Teenagers Explain Which Things They Thought Were Puberty Related But Turned Out To Be Something Else

Puberty is a confusing time.

SO many things are happening to you on several levels: mental, physical, emotional, hormonal.

And while all that is swirling around you, you are bound to encounter some other life challenges.

Redditor Xx_DarkSaber45_xX asked:

"Teenagers of Reddit, What did you think was part of puberty but really something else?"

Here were some answers.

It's Not Just A Mess Sometimes

"When I was a teenager, I always thought that having resentment towards my mom (single parent) was normal for that phase in life. Everyone told me I was just an over-reactive teenager, going through changes, "hypersentitive" and it would pass and one day I'll realize how lucky I am to have her."

"While I agree, she was a good mom; I still harbor a lot of resentment toward her over a lot of things, and my family was extremely toxic and would consistently diminish my feelings to make themselves feel better."

"It wasn't just a teenage mess of emotions; these were real problems that my mom couldn't be bothered with. It was more important for her to be the victim, and that hasn't changed still 20 years later. Most people are on the outside looking in, and don't hear both sides of the story."

"Sometimes the smallest thing can lead to a life of depression, anxiety and self-deprecating. In other words, you're not just 'finding yourself' as a teenager. Life comes with constant growth and realizations; don't ignore your instinct because everyone is telling you otherwise."


Still Unclear

"When I was about 14 I started to hear a crazy amount of people yelling at me inside my head. I would just be sitting on my bed or something and it would absolutely overcome me. I heard my parents and siblings and friends all at the same time yell at me things I've actually heard the week before and then everything in real life would be moving super fast and there was no way I could trick my mind into moving slow."

"I would actually move slowly but it would make it worse and I would just have to lay there and nothing would help... I attribute it to panic attacks but no one has ever been able to help diagnose it."


Ain't Just The Hormones

"Insanely heavy, painful period. Massive weight gain. Being uncontrollably mean to my mom and then crying because I didn't know why I was being mean to my mom. My "puberty" was so bad my mom took me to all kinds of doctors. She felt like I was possessed and also dying."

"I physically could not get out of bed on my period. Turns out I have PMDD, bipolar disorder and an under active thyroid. I went on birth control at 11 to control the bleeding and mood swings. Mood stabilizers around 13 and then thyroid meds at 15 and life was much better."


The Vibrance Goes Down

"Losing the vividness and emotion of life. I thought society cherished and glorified childhood so much because everything feels so much more real and vivid back then. Turns out i just have a condition called derealisation lol."


Some People Can't Handle The Truth

"I get extremely bad pains in my legs - which was suspected to be growth pains. Multiple doctor visits later, without my mother as she never believed me, and I was told I have very weak tissues in my legs that often tear or get inflammed, and had to start physio to try build them up more. My mother still thinks I'm lying, even though I have been diagnosed by professionals. It hurts."


Being Isolated Forever

"I was feeling a very large disconnect from everyone around me, especially people my age. I constantly visualized being in a bubble separate from everyone else, and I had a hard time having conversations. But I just thought it was puberty, because I didn't want to self diagnose, and I figured everyone else felt the same. Turns out it was Aspergers."


Though Sometimes These Go Hand In Hand

"Being always afraid is to talk to people, planning every word I will say to make sure I will not make any error, looking at every single detail of them to make sure I'm not saying anything wrong. Turns out I have social anxiety."


'Twas The Cows

"That was when my lactose sensitivity kicked in. Milk always made me feel a little ill as a child but I thought it was normal. Then I started getting really sick and my parents didn't believe me, so I spent several years being forced to drink milk every day and feeling really sick but thinking it was the price of growing up."


The Price Of Identity

"The emergence of a deep seated anger towards my parents. Television and media showed me that conflicts between teen and parent was a normal part of growing up and my unidentifiable (at the time) anger was just raging hormones. It didn't help that my family would sigh at me citing my growing up as being the cause of the troubles. In some ways they were right."

"Turns out I was just beginning to understand that my parents were controlling bullies and they felt threatened and wanted to knock me down harder the more I tried to have my own identity and boundaries. Teenagehood sucks for so many kids, they're just trying to figure life and themselves out and get stereotyped and invalidated by society at large just because of their age."


