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Let’s Talk Emotions: Our Guide to Emotional Changes During Puberty

OK, so you’ve got a lot going on right now! You’re juggling the physical and emotional changes during puberty with so many other things; school, family, friends, dating…that’s a lot. There’s no two ways about it, going through puberty is a big deal, so it’s totally OK to feel overwhelmed and confused about how to handle stuff. Worrying at a time like this can make you feel sad and stressed, but reaching out and chatting to someone might make you feel a bit better.

What am I feeling?

Feelings of worry and anxiety are your body’s natural way of preparing for new challenges and now you’re growing into a young adult, you’ll face a few of them. They’re caused by your biology and a rush of chemicals called hormones in your body, preparing you for “fight or flight” — giving you a quick burst of energy should you need to tackle a situation. But don’t panic, we all get these feelings and it’s important to take a few deep breaths and remind yourself of that.

Why does puberty make you feel like this?

Puberty can be a crazy time for your hormones and can last a few years, so it’s bound to take some adjustment. It’s important to remember that puberty is a time of transition as you become a young adult, so it can be confusing as you adapt to the ‘new you’. Your hobbies may change, you may start to think about what you want for your future, or you may be expected to take on more responsibility at home. All of this is totally normal and bound to be a bit confusing, so try not to be too hard on yourself if you don’t adapt overnight!

Why do I keep getting called a ‘Moody Teenager’?

Unfortunately, with all these hormones flying about, you’re bound to get ‘Mood Swings’. You may feel happy one moment, like you want to cry the next and back to your normal self just as quickly. They’re completely normal but just as you notice your moods changing so will those around you. It’s good to try and control them if you can, so you don’t end up saying things you don’t mean or hurting anyone else’s feelings. We promise they won’t last forever, it’s just a normal part of growing up. As you find yourself going through the motions, no matter how much you love your parents or guardians they may drive you mad! Take a minute to put yourself in their shoes: their role up to now has been to keep you safe and take care of everything; from nappies to driving you from A to B, so your grown-up need for independence might take a bit of getting used to. Lots of families find this new transition hard, you won’t be the only ones. The best thing to do? Try to talk about it as openly and honestly as you can with each other, they were teenagers once and they may be finding it hard because you remind them of themselves!

Peer Pressure (1)

Why don’t my friends feel this way?

So here’s the thing, everyone is different. Everyone starts puberty at different ages and your friends may be in a different stage to you – that doesn’t mean they’re more mature or ‘better at puberty’ than you. Truth is, your friends are probably going through the same and feeling just as confused, so try to support one another. You may find that you’ve changed friendship groups in this period as you find out more about who you are and that’s fine too. There is a lot going on right now for all of you but getting to know yourself is just as important as being part of a friendship group. Remember you’re unique, this puberty madness won’t last forever and it will teach you a lot about who you are as a person and it will be doing the same for all of your friends.

Feeling overwhelmed?

As you grow into a young adult, the world can feel like a bit of a scary place. You may feel lots of pressure to do well at school, be popular on TikTok or with your friends etc. That’s totally normal. It’s ok to feel anxious but remember you’re not alone! We don’t know anyone who’s gone through what you’re going through without having a wobble now and again. If you’re finding your moods increasingly more difficult to control or you feel things are too overwhelming it may help to reach out to a family member or guardian, they will have experienced similar things and may have some good advice on how to navigate this period of your life or be able to get you the help you need. Remember, you’re doing fab and we'll tackle the emotional changes during puberty together — we've got this!

Teens FAQs

What are tampons?

Most tampons are made from a cotton like material, which is compressed into a small cylinder shape. Tampons are worn inside your vagina to absorb menstrual fluid. There are two different types of tampon, known as applicator and non-applicator and these give you a choice about how you insert them.

Why is period blood different?

Menstrual blood is not the same as the blood you see when you cut yourself elsewhere on the body. Menstrual fluid lines the walls of your uterus and is called endometrium; this is a mixture of blood, tissue cells and natural secretions from the vagina and cervix and is not toxic or harmful in any way.

How long will I have periods for?

On average you can menstruate for up to 40 years, with 13 periods each year, that’s a whopping 520 periods in a lifetime! So now you can see why it’s important to understand your menstrual cycle and use the correct products for your flow.

How much blood is in a period?

It can look like there is an awful lot of blood being lost but don't worry! You’ll be surprised to learn that for people with an average menstrual flow, no more than 2.5 tablespoons or an egg cup full of blood is released each month.

What colour is a period?

Menstrual fluid is not always red in colour – it can vary from very light brown to dark red (almost black) and this is perfectly normal. Your period may be lighter in colour at the start or you may only experience a lighter colour on the last couple of days... It all depends on your individual flow!

Will my period stop if I go in water?

You may have heard the rumour that periods stop in water due to water pressure, or depending on how cold the water is and therefore you don’t need to use any protection at all. This is NOT TRUE, menstrual fluid is released when the muscles surrounding your uterus contract and they can do this anywhere and anytime, even in water. So make sure you're always protected - a tampon is the best option because it's worn internally.

What do I do with used tampons?

Don’t flush your used tampon down the loo! Instead roll it up in tissue and pop it in a bin in the toilets or with other household waste.

When am I going to get breasts?

Breast development can start from the age of 7 -15 with the average being around 9-13, so don’t worry if your friends start developing or wearing bras before you, we are all different and it’s not a competition!

What do I do if my period has stained my clothes?

First off, don't panic, it happens to all of us at some point in our lives! The key is to treat the stain as soon as possible with cold water. Hot water causes the stain to heat and seep deeper into the fabric, so cold water is absolutely key! Hold the stained item taut under running cold water and you may find this gets all of the blood out. If not, give the stain a rub with some soap or laundry detergent and put it in the washing machine. Remember, some stains can be really stubborn so don't give up if it doesn't work straight away, they may just need another wash. Also, if you're pushed for time and can't wash your items straight away, pop them in cold water to soak - it'll make it much easier to deal with the stain later if it hasn't had the opportunity to dry!

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