Question: Hi there. I'd like to know what causes mood swings because I can be really happy one second and then I'm annoyed and angry the next and I don't know why I'm angry all of a sudden but for no reason i'll just be think 'touch me and i'll kill you' when just a minute ago i was all sunshine and butterflies. So what is it in our brains that causes mood swing and sudden attitude changes?

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  1. I’m on it! My PhD is all about that, but I’ve just started so I haven’t figured everything out yet.

    I’m convinced that part of it is drastic hormonal changes, and kids (especially girls) get loads of those. You can’t help it; your body is re calibrating and that takes time. I’m pretty sure oxytocin has something to do with it too.

    And then there is the factor of stress levels, they can be quite high in high school kids too and stress does a number on your neurotransmitters and your immune system. The idea that your immune system is involved in mood as well is still not widely accepted in science, but just wait and see, they’ll get there eventually.

    As for you. I so recognize those feelings; I still have them, maybe not as intense, but I still do. Exercise tends to help (which I hate, because I don’t really like exercise) because it gets the system to focus on one thing and work together. It also releases endorphins which help you not want to kill people.

    When you do feel that way, I find it helps to go and do something completely different and wait for it to go away. It sucks, but I’m working on fixing it!



  1. Oh Amber, we all remember those awful teenage years!!
    As Josien says, we think that the huge mix of hormones confuses your brain so much during the teenage years that it is difficult to keep your mood stable. Plus there’s other stuff going on in the teenage period, which is completely normal, that involves the transition from being a kid to an adult.
    Your brain actually doesn’t stop growing and developing until you are 25! One part in particular, called the pre-frontal cortex is where a lot of decision making occurs and it is also where planning, social behaviour and personality comes from. The prefrontal cortex is one of the very last parts of the brain to mature, so this also helps explain the horrid mood swings that happen in teenagers.
    As Josie suggested, exercise, eating well and getting out of the house and doing something fun can really help to relax the mind- and its good for your body too!