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Trapped in Cycle of Mood Swings Because I’m Not “Bad Enough”

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I have a history of mental health issues, and they run in my family. As a child, I couldn’t access care because my parents wouldn’t allow it. I self-harmed and suffered suicidal thoughts. While my brother had his own mental health struggles and developed drug/alcohol issues and delinquent record, so he got court ordered counseling.
As an adult, I’ve had unreliable food and shelter and been sexually assaulted. I can’t afford to attend college and pay for food/rent/bills even with financial aid, let alone doctors or therapy. While my brother’s criminal record has only grown, landing him in a fancy rehabilitation facility for 6 months to avoid jail.
Of course I love my brother and I’m happy to see him getting the support he needs, but it’s always hurt to watch his problems being acknowledged and healed because he was violent and criminally inclined, while I struggle to even support myself and can’t even get out of bed.
It seems like the only programs out there are designed for criminals or other people who have ruined their lives in some way. I don’t know how to get help. I don’t want to do the things my brother has done, I don’t want to hurt anyone, but it seems like that’s the only way to make people want to fix you.
If I don’t find some drastic way to prove I’m sick, I don’t think I’ll get help. How can I fix this?

Trapped in Cycle of Mood Swings Because I’m Not “Bad Enough”

Answered by on -


Most communities have a local community mental health center (CMHC) or several. Their services are often free of charge. Do a google search for “psychiatric services and community mental health center.”

You can also contact local hospitals and ask if they offer low-cost or free services. Relatedly, local hospitals may offer psychological treatment via research studies.

Sometimes, universities offer affordable treatment for community members. Try searching Google for “low-cost or free psychological services and universities.”

Many religious institutions offer free or low-cost counseling services.

Other ideas include contacting mental health resource hotlines. Do a Google search for “mental health resources and the name of your town.” It’s common for local counties to offer those services for their residents.

If you served in the military, psychological treatment should be free. Contact your local Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital for more information.

The United Way has a helpline that is available round the clock for referrals for community services. Call 211 or visit their website at

I understand your frustrations, but it is ill-advised to commit a crime or to engage in other drastic behaviors in order to receive treatment. Give the aforementioned suggestions a try. You might be surprised by what treatment is available in your own community.

I hope you’re able to find the help that you deserve. Thank you and please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Trapped in Cycle of Mood Swings Because I’m Not “Bad Enough”

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). Trapped in Cycle of Mood Swings Because I’m Not “Bad Enough”. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 1, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 27 Oct 2018 (Originally: 30 Oct 2018)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 27 Oct 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.