There are no psychiatric illnesses which are specific to adolescence, but the way in which some of the difficulties present may have a peculiar emphasis in response to teenage culture. The psychiatrist has to take into account the disturbed adolescent's developmental progress, in addition to his illness, in much the same way as the paediatrician has to assess the child's physical, mental and emotional development. He has to recognise that progress in treatment will be slow. He must be aware of the teenager's undue sensitivity at all times and has to help him to acquire a viable selfimage. He needs to provide support and control, yet like the good parent, allow scope for experimentation and encourage initiative. Altogether this is a tall order which makes work with adolescents both challenging and frustrating, always trying to be a step ahead 302
CONCLUSION 303 of the patient and yet knowing that one never will be. In a sense, the therapist suffers growing pains with each patient.