Anger hurts YOU!
Everything seemed to be getting on Minh's nerves this morning.
At breakfast, her mother told her she looked nice. Minh didn't
respond because she didn't think she looked nice. Then her father
came into the kitchen and asked how his little girl was and gave
Minh a wink. Suddenly Minh lashed out at her father, saying she
wasn't a baby anymore and to stop treating her like one.
Rushing out of the kitchen, Minh grabbed her backpack and left,
slamming the front door behind her. Outside, she started crying.
She didn't know why she was so angry or why she was crying.
She felt this way often lately and wondered if something was
wrong with her.
In fact, Minh's feelings are common and normal for teens.
Going from sadness to rage to joy in a matter of seconds can make
you feel as though you're losing your grip. Because of enormous
changes taking place in your life, you may feel like you're on an
emotional roller coaster.
Constant change can make you feel this way. You may have started
a new school and you don't get to see your old friends as much.
Maybe your circle of friends is changing and you don't want to hang
out with your old friends anymore. You may be anxious about whether
you'll be popular. Getting good grades is a concern, and maybe you're
worried you won't have enough time to do everything. You have a
lot on your mind.
As teens near adulthood, they struggle with their sense of identity
and self-image. You identify more readily with your friends than your
parents, so being accepted by friends becomes extremely important.
You might realize that you're no longer a child and feel a sense of
freedom, but at the same time, you might be sad that your childhood
You may feel confused like Minh. Feeling confused is normal and one
of the most common feelings a teen can have. You feel confused for
a good reason: growing up is full of conflict - it's fun and exciting, but
scary, too. You want to be on your own and make your own decisions,
but it can be overwhelming at times. Part of the reason you're moody,
especially at home, is because you're caught between being a child
and being an adult. It takes a while to feel comfortable with that
Another cause for your mood swings is biology. When you begin to
- usually between ages 8 and 13 for girls and between
ages 10 and 15 for boys
- your body starts producing sex hormones. You probably know
that these hormones
- estrogen and progesterone in girls and testosterone in guys
cause physical changes in your body. But they also cause emotional
changes - the ups and downs you sometimes feel you can't control.
If you understand that everyone is going through the kinds of mood
swings you're going through, they might be easier to handle.
Talking to people you can trust is important for you right now. Friends
can help each other by realizing that they're not alone in their feelings.
Talking to your parents is helpful, too. You might be fighting with them
more now, but remember, they went through exactly what you are
going through and can understand.
Your mother or father will appreciate it if you try to explain how you feel
instead of just slamming a door. A trusted teacher or counselor would
be a good person to confide in, too, and your doctor can help you sort
through questions about your development. Keeping your feelings inside
makes them seem much worse.
Here are some more suggestions on what you can do to feel better:
Create: start a journal or diary or start an art or music piece.
Writing helps you organize and express your thoughts and
feelings, and will make things more manageable. Don't worry
about grammar, spelling, or punctuation; the important thing
is just to get your thoughts on paper. Do the same thing with
paint, sculpture, music, or other art forms - don't censor
yourself; just put your feelings into your artwork.
Exercise: regular exercise produces more beta-endorphin, a
hormone that controls stress and improves mood. Go for a run,
play some tennis, ride your bike, or punch a punching bag.
Get enough sleep: although it's hard to find enough time, proper
rest is really important. When you're tired, everything seems
worse and it's much easier to feel bad and irritable.
Cry: there's nothing wrong with crying; in fact, it will probably
make you feel better. However, if you find that you are sad most
of the time, or if you just can't seem to shake a bout of the blues,
you might be depressed and need help from a doctor.Stress can
also be overwhelming. If you can't cope with your daily routine,
tell an adult. But remember that some pain, confusion, and sadness
are all part of life, especially when you're a teen.
dedicated to improving the health and spirit of children. Today, as part of its
continuing mission, the Foundation supports the operation of a number of renowned
children's health facilities throughout the nation, including the Alfred I. duPont
Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware, and the Nemours Children's Clinics
throughout Florida. Visit The Nemours Foundation to find out more about them and