Mood Swings

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I’ve recently gone through a breakup, which isn’t the problem. When my girlfriend and I broke up, she said that she was afraid that I may have some kind of disorder. I get so mad sometimes that I do things I don’t mean to do. One time, I punched a whole in the wall because I burned my hand in the kitchen. I felt like I was standing outside of myself watching it happen. I knew what I was doing was dumb, but I couldn’t stop myself. Recently I got so mad I blacked out, and when I came back, I had kicked a hole in my wall and I had broken my phone and I was crying. I didn’t feel bad about kicking the hole in the wall, I just felt ridiculously sad.

I feel like I’m not good enough to succeed in life. I feel like there is no point to it. I feel like I only have acquaintances, not friends. I don’t ever feel like I am going in the right direction. I can’t tell if I’m just an angry person, or if I actually have a problem.
People tell me I’m fun to be around, and that I’m a nice guy. Its not that I don’t like the people I’m around, I just have mood swings. I’m either up or down. I don’t want to take my anger or sadness out on other people because they don’t deserve it. I want to find a way to deal with my issues.

A: The fact that you acknowledge that other people don’t deserve to be the focus on your outbursts tells me that you are essentially a decent person. I agree. You do need to figure it out. You could hurt somebody and you could end up in jail.

If you could get to the bottom of this yourself, you would have done it already. The way to get some answers is to see a mental health professional for an evaluation. In addition to the episodes of rage, you also seem to have self-esteem issues. Working together, it’s likely you and a therapist can discover what is going on. Your therapist will then make suggestions about what you can do about it. It’s a team effort that will only work if you are an active member of the team.

You wrote an honest, intelligent letter. That was a good start. Now make an appointment. Take your letter with you to jumpstart your session. There is no reason to go through life feeling as you do.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 17 Jan 2014

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2014). Mood Swings. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/01/17/mood-swings-2/

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