Home » Ask the Therapist » Frustration and Shutting Down

Frustration and Shutting Down

Asked by on with 1 answer:

I’ve noticed for the past 2 years, I will have “mood swings”. One minute I’m so excited to visit my parents who live a few hours away…but a couple hours after I arrive, I notice that I go from being happy to shut down. I don’t want to talk about anything. I don’t want to be bothered. I’ve noticed this issue w, my boyfriend of 4 years, as well. We will be perfectly happy for a month straight and one day I just am so bothered by him though he hasn’t done anything wrong. It’s been happening often lately. I’m not sure if this has anything to do with but in high school I weighed 140ish… after high school I started dating my current boyfriend and I gained almost 60 lbs. since the weight gain, I don’t go out. I haven’t spent time with friends in over a year because I am embarrassed and insecure. I’m not sure if maybe I’m taking my insecurities and frustration out on others. I just don’t know what to do anymore. When I feel annoyed or frustrated, I know in my head that it’s wrong and I shouldn’t be rude or distant but my body won’t listen. Its like I have no control. I noticed my reactions have pushed my boyfriend away to thinking he did something wrong. I tell him over and over again that it’s not him… but then he tries to be affectionate or make me laugh and I shut down. I don’t want to be affectionate unless it’s on my time. I don’t understand it. I’ve tried to talk to my doctor about this but all they have done is prescribe depression medication. She didn’t really listen. Please help. Thank you.

Frustration and Shutting Down

Answered by on -


The rapid weight gain combined with the mood swings suggests that something happened around the time of finishing high school and the beginning of dating. As the physician may only be looking at this through the physical and medical lens, you may want to have a therapy session with a clinical psychologist who can help explore through testing and therapy what may have been going on during that time in your life. The fact that there was a major transition with the people you were with in high school to your boyfriend would be a place to start. I’d pursue individual therapy to see if the therapist can help you sort through what’s underneath these frustrations.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Frustration and Shutting Down

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

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: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2019). Frustration and Shutting Down. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 24, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Feb 2019 (Originally: 10 Feb 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Feb 2019
Published on Psych All rights reserved.