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Concerned with Mood Disturbances

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From the U.S.: I’m currently seeing a new psychologist and having trouble opening up about the severity of what I experience.

I have social anxiety disorder and generalized anxiety, so talking with her is already an issue, but for the past year or so I’ve been having issues with these random depressive episodes. They last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, and I’ll become increasingly lethargic, I won’t eat, I can’t get to my classes on time and if I do I just end up sitting in class like a zombie because I can’t focus or understand anything in lecture. I’ll get way behind on all my work. I’ll cry like crazy over the smallest things, like an inspirational quote or something, and I’ll feel really connected to depressing songs.

I have a tendency to get suicidal and usually end up reaching out to a prevention service. I can still smile, usually, but as a reflex rather than a genuine action. I’ll be entirely monotonous on the outside. I’ve been down for 6 days now, and when I saw my psychologist I could only say “I’m feeling a little depressed” and then play it off like everything is okay. I feel like I can’t ever be who I am when I’m speaking out loud. She can’t help me if I can’t express what I need to.

On the other hand, I’ll feel amazing other times. I can speed through my work, understand everything, and even be a lot more social. The anxiety won’t go away entirely, but it would go away enough to where I can function much better. But usually i’ll be horribly irritable and every little noise makes me want to punch someone in the face. Those are the days I can’t stop thinking and have to do multiple things at once just to keep from exploding. At night the anxiety will kick in and I”ll be terrified i’m in a dream or not real and I’ll ruminate on it for hours until exhaustion puts me to sleep for a few hours.

Other times I just feel normal; anxious but nothing I can’t cope with. That’s my normal.

I don’t know how to express any of this to my psychologist. I can talk easier when I’m feeling really good but then nothing seems like a problem and I completely blow over everything. Any tips would be appreciated.

Concerned with Mood Disturbances

Answered by on -


Just one tip: Take your thorough and thoughtful letter to your psychologist.

You are correct. She can only help you if she knows how you are experiencing life. Your letter will give her important information that she can then use to explore your issues with you.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Concerned with Mood Disturbances

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Concerned with Mood Disturbances. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 10 Nov 2015)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.