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Nancy, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 746
Experience:  ABD for a PhD in Psychology, Psychotherapist for over 20 years
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My symptoms are easily agitated, mood swings, high level

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My symptoms are:
easily agitated, mood swings, high level of frustration, a significant change in how I feel about people in general - I dislike most and have a feeling that people are conspiring against me. Consciously, I realize that this probably isn't the case. I've got a good paying job, a fiance that loves me, everything on the surface looks really good. I don't understand why I feel like there is this huge dark cloud covering me right it depression or what? I've never felt this way before on a consistent basis.

You are describing many of the classic symptoms of a mood disorder.

When we evaluate someone for a mood disorder we look at both depression, and Bipolar I or II. Both Bipolar I and II have depression - I comes with mania (high energy, no need for sleep, no care for consequences of high risk behavior) and II is depression with extreme irritability.

Both Depression and Bipolar can be horribly debilitating, and it always gets worse over time, so my suggestion is to see a psychiatrist for an evaluation. You just go and they ask you questions about sleeping, eating, restlessness, irritability - and your answers tell them what brain chemicals are involved. Depending on what brain chemicals are involved tells them what you need to be prescribed, if anything.

I am so sorry you are going through this - but it sounds like you've caught it in time - that you aren't yet to the point where you can't get out of bed at all or control some of it - so your prognosis is GOOD!

Please feel free to ask any other questions.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Hi Nancy,


Thanks. That sounds...well, pretty bad. I don't have mania, or an extremely high level of energy, so I guess its the latter - Bipolar II. What causes it? Why would brain chemicals suddenly be out of balance? Are these cases temporary or permanent? Curable or incurable? Can they be treated without the use of drugs, and if so, how?

<p>Hi,</p><p> </p><p>It may also be depression - which in itself causes irritability.</p><p> </p><p>The irritability with Bipolar II is **extreme** and unmistakeable. I think if this were the case, it would be much worse than what you are experiencing. This is the person who glares at everyone - starts fights in the street, screams and yells at everyone around them and generally hates the world. <br /><br />So, it sounds like depression (which comes with a severe, but transient irritability). IN other words - there are people with whom you do not fight. Depression is easily treated with medication. *IF* you properly treat it, it can go away. But most people who have had it once, have it again - but the second time, you know what to look for and treat it right away.</p><p> </p><p>The brain chemicals react to stress over time - and start absorbing too quickly - the antidepressant medication blocks the absorbption. It takes about a year on an antidepressant to fix the brain chemicals. </p><p> </p><p>You can enter psychotherapy (for at least a year) to talk and chage the brain chemicals. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a good choice to work on depression - you address your thinking that supports your depression and change those thoughts (eg everything in this life stinks = some things stink, and some don't).</p><p> </p><p>Nancy</p>
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