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Just A Normal Virus

"Hi! Mom here, not a teen. My pre-teen had the flu a month or so ago (time means nothing right now). He ran to the bathroom and got sick. I grabbed what I could to comfort him and when he was done he asked me "is this puberty?!" I assured him it was just the flu. Puberty would suck too, but not like this."



"Regular nose bleeds. Turns out my allergies don’t like the humid air." ~ MrClean8

"I felt this. I get really bad nose bleeds during allergy season because my nose gets all dried up. And living in Texas humidity drops and goes up at the flip of a coin. I just have to remember to use saline water on my nose during allergy season." ~ GamingNyanChan

I'm Wet

"When I was young i slept over at my friends house. Woke up with my boxers soaked. I was so embarrassed that i had a wet dream for the first time, not even at my own house! Turns out i just pissed myself." ~ Noromac

"Happened the same to me but at my cousin's house, had to wake up in the Middle of the night, change my pajamas and throw the soaked one with the dirty laundry hoping nobody noticed. Good times. (That was 8 years ago and remember vividly the whole ordeal)." ~ drekthrall

Tell me More

"Sheer exhaustion. Turns out anemia is common in teenage girls. Especially when you have irregular heavy periods." ~ alabardios

"I think this is definitely something that should be taught in sex ed/PSHE. As a teenager I would feel SO tired, almost faint when I stood up, get flashes in my vision if I did even the tiniest bit of exercise, but didn't go to the doctor for ages as I honestly just thought I was unfit. Turned out I had anaemia, and once I'd grown up I found out that most of my female friends had also had low iron, and we'd never even discussed it because we thought it was a rare thing." ~ csgymgirl


"I'm a girl and grew a beard. Thought it was puberty but turns out I'm just Portuguese." ~ OverlyBakedPotato666


"Had a horrible pain in my right arm. If someone even grazed up against it, it would feel like I got shot. It would also flare up at night leading to many sleepless nights. I had multiple doctor visits and it was always just chalked up to growing pains. After dealing with it for two years, a doctor finally did an x-ray and found a (thankfully benign) bone tumor." ~ iF**tUr*om

That Age

"Dislocation of my knee caps, turns out that the groove in the leg they are supposed to sit in isn't fully developed or is too small or something, since it's happened twice. First time I did it everyone was like: 'yeah it happens around this age.'"

~ Inpossiblepro21

"Only time my kneecap came out of its groove was when it was forced to do so by accident by someone else's elbow to the side of it. Did some nice damage on its way out of that groove too."

~ Knight_Owls

Feel it All Over

"Bit of TMI - I started puberty early. So around the age of 10 I started having extreme pains all over my body. Before that I was always aching all over. I was covered in bruises and scrapes periodically my whole life. That doesn't mean I didn't know something was obviously wrong."

"My mother told me it was growing pains among a slew of other things to shut me up. I got used to not telling anyone I was in pain because I didn't want to be '*itching' all the time and be annoying. Uncountable doctors appointments later at the age of 14 I was taken to the hospital to have a nerve conductive study (NCS). Turns out I have CMT."

~ angel_heart69


"Being sick every morning for years. Not sure what I thought it was, I just assumed everyone else woke up feeling terrible as well. Turns out I have horrible anxiety that was manifesting physically by making me nauseous. I would stay up late, know I had to get up early therefore making my anxiety worse and then reap the consequences for it when I did wake up."

~ qu33fwellington


"Being 'hypersensitive,' turns out my family was just toxic." ~ Bartok_and_croutons

"In the same boat! My family accused me of being hypersensitive when I told them they are emotionally abusive and manipulative. They got super offended and said, 'well, you've always been the dramatic and hypersensitive one in the family.' I just said ok and tried to move on. At this point, it's pointless to try to change them or make them happy. All I can do is shut out their negative influence and just move on." ~ Butterfly_07

Cold Turkey

"I went through a seriously deep depression that my parents and I assumed had something to do with puberty. Found out years later that it may have been because I quit my ADHD medication cold turkey and was experiencing withdrawals."

~ Heroshade

At the time, you might connect these things to puberty, only to find out later it was something completely different.

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