Sorry to hear of the situation. Just a few questions first:
Is there any history of mental health problems within your family (Mum, Dad, grandparents, etc)?
Do you have a history of trauma (abuse, serious automobile accident, etc)?
Does your need for sleep change when your mood is high/good?
Do you recognize any kind of trigger to a mood switch? - it may be small like an disagreement with someone or something annoying at work?
For how long have you had trouble with mood instability?
No history of mental health problems but my great-grandmother did have alzhemiers back when young.
No abuse. No accidents. No trauma of any kind.
No sleep issues. Even when depressed I don't sleep any more that usual. I just darken the lights, get up under a blanket and veg out in front of tv or listen to radio. I am not happy around people and this point and do avoid personal contact if I can. I just sulk and I am not always sure why.
I wish I knew the triggers. Sometimes I am just mad and sometimes just said I am not sure why. My 14 year old daugther has said these things too. We just fall into a mood. I do know that I will get angry when very sad. I will also get very angry when I feel victimized. Whether it is at work or with my wife or if I am being sub par at things like sports or making money (commissions). I feel like a bad loser or I more feel like I just can not get a break. I am always the one that unluckiness happens to. You know, there is a black cloud over me. When I feel inferior or I am not achieving that will trigger some anger episodes I guess.
I am the same moody way now that I was when I was about 10 or so. I guess I simply never grew up or as I am afraid to admit I never matured. I act like a big baby sometimes cursing and being an ass and it is then when the anger fades, the emabarrassment of those actions creeps in then the depressed moments follow.
Thanks for the extra information. How would you say your self-esteem is?
So the key point I'm trying t get a sense of here is whether your mood is swinging due to a more biochemical cause (and then your thinking/perspective changes as a symptom) or whether there is some cognitive process that is triggering the swing (such as problematic low-self esteem).
You don't describe typical manic/hypomanic features so far but maybe it's best to just check these off.
So, we know your sleep doesn't change and aside from your thinking/perspective shifting are there any other differences you notice between a low state and a high/good state?
Just to check again, does the anger only occur when you are 'up'?
Ok. Point taken about the anger.
Are you able to differentiate between a 'normal' period and an 'up' period? So, when you aren't experiencing a 'low' period is there two other distinct phases?
What would you say is the typical length of a low episode?
Please bare with me, I'm trying to discount possibilities.
In regards XXXXX XXXXX able to help, what I'm hoping to do here is get a sense of what it i you are describing and then provide recommendations on what to do about it. If I can't get a good idea I'll opt out of the question and open it up to other exerts for their opinion.
Yes. I know a normal period. I know an up period. I know those two are different because when I am up, I am extremely positive about everything, and I do better at everthying I think. I am also extremely productive. I can come home from work and clean the house non stop for six hours. I want to accomplish things.
When I am feeling down it is almost like I can feel it coming. I feel lazy. I feel like staying in bed and not working. When I do work I achieve only the lowest level I can without getting fired and I hate doing the work. Then, I can come home and just sit and do nothing. (When up, I love my work and I love chasing those commissions).
I know the three phases and I can identify them pretty easily although I guess there can be some shades of gray on occassion but I can normally feel the swing coming and I do not have an answer as to why these swings come to me. I wish I did. Heck, it might make things easier for you as well!
I am appreciating the help. Often, I just do not know where to turn. I feel kind of like a freak sometimes, you now, a walking time bomb. Sometimes, my wife is unsure how to act around me until she gauges my mood. How sad!
A low episode can be quick sometimes (like within the same day) but often it takes a good two to three days before I feel myself "bouncing back".
Just to clarify, you recognize a significant difference in energy levels between 'normal' an 'up'?
Would your wife recognize the difference between normal and up? If so, how would she describe you in each phase?
Yes, I do recognize the difference between up and normal.
I think so but I am not sure what degree she would see the difference. But I will try to answer.
When I am in a up mood, I think she would say that I am humorous, smiles a lot, lots of energy, and a whole lot of fun. I want to go out and party or have real creative and wild sex (if there is such a thing I guess).
When in a normal mood, I think she would say that I am more serious. Fun but not as flamboyant and funny. I am calmer not necessarily finding a multitude of projects in finish. Just doing things in small spurts. Wants to go out dinner and maybe make love or hang out. Again, just a calmer guy. Fun but calmer.
The issue I've been trying to resolve is whether you are describing mod variation that is Bipolar in nature or otherwise. Initially I was thinking that it didn't sound Bipolar in nature but given the description of increased energy, increased libido and 'multitasking' I think that the possibility of Bipolar instability has to be considered. Bipolar Illness is a form of mod disorder where people experience significant shifts in mood from low/depressed up to elevated/high/manic. While some people experience full blown mania as part of Bipolar instability there are also many people who experience a milder form of elevation called 'hypo-mania' and it is starting to sound like this is what you are experiencing. Bipolar mood instability can have a very significant genetic component and your comment that your daughter experiences something similar also makes me query whether it is Bipolar in nature.
Obviously it is impossible to formally diagnose someone via Just Answer so what my formal statement here would be that in my opinion you describe enough elements of Bipolar Illness to warrant an assessment, at least to rule it out as a possibility. I note from your earlier post that you aren't much of a fan of Psychiatrists (completely understandable), so my suggestion would be that you work through this excellent Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) based self help program for Bipolar Illness and if after working through the first several modules you feel that it is relevant to your situation then I would recommend you do return to a Psychiatrist (not the one you didn't like) and seek a formal assessment.
You can find the self help program here http://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/resources/infopax.cfm?Info_ID=38
If nothing else it will provide you with a range of strategies for manging strong mood swings.
I hope this has been of some help. Please let me know if you have further questions or would like me to clarify any part of my answer.