Dr. Daniel Siegel Debunks Myths About the Teenage Brain

Dr. Daniel Siegel is a neuropsychiatrist and a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles and the author of the book “Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain.” Recently, he was featured in an episode of our teen mental health podcast, On Our Minds with Matt and Faiza where he debunked myths about the adolescent mind with Special Mental Health Correspondent Deesha Panchal.

Teen Years are the Worst

The first myth that Dr. Siegel debunks that adolescence or teenage years are a terrible time that young people need to get over quickly. On the contrary, he says, “they’re an incredible opportunity to not be in the dependency of childhood, not have the responsibility of adulthood, but be in this important developmental time when all sorts of fabulous things that people are learning are coming true.”

“There is no such thing as raging hormones”

Dr. Siegel also talked about the impact of hormones on adolescent growth. While hormones are more intense during teenage years, he argues that they are not raging –  they are simply remodeling the brain.

“When you ask adults especially, well, what’s this teenage stuff all about? They go, ‘oh, hormones, you know, raging hormones make their emotions so full of anger.’ And first of all, there is no such thing as raging hormones. Hormones are rising. These are the chemicals that help balance the way the body functions. They absolutely change during adolescence. That’s true, but they’re not raging. And the reason that’s important is that emotions become more intense.”

Deesha and Dr. Siegal also talked about teen passion and creativity, how adults can be supportive, and more. 

“The future of the world depends on the passion of adolescents, their collaborative ability, the ability to have the courage to try new things because we’re getting we’ve really gotten stuck on our planet and then the way they can creatively imagine the world as it could be.”

Listen to On Our Minds wherever you find your podcasts, or click here.