Unstable Emotions

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I’m 16. I’ve been so angry lately and so sad I don’t know why I’m fine when I’m alone but when someone talks to me or I’m with someone ad they do something I don’t like I get in a bad mood and I’m always so rude to my mom I don’t know why I need help but I want to know help for what I just need something to make me happy again I don’t know what it’s not that I don’t want to live sometimes I feel that way but not lots anymore

A: It sounds to me like you are on an emotional roller coaster and you can’t find the brakes. I have to wonder if things are physically all okay. You are in the midst of puberty, an age of enormous physical change. I think the first step should be with your doctor. Get checked to make sure hormone levels are where they should be.

Another common reason for emotional ups and downs in teens is insufficient sleep. Yes, I know. It’s hard to believe. But if you are not getting about 8 hours a night, every night, your body isn’t getting what it needs to restore itself. The result can be irritability and depression.

If those two things check out, you might consider an evaluation from a mental health counselor. A counselor can hear your whole story and help you make sense of your experience. In the meantime, if you are feeling upset and distressed, I hope you will consider calling the Boys and Girls Town Hotline. Counselors are available 24/7 to talk to kids like you and give you some support. The phone number is: 800-448-3000.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 13 Jul 2013

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2013). Unstable Emotions. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/07/13/unstable-emotions-2/

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