is first and foremost a physiological phenomenon: it corresponds to the puberty, a moment when the body is transformed, where the child becomes an adult, recalls Philippe Jeammet, professor of psychiatry and specialist in adolescence.The young person who goes through puberty questions, inevitably, about a lot of subjects, he questions his parents, the values ​​that have been transmitted to him. It is for him to appropriate his subjectivity, his ability to desire, to speak in his name. This necessarily translates into an internal psychic crisis, but that does not mean that it will be externalized. "In other words, if each of us lives, at this period, a crisis in his heart, this is not necessarily a "noisy" and "behavioral" way (which could be the correct definition of the teen crisis). Marine, 38, is a perfect illustration of this. his mother or his teachers, but she admits a certain physical discomfort: she was too thin, slouched, less beautiful than the others, so many signs of an inevitable internal floating related to this age, but which did not need any to take on the appearance of a "disgusted attitude of life" or an open conflict with her parents

A crisis of parents?

Like all the people we met, the young woman also explains that his father and mother were very understanding, but never lax. no harmonious family atmosphere, parents who are listening, would that be the key? " From the moment you have a relatively balanced environment, where you can talk, to exchange, despite the inevitable problems, there is no reason for the crisis of adolescence to take a brusque dimension, notes Daniel Marcelli . Violence against oneself or against others often comes from the fact that speech no longer works, when one finds oneself in a climate of very poor understanding, of low empathy. "

Would the revolt against parents be then the expression of a crisis within the family, or even a crisis of the parents themselves It is important not to generalize. In a family, a child will experience a very hectic adolescence, while his brother or sister, who are one or two years apart, live things soothingly. Yet they grow up in the same mood, "says Marie Rose Moro," a wise or rebellious teenager is not only a reflection of the family climate, it also results from very personal elements that go back to early childhood. an individual had, in his younger years, the impression of having been less loved than a brother or a sister, this injury may reappear later.

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