I'm 15 and I always hear people say that teenagers are so hormonal and what not. Why do people always say this? What makes them hormonal? What things do teens do that makes people call us hormonal? Thanks.
Most Helpful Guy
The reason people use it as a statement is because the differences between teen thinking and adult thinking are actually quite significant, and it's the hormones that are partially responsible for this. The prefrontal cortex in the brain is only partially developed in teens. It doesn't finish 'cooking' until mid-20s. It acts as the arbiter, the judge, keeping the urges of the hypothalamus in check, urges that are going a little crazy because the brain is getting doused in hormonal chemicals it's never really experienced before.
So... first of all, think of some old 60 year old hippy. They smoke a joint, they don't do much. They are used to the feeling, it's all fine and good, it doesn't even phase them. A young teen smokes a joint for the first time and suddenly you run into a case of the giggles, or talking too much, or whatever... the brain isn't used to the influx of new chemicals. It takes repeated exposure to calm that down.
So you have the brain getting hit with these new experiences that it doesn't have any resistance to, and you don't have a fully functioning prefrontal cortex to moderate it, to tell the brain that this is a bad idea. Basically the 'shoulder angel, shoulder devil' system is not in place in the mind. Sometimes a half-formed shoulder angel may show up alone, sometimes a shoulder devil on steroids shows up, sometimes neither, almost never both. It makes the behaviour seem impulsive, because it lacks foresight.
So, the term is really a shorthand to mean that teens have behaviour that seems impulsive and unpredictable, because given identical inputs, the teen brain and the adult brain will come to different outputs. The brain quite literally is not yet finished developing, and it means it will be occasionally outputting decisions and behaviours that no adult brain would ever consider a good idea.1