Maturity is the ability to respond to life situations in an age-appropriate manner.
It comes from the lessons we learn from the experiences we garner in our lives at every age.
Human frailty is to not want to feel unpleasant emotions, to want to escape them, and to use anyways and means to do so. Constructively, this happens by immersing oneself in academics, sports, work, hobbies, etc. Destructively, one can get into abusing substances like alcohol and illicit drugs or prescription medication, all of which have addictive potential.
Even the constructive distraction from issues that are unaddressed leads to piling of the same, resulting in psychological breakdowns like depression or anxiety issues or physical systemic ailments like hypertension, diabetes, etc.
However, there is still a chance that one can, through counseling and help be guided into being a more mature individual dealing with one’s issues.
Abusing substances, instead, from an early age leads to stunting of one’s growth physically and emotionally as a human being.
When there is any trauma that is emotional, in childhood, which has gone unaddressed, and the person gets into substance use, he/ she takes away the chance of growing up from oneself.
It is seen that the individual gets stuck emotionally, at the ages of trauma or at the age when the substance use was started and refuses to grow up.
Trauma, whether childhood sexual abuse or verbal and physical abuse creates an imprint on his/her psyche. The individual’s mind in order to protect oneself from potential or perceived traumas tends to choose paths of escapism. Entering into unhealthy relationships mimicking the past abuse happens subconsciously; so does getting into addictive use of substances.
Drug usage begins from a very young age in these times, especially the use of weed. THC in marijuana affects the growth of neurons in the hippocampus of the brain resulting in the affectation of the ability to learn new things. The long-term impact is seen in the lowering of IQ levels in adolescents who began the use of marijuana from a very young age.
The physical development happens as per age, but mentally, the person is an adolescent and behaves childishly in situations that do not demand it. As the ability to micro plan, judge, and make rational decisions have been affected due to substance use, grandiose plans are made, reactions to practical work and business decision making processes become immature and driven by emotions. This dependency translates into relationships wherein the ability to dissociate oneself and maintain one’s individuality is lost. One looks for a parental pampering, which, if not received, would head into a tantrum. In a child, a tantrum would be probably crying, shouting, banging one’s head, etc. In an adult, it can be the same or it can be in the form of sulking for days, fighting, crying, etc.
It is seen that people who start drug and alcohol use and abuse in early adolescence remain stunted, at the mental age they began using. Thus, they suffer from arrested development.
The IQ of a person addicted to marijuana drops over long term use by even 6-8 points.
The adolescent in the adult’s body responds or reacts to a situation from a rebellious space.
Years spent in using are equivalent to years spent in blocking out or suppressing emotions. This becomes a habit. An escape is sought from every uncomfortable emotion.
Merrill Norton, a clinical assistant professor of pharmacy at the University of Georgia, is an expert on substance abuse and its effects on brain development. Norton, using positron emission tomography, or PET scans, has been able to show how teenage drug and alcohol abuse leaves the brain stuck at the same level of maturity it was when drug use began.
Residential rehabilitation treatment in an environment that is voluntary, non-medical, and compassionate is required. Tools like meditation, sharing, and writing help the suppressed emotions to surface and allows the person to feel safe to be oneself. One learns to deal with life situations and one’s past with the maturity of an adult. Living with experiential counselors 24/7 makes it easier to share when one wishes to and be inspired by it.
At Anatta Humanversity we provide all of the above. The client thus receives the right foundation to grow into a wise, mature adult.