Severe Mood Swings: Is Something Wrong?

Reader’s Question

I am female and nearly 21 years old. I can remember being unhappy very often when I was younger. I was bullied a lot at school and sexually abused from the age of 6-11. When I was 16 I was diagnosed with depression, and the medication worked. But around the age of 18 I started to suffer with it again, only that time the medication didn’t work at all, and I became so close to killing myself. Since then, I have just been going through stages of feeling quite unhappy for a while and then having a normal mood, but nothing causes the mood changes. Last year for a month or two, for no reason out of the blue I felt extremely happy, in fact the happiest I had ever been. Everything became so much more intense, like colours became brighter, I gained confidence and felt powerful like I could achieve anything I wanted to. It soon returned back to the normal mood, and then eventually the sad mood.

Very recently, I experienced something I never have done before. I had a period of unhappiness, then I slowly came back into a normal mood. Then felt as though I was coming into the happy phase again. I began to talk constantly about anything and everything, and people told me I was annoying and talking really loudly, when actually to me it sounded quite normal. I had so much energy and excitement, that it felt almost like I would explode. I found it hard to get to sleep at night because my thoughts were constantly racing from one subject to another. I would be thinking of one thing, then suddenly an image would appear in my mind, next would come an echoing sound like one word or sentence from a conversation, then music, and it just goes around and around flicking between constant random different things. There was one occasion when I heard a really loud scream at night. It was in my head and extremely loud and echoing, almost to the point of hurting my ears.

When I’m feeling unhappy, I just feel so lonely and lose confidence. I find it extremely hard to concentrate and lose track of time and what I am doing. I hate the way I look and think I am completely useless and worthless. I have no motivation to do anything and have thoughts of death and killing myself. I sometimes get pains in my heart.

I just really want to know what is wrong with me, and what could be causing my moods to change so much and for no reason.

Please can you help?

Psychologist’s Reply

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Your mood swings are too wide here. From suicide thoughts to euphoria and hyper-energy are mood swings found in Bipolar Disorder. These extreme mood swings tell us your neurochemistry system is getting unstable — for whatever reason. I must strongly recommend consultation with a psychiatrist, the mental health professional best trained to deal with this disorder. Without treatment, the mood swings will become wider — even more euphoria to the point that you will become delusional (feel you have ESP, superpowers, etc.) then swing into a profound depression. Bipolar Disorder is very dangerous if untreated. In addition to seeing a psychiatrist as soon as possible, I’d also recommend reading my article on Chemical Imbalance on my website at www.drjoecarver.com.

Don’t wait for the next mood swing. Arrange for your psychiatric consultation immediately if possible.

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