You may be surprised to learn that “moderation in all things” applies to moods, too. June Gruber, a professor of psychology at Yale University compares happiness to food. We need it, but too much of it can cause problems. While happiness is associated with a stronger immune response, longer life, and ability to endure painful experiences, it also has a dark side. I was recently interviewed on KSL morning news about this interesting twist on happiness.
KSL AM news interview originally posted here
Q: I’m 15 years old and I have been getting angry for sometime no reason at all and then becoming sad. I am sad for a long time (10:30a.m.-9:00p.m.). I don’t know what to do and people ask what’s wrong and i just snap at them and feel even worse and I think I’m losing some of my friends. I used to be the funny guy but now I’m just the guy that sits in his chair quietly and doesn’t really talk to anyone anymore. I don’t feel like myself and I’m actually just avoiding people anymore. Please Help, Thank you.
A: How confusing to be having these overwhelming emotions and not know where they came from or why you’re getting upset. I’m so glad you wrote in for help. I’m always relieved when adolescent young men write in for emotional help because so many suffer in silence and don’t know how to reach out for help.
What you’re describing sounds like some kind of depression. You might be surprised to hear that irritability and anger are often signs of depression, especially in adolescents. The changes in your personality and your social behavior also point to depression. Does anyone in your life know how sad you’re feeling? Do you have parents you could talk to or another trusted adult, like a school counselor who could help you find a therapist and set up a medical evaluation?
I urge you to talk to your parents, let them know about your feelings, and ask them to help you find a therapist to meet with. Also, please go to your MD and get a physical to rule out possible medical conditions that might be contributing to your low moods. Click the Find Help at the top of this page to find a therapist in your area who specializes in working with adolescents and depression.
I am so glad that you emailed “Ask the Therapist” to reach out for help and guidance. I am hopeful that it will inspire other young men to pay more attention to their emotions and ask for help when needed.
Take good care of yourself!
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