Ever since I was about 15 I have struggled with ever-worsening depression to the point where I was frequently self-harming and not moving for days. I started taking anti-depressants and things improved for a while. For the last year I have felt like something else has been wrong. I have been incredibly irritable and quick to anger. I also developed an intense fear of not being included or of someone else being chosen over me. In the last few weeks I split from my girlfriend which has triggered a major episode in which I attempted to overdose and started self-harming again. I keep getting waves of being intensely suicidal but the next moment I could feel fine. I was in hospital twice in a week (once from the overdose I mentioned and again because I was scared of being on my own in case I tried again).
I suppose what I am asking is if this is more than depression? I feel certain that I am losing everyone around me, I become angry very quickly, I have an intense urge to stop taking my medication and to stop seeking help when in the past I was desperate to be listened to. At times it feels like someone else has taken over my mind. In the past I have had up to month long periods in which my mood has been drastically elevated and I have spent money like crazy. I pushed people around me to the edge but didn’t notice.
My eating disorder, something I was fighting for the last 6 months, has made a return and I have no desire to stop it.I feel like there are two competing parts of my brain and I am scared nobody will believe me. What should I do? (From England)
Thank you for having the courage to ask this question. I think it is important for you to know that the struggle to find a balance and seek answers is, perhaps, the most important ingredient in finding some answers and some peace.
There are several features you describe, such as the rapid change in mood, the separation triggering a suicide attempt, the fear of losing someone to someone else, ending medication when you feel better, and a sustained elevated mood with the return of an eating disorder, that suggest a more thorough evaluation of your situation is in order. For me, you saying “there are two competing parts of my brain” is the most telling. Classic symptoms of depressive mood alone rarely have this — and it is something that will be believed if you express it.
I highly recommend an evaluation by a psychiatrist who can make some decisions with you about the best path going forward. Let him or her know about all the things you’ve mentioned hear. This will be the best way you can help them help you.
Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.
APA Reference Tomasulo, D. (2018). I’m Worried This Is More Serious than Depression. Psych Central.
Retrieved on November 22, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2018/03/24/im-worried-this-is-more-serious-than-depression/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 24 Mar 2018) Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.