What Are These Feelings?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

From India: Hello, I’m a 15 year old girl and lately I’ve been having these mixed up feelings all the time. I don’t know what do I exactly feel but it always pricks me, makes me want to cry and then it leads to making me feel useless because whatever I try to do ends up wrong. Whatever situation I try to handle turns out more messed up. I just feel I’m good for nothing. My friends probably don’t care about me. I just keep feeling lonely all the time. I need someone to care for me, someone to understand me. I’ve tried making friends but whenever I just start trusting them, they tend to break it. No matter wherever I go or to whosoever I talk to I keep feeling lonely, I keep feeling that I want to cry. I just don’t know why is this?It has never been like this before. These feelings have developed all of a sudden and it doesn’t let me concentrate on anything not even my studies. What can I possibly do to get these feelings out?

A: Thank you for writing. Adolescence can be a confusing time. What you are probably experiencing are the changes in emotions that are a normal part of development in the teen years. Your body is changing. Your hormones are shifting you into womanhood. Some girls go through this time more easily than others. Some, maybe like you, are more sensitive and feel things more deeply.

As for your friendships: I wonder how many are feeling the same kind of confusing feelings you are. It may be that everyone is afraid to talk about it so everyone ends up feeling alone and like there is something wrong with them. Maybe it would help if you opened up to a friend or two about who difficult it sometimes is to manage your emotions. It’s just possible they will be relieved to be able to share as well.

If you feel your emotions are truly more intense than other girls’, please make an appointment to see your doctor. If things are difficult, but normal, you will get that reassurance from your doctor. If there is something amiss, your doctor will help you understand your options for managing it.

In my many years as a psychologist, I’ve found that the teens who best manage these years are those who get involved in something they care about where they can work cooperatively with other teens. This could be a sport team, a theater group, a band, or a service project of some sort. When people work side by side with each other to reach a goal, the focus is on the goal, not on each other. That takes the pressure off the relationships. Friendships often evolve naturally as people get to know each other better. Give it a try.

In the meantime, make sure you are getting 8 hours of sleep a night, that you are eating a healthy diet and that you are getting some exercise every day. Your body is growing and changing and needs that care. A healthy body will help you have a healthy mind and spirit as well.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 8 May 2014

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2014). What Are These Feelings?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 31, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/05/08/what-are-these-feelings/