Puberty is a normal part of life for teens, but it can also be a difficult time for many. During puberty, teens experience physical and emotional changes that can affect their mental health. Whether you’re a teen facing puberty or a parent working to support your child, it’s important to understand how puberty impacts mental health and what you can do to ease the transition into adulthood. Learn more about protecting adolescent mental health from the experts at Ascend today.
Hormonal Changes During Puberty & Mental Health
One of the main reasons why puberty and mental health are related is because of the hormonal changes that occur during this period. These hormones can affect everything from emotions and moods to physical changes in the body, which in turn can lead to mental health struggles with self-esteem or larger concerns, such as depression and anxiety. Additionally, hormonal changes have been linked to other issues, such as eating disorders or self-harm behaviors, because teens don’t have all the tools they need to address the issues they might be facing.
Some signs of puberty-related mental health issues include difficulty concentrating, persistent sadness or irritability, and changes in sleeping patterns. Other signs may manifest as physical symptoms, including headaches, stomachaches, or fatigue. If you’re seeing or experiencing any of these symptoms, it might be time to take a deeper look at how puberty may be impacting your mental health.
Physical Changes & Adolescent Mental Health
Puberty isn’t just about hormones — it also involves physical changes such as growth spurts or weight gain. These physical changes can be difficult to accept, and negative feelings may be exacerbated by peer pressure from their classmates or friends. If left unchecked, confusion and negativity from physical changes may eventually manifest as anxiety or depression.
Some warning thoughts that could indicate puberty-related mental health concerns include:
- “I’m not good enough”
- “I’ll never be able to fit in”
- “Everyone’s always judging me”
- “No one understands what I’m going through”
If you’ve ever experienced these feelings during puberty, know that you’re not alone and there is help available. If you’re a parent of a teen experiencing puberty, opening up the conversation around mental health, especially if you’ve heard them express these thoughts, can be a great way to show your support.
Social Changes & Mental Health
Finally, puberty often brings with it social changes as well — especially when it comes to relationships with peers and romantic partners. During this time, teens are trying to figure out who they are and make sense of their place in the world around them. Unfortunately, this process is rarely straightforward and often leads to confusion or frustration — emotions that may be felt more intensely if there are underlying mental health issues present.
Ways that these feelings may manifest in teens include:
- Avoiding social situations
- Withdrawing from family and friends
- Developing low self-esteem
- Struggling to make decisions
Mental health concerns like anxiety, depression, and gender dysphoria can arise from puberty-related social changes. Talking to friends about your mental health or seeking professional help could guide you toward resolving painful and uncomfortable emotions.
Ascend Understands Adolescent Mental Health
Puberty is an important milestone in everyone’s lives, but it doesn’t always come without its challenges — especially when it comes to mental health. Fortunately, there are resources available. Ascend’s teen treatment centers in California specialize in helping adolescents navigate the various emotional, social, and physical changes associated with this period of life so that they can build a healthy foundation for adulthood.
Ascend’s team of experienced professionals works with teens and their families to create customized treatment plans that are tailored to each individual’s needs. If you’re ready to learn more about puberty and mental health, find support for the changes in your life, or bolster the entire family system during difficult times, reach out at 310.388.3713 today.