Rapidly Changing Emotions

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Hello I’m a 13 year old female from Switzerland and I believe I may have some sort of depression/anger issue. I can suddenly snap at my parents when they talk to me and I can’t control it. I can be very happy and pleased then the next I can be very sad. I don’t know if this is to do with changing into a young female but I have been feeling like this for a while. I can get so angry and sad that I want to throw things.i am usually very happy but when one thing puts me down I go crazy! I was wondering if you could give me any tips of how I can stop being like this or help me diagnose this problem.
It would mean a lot
Thank you

A: You are at a time in life when you are going through some major physical changes. Before you decide that there is a mental health issue, it’s important to talk to your doctor about how you are feeling. It may be that you are having the normal mood fluctuations that come with puberty. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t difficult. It is for most young women. But it does suggest that treatment is more about learning to cope while your body adjusts, not seeing a psychiatrist.

If that is the case, the best way to manage it is to treat yourself right. Eat a balanced diet. Get 8 or more hours of sleep at night and make sure to get some good exercise every day. Keep a feelings journal to track your feelings and what triggers the angry and unhappy times. Then identify the things in your life that make you feel better and make it a practice to do them when you start to feel low.

If you still can’t manage the shifts in feelings, the place to start is with your mother or an older sister or another older female you trust. You could ask them for tips on how they made it through the teen years. Ask them what they wish someone had told them when they were 13. You may be surprised at some of the answers.

Still feeling like you are on an emotional roller coaster? Then it might be helpful to see a therapist. One thing a therapist can do is give you some coaching in new ways to cope. Another is to evaluate you for a more serious problem. If that’s the case, the therapist will talk with you and your parents about treatment options.

Thank you for writing. Acknowledging that there is a problem is the first step toward fixing it. Now take the next steps so you can get some support and some relief.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 4 Jul 2013

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2013). Rapidly Changing Emotions. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 31, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/07/04/rapidly-changing-emotions/