The terms “the tween years” and “moodiness” could be used interchangeably. When your tween is snuggling up to you on the couch, the next thing you know, you’re being called “embarrassing” for it. Sometimes it appears your tween is brooding in the bedroom for hours. As a parent, it’s crucial to realize the difference between normal mood swings in adolescents and a warning of something more serious.
Moodiness in Tweens: What Causes It?
Because they’re going through so much, it’s understandable that tweens are prone to mood swings. Hormones begin to vary as kids approach puberty and cause mental instability. Emotional maturity is still lacking in this age group. In other words, they convey their feelings as if they were experiencing them themselves.
Their lives are full of tension, including the desire to be a full-fledged adults while still clinging to the idea of being your baby. It’s a recipe for some erratic behavior when those ingredients are combined.
Mood Disorders: What Are They?
Although most tween mood swings in adolescents are natural, mood disorders can and do arise during this time period. Bipolar and major depressive disorder are two of the most frequent types of mood disorders. Anxiety and depression share symptoms such as low moods, anger, apathy, difficulty sleeping, irregular eating patterns, and exhaustion.
If you’ve been diagnosed with bipolar illness, you’re likely to have periods of depression followed by mania or hypomania (low-level mania). The mood swings experienced by older teenagers and adults with bipolar illness can linger for weeks or even months. Still, highs and lows can occur considerably more frequently among children with the disorder.
Mood Disorders: How Common Are They?
Adolescents are more likely than adults to suffer from mood problems, according to research.
13.3% of 12- to 17-year-olds had had at least one major depressive episode, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. The prevalence of the bipolar disorder in adolescents between the ages of 13 and 18 was found to be 2.9 percent in a large-scale national survey.
Moodiness and Mood Disorders: The Differences
To determine whether your child has a mood problem or if they are simply having a bad day, how can you know? Impairment is one of the most notable distinctions. If your adolescent isn’t going to school, eating, sleeping, or engaging in sports because they are moping around, pay attention to whether or not this behavior is interfering with their normal routines. Is their daily routine the same as it has always been? If this is the case, then the melancholy is quite normal.
Keep an eye out for your child’s peers as well. What’s going on with them? What kinds of ups and downs are they experiencing? To better understand what’s “normal” for a child, you can look at their peers and see what they’re doing.
If your tween is expressing a lot of sadness, disengaging from the world, saying they want to “disappear,” talking about suicide, or desiring to harm others, it’s time to see a doctor.
Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for help and support from a certified counselor if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts. As soon as possible, call 911 for yourself or a loved one who is in immediate danger.
How to Deal with a Normally Depressed State of Mind
How do you deal with a case of normal mood swings in adolescents, which is most likely the situation? Think about the fact that your child is not trying to hurt you but is instead dealing with a weird mixture of hormones and mental instability. Let them off the hook a little.
At the same time, remember that no matter what, children should never be allowed to harm others by their acts. Explain to them how their behaviors affect you or other members of your family.
Sayings like, “You’re out of line when you grumble about dinner” should be avoided. As an alternative, use “I” sentences such as “I felt upset when you grumbled about the supper I spent time creating.
Expect your youngster to be unresponsive for the time being. Eventually, their attitude will change, and you’ll be snuggling up on the couch together again. At least for a short period of time.