Why Does My Teenager Have Mood Swings?


Teenagers go through a lot and a lot of teenagers have mood swings. There are a few different potential causes of mood swings in teenagers, but sometimes they are also a sign of an underlying problem like depression or anxiety.

This article includes some possible causes of mood swings as well as things that a parent can do to help their teen.

Causes of Mood Swings in Teenagers

There are a lot of different causes of mood swings in teenagers, and many times more than one of them could be contributing to the problem. Mental illness can cause mood swings in teenagers, but there are other factors that are often at play as well.

Teens go through a lot of hormonal changes that may cause or contribute to mood swings. Adolescence is a time of significant change and can cause emotional changes. It can even make teens irritable or sad.

Teenagers are also looking to find themselves. This time in a person’s life is often when a person finds their identify because they are becoming more independent and begin to establish their own goals and ideals. This can cause some changes and turmoil that can result in mood swings as the individual comes to term with their budding personality.

In some cases, the search for identity is related to a questioning of sexuality, gender, or sense of self. This can also be difficult to come to terms with and can contribute to emotional teens.

When a person reaches their teen years, they often have much more responsibility than they ever had before. This can cause a lot of stress as a teen works hard to balance their personal and school lives. Time management is an important skill for a teen to learn, but too much stress can cause strong emotions and mood swings.

Teenagers often try hard to fit into certain social circles or have difficulty making friends or maintaining friendships. Social support is important, but an unhealthy social life can also be bad for overall mental health.

Social media can also construct false personas of themselves or others and make it harder to develop a healthy self-image. Teens may try to fit into trends and lifestyles or to look a certain way, which can lead to stress or mood swings.


Therapy can be effective for treating a lot of the underlying problems that contribute to mood swings. Cogntiive behavioral therapy can help a teen learn how to replace negative thinking patterns with healthier, more positive thoughts. It can also help them gain new perspectives and improve their well-being.


Communication is important if you have a teenager who is having mood swings or other emotional issues. Speaking with them and encouraging them to talk can be helpful. Listening to them without judgment can also make them feel loved and supported. Let your teen know that it is okay to be not okay and that they are not alone. Loving support, active listening, and helpful communication can go a long way.

Coping Methods

Everyone has strong emotions at some point, but it is crucial that we know what to do with those emotions. Emotion management is part of being a mature person. One way to help is to learn the things that trigger excessive or distressing emotions. Teenagers may be unable to identify triggers, but it is important that they learn.

You can try to encourage calming techniques such as mindfulness meditation or focused breathing. Help them develop healthy habits that they can use to calm down. Some teens love to listen to music, others like to exercise. It is also good to be a role model for managing emotions in a mature and healthy way.

Healthy Habits

While healthy habits were already mentioned, it is an important aspect of mental health that people often neglect. Healthy habits include restful sleep, nutrition, and regular exercise. However, healthy habits also include hobbies and social activities that the teenager enjoys. These things not only provide a distraction, but teens can also use them for channeling emotions.


A parent may be concerned with their teenager’s outbursts or mood swings. This is normal, but it is also important that you do not encroach on their privacy and space. Try to be supportive and non-judgmental without forcing them to do things that they do not want to do (within reason of course). Let them know you care and are there for them. If all else fails, a therapist may be able to help your teen learn coping techniques and address underlying problems.

Marie Miguel Biography


Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

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