Getting Help For Mood Instability

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I have ups and downs, sometimes on the same day. I have been considering getting some help for depression because I have silently suffered my whole life…however i decided not to because I suddently got ‘better’ – excessive socialising, talking very quickly, getting by on little sleep’ low concentration and feeling elated. Then again recently I sank into depression with obsessive thoughts and planning and not being able to move around as well, feeling tearful and hopeless and useless. Then again today had a massive high and was chatty all day-very fast and then although only 4hrs sleep last night can’t sleep tonight 2 am, feeling very buzzy and excitable but really sad too. It really has hit me that I am quite ill mentally…but I am a single mum and terrified of what will happen!! I cope very well with my children.

A. Therapy can help you. You fear it but you already know the expected outcome should you decide against it. You’ll likely continue to silently suffer as you’ve done throughout your life. Isn’t it time for the suffering to end?

You’re not emotionally stabilized. One day (sometimes even on the same day) you’re deeply depressed and the next you’re the exact opposite. It’s not normal to vacillate between emotional extremes. Though the description of your symptoms was limited in length and detail, it seems that a bipolar-type disorder may be present. I cannot diagnose you over the Internet but there is a bipolar aspect to the symptoms you’ve described.

What is remarkable and encouraging is that you’re able to cope with your children despite your highs and lows. The concern is that you won’t always be able to maintain this ability. If you are indeed “quite ill mentally” as you suspect, then you can’t be certain of how you’ll behave in the future.

Seeking treatment for your mood instability would be a wise decision. Do it for yourself and especially for your children. Children need and desire consistency in their caretakers. It makes them feel safe, secure and protected. Mood instability by its very nature is unpredictable and can promote feelings of insecurity in children. Children need to feel safe around their parents and in their home environment. It’s essential for healthy psychological development.

Getting help is nothing to be afraid of. Nothing bad can happen to you or your children. Quite the opposite is true. Therapy can help you learn how to control and stabilize your moods. Since you’re not a resident of the United States I don’t have a link or a reference to give you that would help you locate a therapist in your community. I apologize for this. I searched for a national website or reference but couldn’t find one. I hope you reconsider therapy and are able to find help in your community. Thank you for writing.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 28 Aug 2009

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2009). Getting Help For Mood Instability. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/08/28/getting-help-for-mood-instability/