Unstable Emotions

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I’m not getting much help from my doctor: Ok so i have the following symptoms: depression (a lot); low mood; sometimes i feel i have too much energy and can actually feel the adrenalin inside my body running through my veins when i look in the mirror i mostly strongly dislike what i see but sometimes i feel almost amazed at the fact i look good (i feel big headed when this happens; i either have very little energy or way too much no in-between; i suffer from rapid speech all the time; I’m always losing my train of thought in the middle of a sentence or discussion; i get like itchy all over my body

I have OCD i have to count a lot and rhythmically and routinely do things, have things a very certain way, count my steps and so on. i find myself not just talking to myself but arguing constantly. as if im having a row with someone else but im playing both sides. it takes literally nothing to make me cry. i have a real problem accepting both praise and criticism. i feel constantly like a failure to myself others and family and my hcildren like im not worth the air i breath. altho i will do anything to make other people happy sometimes i fond myself having a total disregard for toher peoples feelings. not that i want to upset someone on purpose but more like im past caring. i get these sudden bouts of irritability which i take out on myself or my partner, not my children i have to add. this is really affecting my daily life and i just want it to stop.

A. Some of your symptoms are suggestive of bipolar disorder. Inflated self-esteem, being easily distracted, rapid or pressured speech, and irritability are characteristics of mania. A mania episode diagnosis, according to the DSM-5, requires that your symptoms be present for at least a week and last most of each day, are not attributable to some other physiological effect such as drug use or a medication side effect, and are causing you significant impairment in social or occupational functioning.

You also mentioned that you have OCD. OCD is an anxiety disorder. It does not seem as if your OCD symptoms are under control. People with OCD feel out of control and engage in counting and strictly adhering to routines in order to make themselves feel more in control. The rituals and routines are unhelpful and following them only makes your OCD worse. They may make you temporarily feel better but in the long run they reinforce your anxiety.

Arguing, having difficulty accepting both criticism and praise, feeling like a failure, possessing no regard for other people’s feelings, are not necessarily signs of any one particular mental health disorder but generally are signs of emotional instability. It’s possible that they are associated with your out-of-control OCD symptoms or perhaps bipolar disorder but without more information it’s difficult to determine the exact nature of these issues.

You are currently seeing a doctor but said he is unhelpful. If the help that you are receiving is ineffective, then consider seeing a new mental health professional. You can ask for a referral or simply find one on your own. Search for a mental health professional with whom you feel comfortable and who has a good track record of success. Choose a therapist who specializes in mood disorders. OCD and bipolar disorder are highly treatable with both medication and psychotherapy. Changing doctors might be just what you need to solve this problem. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice Blog

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 25 Jun 2013

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2013). Unstable Emotions. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/06/25/unstable-emotions/