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Teenage Mood Swings

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Feeling like you don’t know where you are with your child and their teenage mood swings? You are not alone. Mood swings can be so rapid at this age that you can end up feeling as if you are dealing with several different personalities in the course of just one day.  If you are struggling to keep your patience, understanding what is going on for your teenage child can be a big help.

Lazy teenager girl

Physical changes

Of course, girls will be experiencing pre-menstrual symptoms for the first time, and it is easy to understand why that might be confusing.  But don’t rule out the impact of physical changes on your teen boy either. While it has not been absolutely proven, many people believe that rapid rises in sex hormones at this age can affect behaviour in both genders, and may have a particular role in producing anger and irritability in boys.teenage mood swings

On top of all that, your teen’s body is changing in so many ways.  The transition to physical maturity is rarely an easy one for anyone. Teenagers can feel awkward about their developing bodies, and can become obsessively worried about their appearance. All this in turn can affect their mood, and it may be that the snappy reaction you get to some perfectly innocuous comment is more to do with the way that they are feeling about themselves or their appearance today, than with what you actually said. If you can remember that, it may be just a little easier to bite your tongue.

Finding their way

It is a hard thing for a parent to accept, but the teenage years do tend to involve your children moving away from you, and this is entirely normal. In the process, you may find that you experience some fairly strong reactions from them, as they start to find everything about you, from your dress sense to your politics, completely ridiculous. Try not to take this too personally; your child is forming his or her own separate identity and that may rebelling quite strongly against you and your beliefs. This is actually a healthy, and necessary phase in their move to independence. In time, you will probably find that they calm down, and while you may not ever quite see eye to eye, you will be able to respect each other’s point of view.

Teen mental health

It can be difficult to know whether what’s going on with your teen is ‘normal’ or not. After all, they are on the way to becoming adults and so are old enough now to develop serious mental health problems like depression, anxiety and even schizophrenia. If your teen tends to be up and down, and there are still plenty of happy times interspersed with the more challenging times, then things are probably fairly normal. However, if a low mood becomes very prolonged, or if your teen isolates themselves constantly, gives up friendships and activities which used to give them pleasure, or has simply stopped interacting with you in a positive way altogether, then you may be looking at something more serious, and it may be time to seek help.

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About Paula Hendry

About Paula Hendry

Paula Hendry is a freelance consultant in the field of social work. She has been a social worker for twenty five years, and specialises in mental health. Paula has two children and writes in her spare time (which is virtually non-existent.)

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