The Emotional Rollercoaster: Hormonal Changes and Teenage Mood Swings

Have you noticed a change in your daughter?

You may have observed that her behavior and emotions seem more erratic and unpredictable than normal, switching from one extreme feeling to another very quickly. She may go from acting happy, to sad, to angry, and back again in a matter of minutes. These mood changes may seem to occur for little or no apparent reason or cause. The emotional roller coaster rides of teenage mood swings is something almost every parent of a 10 to 14 year old girl experiences.

Times are a-changin in adolescence

As a 10 to 14 year old, your daughter is entering and experiencing a period of transformation known as adolescence, where she will change from a child to a young adult. Adolescence is a time of social, physical, mental, and emotional development. Social Changes could include girls beginning to feel more pressure about their appearance or fitting in with others their age (receiving approval from peers). Your daughter will go through many physical changes during her teen years, such as breast development, underarm and private-part hair growth, acne, and the beginning of menstruation.

The PROgesterones and CONs of Puberty

These physical changes (a.k.a. puberty) occur due to the bodily release of female hormones known as estrogen and progesterone. Two hormones, that when released, can also have an effect on the mental and emotional status of your daughter. This is where the teenage mood swings come in.

“Women can be, and many are, greatly affected by hormone fluctuations. Sometimes it gets to the point of feeling totally overwhelmed – as if for a time they have lost control of their life,” says Christiane Northrup, MD 

In an article by, researchers from State University of New York are referenced for making the physiological link between hormone release, and mood problems. They say that there is a hormone known as THP released in adults to calm them down when experiencing stress. However, THP not only works differently with adolescents, it acts the complete opposite. When teens feel stressed, their bodies release THP and rather than becoming calmer, their anxiety increases.

More than just moody: Help for your daughter

Encourage your daughter to exercise, get enough sleep, eat a snack, cry, or whatever she needs to do, to deal with a hormone-charged wave of emotion. Though dealing with hormone changes can often be the cause of your teen’s behavior or struggles, it is also crucial to keep in mind that these changes can also exacerbate an already existing problem that needs attention.
If your daughter is struggling with worsening or severe mood swings, or you believe she is depressed, it may be time to consult with someone for more information. Asheville Academy works solely with the ages 10-14, specializing in the specific struggle of that group and the most effective ways to help them find healing and happiness.

Call Asheville Academy, a therapeutic boarding school for girls, today at 800.264.8709 and find out all your options for getting your daughter the help she may need.