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Dr. Norman Brown
Dr. Norman Brown, Marriage Therapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1168
Experience:  Family Therapist & teacher 35+ yrs; PhD research in couples
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I have really weird mood swings... I have also noticed they

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I have really weird mood swings... I have also noticed they are attached with my work. If things are progressing and working out, then I am really happy but if I get stuck or don't have the right answer then I get bitter. This affects my relationships too.

I want to understand why is my mood so attached with my work. I can keep working hard, but I just want my mood to remain stable even if things are not working out.
What should I do?

Dr. Norman Brown :

Could you give an example of how your mood was when (what specific) work was going well and what happened to change your mood? It's 4am here, so I have to sleep. But I'll do my best to help you understand and try new strategies. My own wife gets totally stressed out when she either 1. has too many (jewelry making & mailing) projects to complete, or 2. procrastinates for a day or two because she's so sick of overwork, and then she REALLY gets despondent, and either I or our daughter has to step in and give her the extra momentum (and small but significant successes) to reset her on track.

Dr. Norman Brown :

Perhaps you could benefit from planning out your work in steps that are small enough to achieve in reasonable time, like 1 or 2 days, so you'd have a string of successes to bolster your mood and not any mountains that are too big to climb--you know, the "one day at a time" rule, and choosing small goals that you're pretty certain to achieve, so you have enough victories to keep feeling good about your progress. It's a strategy for defining Progress (instead of TotalSuccess) so you're rarely stuck for longer than half a day or more--even when you're stuck with one step or one project, you shift to another set of steps (like cleaning or preparing for some other step in another direction), so that you can keep giving yourself the little successes that keep powering up your mood.

Dr. Norman Brown :

Does this help some? (I'm just getting started, but your reactions to these ideas can help me focus on where you can make new progress that perhaps you have not thought about yet.) Another way to put this is, I ask you what you've done in the past that has worked, so then I know that I have to help reorient those solutions AND perhaps suggest some others you haven't focused on yet. [In our business, it's called Solution-Focused-Therapy.] Then there's also Emotion-Focused-Therapy, but we're not there yet.]


Basically, when everything is going well with my work I feel that everything is "ok" and I don't get frustrated over anything. But when my work is stuck, I feel everything is falling apart and I get irritated over small things.


Planning work would definitely help me

Dr. Norman Brown and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
I have to take a raincheck, because I've been dancing with medical crises for both wife and daughter since the weekend, so I don't have time to devote. Does Time Management sound like a disciplined approach that could help you? Are you in business for yourself, so setting up schedules and procedures is very challenging?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sorry to hear about your family's health.

Hope all gets better.


Yea, time management sounds like something i do need to be better at. And I should be able to do this well at my work.

There are clearly written books: Manage your Time and Your Life, for example. Any of them would give you clear plans for setting yourself up. Also, if your mood swings are getting in the way of adequate time management, then you could speak to your doctor about an antidepressant, like Wellbutrin, that comes in generic, so it's cheap, and it supports stable energy (norepinephrine) as well as anxiety, irritability & impulse control (seratonin).


Do you have any other symptoms of lupus, like joint pain?

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