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Mood Swings Are Exhausting

By Erika Krull, MS, LMHP

Mood swings are a part of life with some mood disorders like bipolar disorder and cyclothymia. Moods go to extremes, either really happy and energetic or really low and depressed. This is a tough way to live because it takes so much …

7 Comments to
Mood Swings Are Exhausting

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  1. Interesting article Erika.

    I have a two friends who suffer from bipolar disorder and I suspect my other dear friend is suffering from cyclothymia. This person swings from high moods to low moods constantly. It is almost impossible to predict his behavior from one day to the next. I can’t understand his changeable behavior some times. Although I study these things in my career, I still become perplexed by the up and down “scale” his behavior often travels. I believe he really cares for me and I do him, but some times it’s really hard to determine.
    What I’m learning about dealing with someone who suffers from extreme high and low moods is that they really need love and understanding. The last thing they need is someone either mistreating them or misunderstanding them.

    We are really called to be the “bigger” people when dealing with someone who suffers extreme mood swings. They need us.

  2. Tamra,

    Very true – compassion is definitely in order when you realize that is what’s happening. Supporting them means being understanding and being honest. It can be a tricky balance because it may not always seem that they are doing “their part” with the friendship.

    Be sure you aren’t overtaxing yourself in your supportive efforts. That can get tiring as well. Boundaries around your own good mental health are important, especially if you feel like some of it is over your head. Hopefully, they are aware of their problems. If not, it may be up to you to tell them what you see so they can get the proper help.

    Take care and good luck.

  3. Thank you Erika, I appreciate that. :)

    While I feel I should know these things well (as I often speak to others about this topic) I find that it’s always a bit difficult to remind oneself of your own mental and also emotional health when dealing with loved ones or friends who have mood swings or suffer from bipolar disorder.

    Thank you for reminding me to watch out for myself. That is very significant; in order to determine our proper place in a relationship, keep being of help, or having a clear mind, we must be healthy.

    We’re never too “grown-up” or “professional” to learn something or be reminded of a very important point.

    Warm regards :)

  4. I appreciated this article. I am Bipolar and could never really figure out how to explain the intensity of the highs and lows..your example was one alot of people could relate to…the misunderstanding alot of people/family I am in contact with is the helpful suggestion to “just lay down and rest.” Hummmm great ideal…why didn’t I think of that! In my case, I feel like my body is absolutely past the point of no return but, my brain will not turn off and will not allow my body to turn off either so my poor exhausted body pushes on like a hummingbird on speed. When the crash comes, it is absolute…brain turns off, energy is spent and you have NOTHING left for yourself much less anyone else which then translates to them as “don’t you love me anymore…aren’t you my friend anymore….why aren’t you calling or coming by”?

    I will definitely share this article with those I love most!

  5. I’m glad you connected with this article. It can be difficult to really communicate how a mood disorder affects you, even to well-meaning friends and relatives.

    Hopefully, by sharing this article, your loved ones will have a little better understanding about your situation. Take good care of yourself.

  6. One minute I feel fine the next, I worry and get very depressed easy, my boyfriend would try to help but I would just lash out at him, sometimes I don’t even know why I feel that way. And others (after the emotion subsides) I look back and I’m baffled about how I could let something so small and trivial bother me. I’ve tried to write down emotions and thoughts while I’m upset to try to get it on paper instead of doing or saying something I will regret. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I’ve taken a lot of online tests to see if I have BPD tendencies and they all end up to yes. I haven’t been to a counselor in over 5 years (when I was younger before I understood my feelings) and it didn’t help. I don’t know if I should try to tackle my problems personally or seek professional help. Any ideas?

  7. Megan, it seems clear that this is really interferring with your life. This doesn’t seem to be on a self-help level. Go see a counselor as soon as you can. If it’s been 5 years, I’m sure many things have changed.

    Counseling helps the most when you have a good fit (between you and the counselor) and when your situation hurts enough that you are open to looking at yourself and making change.

    If you weren’t sure where to start finding a counselor, a general medical office and often OBGYN clinics would have lists of counselors they could recommend to work with women.

    Best of luck to you.

  8. Ive always had anxiety and depression but the last two weeks have been extremely intense and everyone I tell doesnt understand…my mood changes allday from extremly happy to extremely depressed.Its never in the middle its all day.Then I get really low and get extreme adrenaline rush where I cant even breathe.Its extremely intensce and scary.Do I need help whats going on….anyone?

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