Part Four: From care to where? Early brain development susceptible to neglect, abuse

The human brain is not fully developed until about age 25. Before that, young people can be impulsive, make poor decisions, and are often more susceptible to addictions.

Psychiatrists have a phrase for this stage of reasoning: “Hyperrational thinking.”

It is a tendency to focus on the upside of situations and ignore risks, says Daniel J. Siegel, a psychiatry professor at the University of California, Los Angeles school of medicine.

“You know that driving 100 miles per hour could be really dangerous, you could hurt somebody or yourself, but you focus on the upside, which is that it would be really thrilling,” Siegel explains.

When a young person has been neglected, abused, or has no secure attachments, brain development may be compromised, Siegel said.

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