Is this just a phase or something else?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

A lot has been going on. I was just wondering if its just a phase or if its something else. Okay, so over the past three weeks me and my family have noticed a lot of changed in my behavior. Ive been tired all of the time (even when Ive slept for 10 hours), I’m almost never hungry, I’ve been really crappy, I’m easily set off and annoyed, I talk back and i’m a big jerk to everyone, I lose my train of thought, and i will forget things that Ive been told, or was going to do just minutes before, My whole outlook on things have changed, i’m negative and the cup half empty kind of girl, where as i was always positive before, I’m easily distracted, i cant focus on anything, I find myself out of energy all of the time. Just basically the type of girl who hides behind a smile. So, is it just a phase? Or is it something more? And how would i go about changing things?

A: Though only 14, your letter shows you to be a particularly intelligent girl. Instead of just hoping your troubles will go away, you are talking about it and looking for help. Good for you. It’s never a good idea to write off big changes in mood and personality as a “phase” until you are sure that you are medically okay. Although it may be nothing, I’m concerned when someone your age isn’t hungry.

The first thing to do is to make an appointment with your doctor. It may be that there is something physical going on and your changes in mood are the way that your body is telling you so. It may also be that you are experiencing the flood tide of hormones that goes with adolescence. Your doctor can also determine if that may be the problem.

If everything checks out medically, you might want to see a counselor for an evaluation. There are lots of changes in life that go with being a teen. Sometimes it’s helpul to have someone who is neutral and not in your family to talk to. A counselor can help you learn how to manage your moods and how to figure out problems on your own. Counseling can also provide good support when you are feeling down or angry and you know you don’t want to take it out on the people who love you.

In the meantime, if you need someone to talk to, please consider calling the Boys and Girls Town National hotline at 800-448-3000. Counselors are available 24/7 to talk to kids just like you who want some advice and support.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 23 May 2010

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2010). Is this just a phase or something else?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/05/23/is-this-just-a-phase-or-something-else/