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Rapidly Shifting Feelings

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One second I feel okay and then I feel really upset and angry the next. Either way, no matter what I’m doing, I am never happy. If I am alone, I don’t want to be alone. If I am with people, I want to be alone. I try to handle situations with my parents maturely, but when arguments surface I always act like a child. I scream and cry and get really angry and I don’t know why! I punch holes in walls even though I am a small girl. I’m going off to college, but I still feel like a failure in my parent’s eyes. Everything I do is wrong, even though I do almost everything they ask of me. One second I am happy with my life to an extent, but the next week I hate everyone and everything and I want to just cry all of the time. I know I am rambling, but I don’t even know how to talk about my emotions because they are all over the place. I have no idea why I cant just be content with anything. Like, if I wanted to be alone, why is it when I’m alone that I’m still unhappy? Why if I want to be around my friends, when I get there, I hate them all and want to be alone? It’s not some stupid reason like college or education because I am very excited to pursue a career and expand my knowledge in college. I just want to know why I am always angry and sad or not happy. I am on this constant emotional roller coaster and I am sick of it.

Rapidly Shifting Feelings

Answered by on -


It sounds like you are on the cusp of becoming independent from your parents. When parents have been dissatisfied with us on a regular basis there is a disconnect between who we are and what is acceptable to them. While this is natural in many ways as part of normal development the intensity of this experience can create the feeling that “no matter what I want or do it won’t be right.” The resulting frustration with this ongoing dissatisfaction generates anger.

My guess is that as you are launched into college life your feelings of independence and acceptance by others will change and self-acceptance will follow. When you get to the university I would encourage you to take advantage of the university counseling center if you do not feel a positive shift during the first semester. The counselors there will be very used to helping freshmen navigate these new experiences.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Rapidly Shifting Feelings

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Rapidly Shifting Feelings. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 5 Jul 2013)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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