Shirah Vollmer MD

The Musings of Dr. Vollmer

Archive for October 20th, 2010

Adolescence

Posted by Dr. Vollmer on October 20, 2010

    Gila, sixteen, with tremendous energy and passion, along with streaming tears, said “Dr. Vollmer, you just don’t understand. My mom is just not there for me. It is unbearable.” I waited. Within minutes, she calmed down, and as she was leaving she calmly said “thank you, see ya tomorrow.” The seemingly sudden changes from rage to sadness to calmness all seemed comfortable to Gila. Comfortable may seem like an unusual word, but Gila seemed to need to express herself with deep feeling, such that once she did that, she felt better. Is this the hallmark of adolescence? Was she premenstrual? Maybe this is just Gila: strong, dramatic, expressive, passionate. I am not sure. How much can I attribute emotion to a developmental phase? To a hormonal state? Maybe it does not matter. Gila was expressing herself; she was using therapy to describe, verbally and nonverbally, how she felt in that moment. I am left to wonder, living with the uncertainty of seeing Gila in a way that I have never seen her before, thinking about nature, nurture, and developmental change.

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