Mumbling Mommy

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Slammed doors, sudden temper tantrums, sullen sulks, and words that are best not repeated here, are just some of the signs of a moody teenager. 

Such behaviors are quite common and are not always cause for a lot of worry. All teenagers go through hormonal shifts as they develop, and the chemical changes inside their brains can cause all kinds of moody and temperamental behaviors. We will have exhibited some of these behaviors ourselves when we were younger, and most of us will have grown out of them.

Still, beyond your teenager’s hormonal shifts, there can sometimes be underlying reasons why they are so moody. Admittedly, puberty will still play a factor, but it’s important to consider areas where they might also need our help and advice. 

Here are some of the causes of teenage mood swings.

#1: Problems at school

“How was school honey?” you might ask your teen as they walk through the front door. If they barely give an answer and head straight for their bedroom, it might be that they have had a bad day. Of course, they could also be tired (more in a moment), but it’s still worth considering any problems they may be having at school. Peer pressure is a big one for teens, as is social anxiety when they feel as though they aren’t fitting in. Bullying can also be a major problem, as can struggle with academic work. You’ve been to school – you know what it’s like – so consider the issues your teen may be having.

Talk to your teen when it is a good time to do so, perhaps when they are in a good mood. Try to gain information from their friends or siblings if they remain uncommunicative and perhaps check out their social media pages if you have access to them on your end. It might be that there is nothing wrong, but if there is, be there to support and advise, perhaps with the assistance of professional others if you need help. 

#2: A lack of sleep

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Unsurprisingly, a lack of sleep can be the catalyst for mood swings. This is something we can all experience as adults, as a lack of energy and mental focus can cause us to snap at others, become sensitive, and act in other ways that are against our nature. This is something you should pay attention to with your teen, as if they aren’t sleeping, you need to find out why.

Screen time can often be the instigator for a lack of sleep, of course, as can late nights with friends. However, if your teen is anxious for any reason, they might also struggle to sleep, so go beyond the obvious reasons. Again, talk to them and monitor their late-night behaviors. You might need to enforce a few rules and follow these tips on better sleep if the problem becomes persistent. 

#3: Mental health struggles

Mood swings can be symptomatic of bigger problems for your teen, and the first can be this one. Depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder are just some of the mental health issues that can emerge during adolescence, so it is vital that you seek professional help. Speak to your teen’s doctor and consider counseling services too. Sometimes, a change in lifestyle might be the best course of action, but medication could also be recommended if your teen’s mental health condition is severe. 

Research mental health disorders, including the signs of teen depression, and then let your teen know you’re there for them. With your support, they should be more receptive to the professional help you will be able to find for them. 

#4: Addiction problems

Unfortunately, teens are exposed to all kinds of addictive substances in their schools and communities. Nicotine is the obvious example, but then there are solvents, drugs, and alcohol to consider as well. Peer pressure is often the instigator for addiction problems, but school and life issues can also cause teenagers to numb the way they are feeling with something unhealthy. 

The chemical imbalance caused by addiction can result in sudden mood swings, so it’s important to spot the signs as early as you can. These don’t always relate to substances, of course, as screen time is another means of addiction.

Commit to as much research as you can to equip yourself with an understanding of what is going on, and talk to your teen if you are able. It might be that you need the help of a professional addiction interventionist, so do reach out for help if you know your teen needs expert support.

Okay, so your teen will be moody at times, and this can be for normal, hormonal reasons. But remember the other reasons for teenage moodiness, and be on the lookout for signs of underlying problems in your teen. They might need your help, so be there for them, give your support, and get them through any major issues they might be experiencing. 

Category: teenagers

Tags: morning four podcast