Due to hormonal changes, adolescents have mood swings and frequently change their temperament. They tend to have more intense and wide-ranging emotions than children or adults, and they exaggerate their problems as well. It's common to see adolescents fluctuating between feeling like they're on top of the world one moment and being depressed the next. These emotional changes affect their school performance, appearance, choice of friends and their ability to make appropriate life choices.
Adolescence is a time of emotional stress in the house as adolescents become increasingly independent and their desires often clash with their parents' requests. Adolescents are inclined to take risks, whereas their parents are interested in their safety. They tend to act impulsively, without thinking about the consequences, and they make decisions based on what feels good at the moment. Even when parents try to explain their own decisions based on their life experience and knowledge, adolescents often react emotionally without even listening to the reasons. Therefore, behavior issues and rebellion is common. However, although it's unwelcome, their defiance is necessary in order for the adolescent's unique identity to emerge.
Adolescents lean toward making intimate relationships with friends while distancing themselves from their family. In addition, their perception of themselves is tied to how others view them. Adolescents may think they are constantly being watched and evaluated, making them overly concerned with their appearance. Although adolescents crave independence from their family, their insecurity and social pressure cause them to strive to fit in with the crowd in order to be accepted.
Along with independence and emerging identity, adolescence is marked by the beginning of romantic interests. However, sexual emotions induce anxiety and these underlying emotions often distract adolescents from their day-to-day activities, such as school and sports. Adolescents who have severe emotional problems, such as excessive mood swings or prolonged depression, need to get professional help as soon as possible.
Originally Published: Apr 4, 2011