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Dr. Olsen
Dr. Olsen, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2336
Experience:  PsyD Psychologist
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I have had two major depression episodes in the past, one last

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I have had two major depression episodes in the past, one last year and one two years ago. Now, I am quite happy as the underlying reasons for depression have been pretty much addressed. I used to get really angry easily and upset, and I thought that was because I was depressed, but I am still experiencing such "episodes" where I get really upset at work by some small minor things and I end up crying and can't concentrate for the rest of the day. I can't really think I am depressed right now because I am otherwise a happy human being, but the mood swings are incredibly severe to a point where I am a bit distracted with work... Is this some sort of a mental disorder that I need to address? I have been reading up on ADHD and anxiety...
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Olsen replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for writing in JustAnswer.
I'm sorry to hear about your situation.
Let me ask you a few questions first.
Have you had attention difficulty since childhood?
When did your mood problems start?
Is there a specific question I can assist you with?
Please let me know by clicking on “Reply” and I will then craft my response.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Warm Regards,
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I didn't really have attention difficulty as a child. I think that having gone through major depression episodes definitely have left me at a place where I am still often unable to concentrate when I am upset. My mood problems probably started around the same time as my first depression episode but definitely was worse for my second time around. I am definitely not depressed anymore but still have this "anger" issue where I get really upset by something small very easily. It's a bit embarrassing at work when I can't control my anger that shows in the form of tears.

I think I am mostly interested in what this might be- do you think it's a mental condition? It is really important for me to be functional at work and I feel like I am not performing at my level that I believe I am mentally capable of. Who should I seek help from and what are my possible treatment options? I currently am trying to see my primary care physician.

Thank you!
Expert:  Dr. Olsen replied 2 years ago.
Hi there,
Thank you for your reply.
Okay. It sounds like you don't have ADD/ADHD.
Do you have any medical condition such as Hyperthyroidism or Hypothyroidism?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No I don't think so? Never been brought up in my check ups..
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I just checked the symptoms and I dont think i have either...
Expert:  Dr. Olsen replied 2 years ago.
Ok. No medical condition.
I"ll be back with my answer soon.
Expert:  Dr. Olsen replied 2 years ago.
Hi there,
Thank you for waiting.
I'm glad to hear you are doing much better now as you have been working on the underlying issues via weekly psychotherapy.
You don't have ADD/ADHD as you didn't have attention difficulty in childhood. You don't have thyroid problems or any medical condition.

You stated you have mood swings.
It's possible that you may have Bipolar disorder if you have "wild" mood swings. Bipolar disorder is dysregulation of mood, attention and energy.
Bipolar disorder is associated with mood swings that range from the lows of depression to the highs of mania. When a person becomes depressed, he/she may feel sad or hopeless and lose interest or pleasure in many activities. When a person's mood shifts in the other direction, her or she may feel euphoric and full of energy. Mood shifts may occur only a few times a year, or as often as several times a day.
If you have Bipolar disorder (not major depressive disorder or Dysthymic disorder), antidepressants may not work for you.
It's important for you to find out whether you have major depression or Bipolar disorder.
If you think you have severe mood swings, you may see a psychiatrist or a psychologist for assessment/testing.

You may benefit from continuing weekly psychotherapy whether you have depression, anxiety, dysthymic disorder or Bipolar disorder.

Let me explain about depression: Depression can disrupt the nerve impulses that carry a constant stream of orders from the brain to the muscles. When the depressed brain slows down, so do the signals to all parts of body. Symptoms of anxiety overlap those of depression. Depression affects MEMORY, problem-solving ability, language, perception and is accompanied by nervous tension, anxiety, and profound fatigue. It can generate pain and aches. Medical reasons for Depression may include thyroid hormone abnormality, Vitamin B12 Deficiency, Chronic pain, Stroke (Brain injury), Alzheimer’s disease to name a few. Malnutrition/brain damage can dull mood further. Excessive alcohol use may aggravate depression. Some medication can cause or contribute to depression. Your doctor should know all the medication that you are taking.
Regarding pharmacological treatment for depression, a number of antidepressant medications are available to treat depression.
Finding the right medication for you will likely take some trial and error. It is necessary for you and your doctor to work together to find the right medication for you.

If you have Bipolar disorder, you need to continue working with psychiatrist (M.D.) and psychotherapist. Treatment consists of pharmacotherapy (by psychiatrist), individual psychotherapy (Cognitive-behavior therapy - CBT) or Interpersonal therapy (ITP) by a licensed psychologist or psychotherapist), and group therapy or support group by a psychotherapist.
Please review available Bipolar disorder treatments on the following link:
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/bipolar-disorder/complete-index.shtml#pub8

Please feel free to ask me a question if you have even after you get this answer.
All the best,
Dr. Olsen, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2336
Experience: PsyD Psychologist
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