Are teenagers more susceptible to stress? The answer is yes, largely because they have a more intense unconscious response to emotional stimuli. Also, stress levels that could be temporary in adults might last longer for teenagers and may even result in post-traumatic stress disorders or depression years later. In that sense, enters game the so-called plasticity sináptica, that is how create and mold the sinapsis and connections according to the experiences. For example, if a child studies music, they will develop more connections related to music. Synapses are also involved in the development of unwanted behavior such as a predisposition to experience addictions. This is because addictions are another way of learning that create stronger synapses in the reward circuits of adolescents than adults. Whenever I speak to teenagers I try to give them the following advice: "Take care of your brain now and it will take care of you in the future."
It's important to stress this point, as drugs have a greater effect on teenagers' brains as they are more vulnerable. For example, know that the alcohol consumption for the last years of the adolescence affects the sinapsis of the brain and modifies your circuits. There are even studies that demonstrate that people who consume alcohol on a regular basis during their adolescence tend to take more risks when they're adults than those who don't. Similarly, the use of cannabis has been shown to decrease synapse activity, which impedes synaptic plasticity. In short, everything that happens to a person during their adolescence might permanently change the structure of their brain in the future.
A lack of sleep can also reduce a person's ability to create synaptic plasticity. Owe understand the hardship of the dream as another way of stress; and more so for adolescents, whose body clocks are different to those of adults. Adults start to secrete melatonin (the hormone that makes you sleepy) at around 9pm. However, adolescents don't start to secrete melatonin until around 11pm, which is why they find it difficult to go to bed or get up early, as it's the wrong type of sleep cycle for them. That's why many teenagers are chronically sleep-deprived, a fact that could make us stop and think whether we should take biology into account when planning school timetables.
Before ending this interview, I would like to invite teachers to check out the studies into the teenage brain that have recently started to be published, because, as educators, they're having an impact on the synaptic plasticity of their students. In my opinion, owe observe your health emotional, as well as stimulate them and help them to that explore to themselves. We now know a lot about how the brain works and can use all this information to help children have a happier adolescence and to encourage their brains to be more productive.