Hello and thank you for your question:
A couple of questions come to mind first. Have you spoken with your doctor about these concerns? Your pediatrician could help you figure out if there is something physical going on that he or she could help you with.
For instance, you may need some blood work to see how your thyroid is functioning. Or, you may be describing hormonal swings, that is, perimenstrual syndrome, which can be pretty dramatic and very upsetting. We call it perimenstrual because it can happen at any time during your monthly cycle, not just the week before or after.
Another question I would have to ask is, are you doing a lot of caffeine? Do you drink a lot of soda or coffee, for instance, that can disrupt your sleep and mood? Are you taking any illegal substances? Mood lifters can also lead to terrible crashes.
The computer screen can mess up your sleep pattern as well. The bright light sends a message to your brain that tells you that it is still daylight (it may be 2 in the morning) and therefore it can’t shut down like it’s supposed to at night. We have a built in “sleep/awake” cycle that is set on a 24-hour clock and computers can interfere with that. So can the games we might be playing on computers, especially if they stimulate adrenaline, the big energy hormone.
If you have had a physical and your doctor has ruled out issues that could be causing your mood swings, you may then want to talk with a therapist or even a psychiatrist to determine if there is something else going on that he can help you with.
Mood swings with terrible lows and frantic highs are pretty common in teenagers, but I am concerned about your racing mind and your suicidal thoughts. Please get a checkup, be honest with your doctor and if he can’t help you, please ask your parent to take you to a professional. You may even ask your pediatrician to recommend one.
Please don’t take this suggestion as thinking that you’re “crazy” or anything like that. Quite the opposite. I think you are making a very healthy decision by asking for help here. I do want to encourage you to get the care that you deserve so that you don’t need to suffer like this any longer.
I hope this helps,
Dr. Diana Walcutt
This article has been updated from the original version, which was originally published here on August 2, 2009.