Bipolar Disorder

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Thank you for reading my post. Is it a symptom of depression or bipolar disorder to let little problems effect you so deeply that you can not function? I have the same every day issues as others, financial or job or parenting issues, but to me these things are devistating. I realize they should not be so, and that they will probably pass, but I can’t handle them. For example, I have a new boss that is unprofessional and degrating, and yesterday we had some words, and it has destroyed me. I feel so sad and hopeless and angry that I just can’t function. No one understands this, which I’m sure I’m being irrational about it but I can’t stop it. I fought the urge yesterday to harm myself by cutting or intentionally breaking a bone, which I also know is crazy and I feel pathetic because I am 44 years old with an education and career and husband and son and I am thinking like a teenager. I have been on meds for a long time; currently zoloft and xanax, but I never feel good. I have no hope. So, is this a symptom of depression to overreact to everything? Is there anything I can do to stop it? Thank you so much.

A. I’m sorry that you are suffering. There are a couple of ways to address this situation.

The first one has to do with your medication. You have been taking certain medications for a ” long time” but never feel good. I’m wondering if your medications need to be adjusted. I would recommend discussing that possibility with your prescribing doctor. He or she might want to alter the dosage or prescribe a different medication. Medications can work for a while and then stop working. It’s important to report this information to your doctor who can adjust your medications accordingly.

The second way to address this situation is to enter psychotherapy. Psychotherapy can assist you in dealing with your emotions and responses to certain situations. You believe that you are overreacting to certain events and that may or may not be true. A therapist can objectively assess those situations and teach you the necessary coping skills for handling your emotional response. Consider choosing a therapist who specializes in treating individuals who have bipolar disorder.

You’re quite insightful for recognizing the need for help. Adjusting your medications and entering psychotherapy could significantly decrease your symptoms and restore emotional stability. I wish you the best of luck. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 15 Dec 2013

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2013). Bipolar Disorder. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/12/15/bipolar-disorder-2/

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