Since I was a child I’ve experienced extreme changes in mood with no explainable reason behind them. Counselors have always explained it as a result from physical and emotional abuse as a child. I’m almost 30 now, married with two children and have every reason in the world to be happy, but I never feel that way. My temper/attitude seems to be getting worse every year. I’ve noticed a pattern that falls into play around the same time every year. (August – October) I become overwhelmingly upset and depressed with my life. Never anything in particular, just everything at the same time. I feel “something has to change,” and I end up making split-second decisions that affect everyone around me. Within the last 5 weeks, I’ve left my home where my husband of 10.5 years still lives, I see my children every 2 days, and I’m no longer able to enter my home which we’ve lived in and owned 8 years now. The pure thought of walking through the door causes me so much anxiety that I become extremely angry, which leads to violent behavior. I’m not able to pin-point a direct cause for these feelings, and in the back of my mind would love to return home. I just can’t force myself to do it. The worst part about it is that I don’t understand or recognize the issue or reason why. I’m constantly angry, but I’m never able to explain why. I feel like everyone would be better off if I were to just disappear. I don’t know what to do since I have no medical insurance, no money, and medications have never made a difference in the past. All of which ends up leading to overwhelming unexplainable anger. Why am I so angry all the time, if I don’t have a reason to be? Why am I unable to enjoy the little experiences in life and with my family without having irrational thoughts about breaking things and hurting people? I’m not a violent person. But I turn into one when I feel “an attack” coming on. I begin feeling extremely overwhelmed. It feels like there’s electricity inside me that needs to be released, and as the energy continues to build I “black out.” When I calm down, I don’t remember what I’ve said, what I’ve done, or why it even happened. But more often than not, there’s a mess waiting for me to clean up. It’s controlling my life, relationships, and my work. I don’t want my children to hate me or to be afraid of me like I was of my mother. I don’t want to turn into her. That is what has controlled every rational thought and decision I’ve made since the age of 10. It’s beginning to become harder and harder to prevent and control. What can I do? Please Help! (age 29, from US)Erratic Uncontrollable Mood Swings and Anger
Erratic Uncontrollable Mood Swings and Anger
I’m sorry that you are going through such a difficult time. It is very unsettling to not feel in control of your emotions or behavior. I’m wondering why you seem to be discounting the statements from past counselors relating your issues to childhood abuse? Working with victims of trauma is one of my specialties and trauma could certainly explain most of what you have written here. Post-traumatic stress disorder can linger for years and affect our lives in every possible way. It is time to get back into therapy and specifically see someone who specializes in trauma and abuse. I would also suggest that you look into a type of therapy called EMDR. It has been shown to be very effective in helping clients heal from the effects of trauma.
I know you stated that you have no insurance or extra money, but there are always options available. Most cities or counties have community mental health centers that provide services to those in financial need. Many therapists in private practice offer sliding scale fees. Most support groups are free. Do some research into what resources are available in your community, including looking into low cost health insurance.
I know that you said medication hasn’t helped you in the past, but you might consider having another evaluation at this point in your life and to have a complete physical. Our bodies change over time and the combination of the right treatments can make a big difference.
Don’t be a victim any longer. Take control of your recovery now so that you can feel safe in your own skin and feel like you have something wonderful to offer others, especially your children, because you do. You are worth it. You deserve to be happy. It’s time to dig in and get to work on YOU.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts