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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I know someonw who is very up and down mood wise. One minute

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I know someonw who is very up and down mood wise. One minute she will be nice, tolerant and fun, then she'll bite your head off the next, and be really quite evil saying very horrible nasty things. It can be very scary, and i feel i have to tread on eggshells when i am in her presence untill i figure out the mood she is currently in. Is this a sign of mental health? It's making me ill, and worsens my anxiety / panic attacks.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your problem.

It sounds like you are dealing with someone who is dealing with either a mood disorder or a personality disorder. There could be a background of abuse as well.

Is there a way for you to get away from this person? If it is a friend, you may want to reconsider the friendship. If it is a relative, can you restrict or discontinue the amount of time you spend with the person?

Do you feel this person is willing to seek help? If so, I would encourage it.

If you want to provide some more information, I could offer some more insight into the situation.


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
It is a relative, but is in denial so would not even consider getting help. I don't even know how i would go about talking to her about it. It would end up in an argument and i'd be the one who ended up upset. I just feel so helpless
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

Based on what you said, it sounds like you are describing traits of borderline personality disorder or the actual disorder itself.

With borderline disorder, one of the main symptoms is instability in relationships, which is what you are experiencing as well as sudden changes in mood. They also experience emotional disturbances, inability to control anger, sometimes threaten suicide, impulsive behavior and irrational demands.

You are not alone in your frustration in dealing with someone like this. Often, since the person with the problem lacks insight and is unwilling to seek out help, it is left to the family or friends to find a way to deal with the person's issues. You can first begin to protect yourself by educating yourself on what you are dealing with. Talk with a therapist to help you cope with the situation. Seek out the help of other relatives if possible. Instead of accepting what this person is subjecting you to, reflect back the feelings and put them back on the person. Leave the situation if they start to rage and get out of control. Tell them calmly you will be back later when they are calm. Keep in mind that dealing with this person can take a toll on you so you need to, first and foremost, take care of yourself.

There is a book that can help you cope called "The Essential Family Guide to Borderline Personality Disorder: New Tools and Techniques to Stop Walking on Eggshells" by Randi Kreger, co-author of the bestselling Stop Walking on Eggshells and Stop Walking on Eggshells Workbook. Also, a book called "The Borderline Personality Disorder Survival Guide" by Alex Chapman and Kim Gratz would be helpful as well. Both are available on or your local library may be able to get them for you.

I hope this has helped you,


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