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Mood swings, emptiness


lostunsure
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I'm really tired but stressed right now so just want to post something although this is anything but complete. I have never been officially diagnosed with any mental health problem but anxiety but have been suffering for years even though my therapists seem to ignore this. I am currently not in therapy or on meds. I do believe I also have PTSD.

I'm now 33 and feel entirely hopeless. I often feel empty and disconnected from the rest of the world, as if I'm somehow defective. I have very intense mood swings. I used to wonder if I was bipolar but my moods can be so volatile that they change at the drop of a hat, usually multiple times a day, which I've been told is not the case with bipolar disorder. I alternate between anxious, a toxic self-hatred, depression, fear, and the ocassional agitation or even a much more pleasant extremely hyper mood. Sometimes I feel really good but its very fleeting. I change what I want to do with my life every few years, so of course I'm tremendously behind in life. Things I did or liked a few years ago can feel like an entirely different person did them. I currently feel obsessed with wanting to have a baby but my husband doesn't seem to want one and doesn't seem to believe that I do cause I'm always changing my mind.

I'm obsessed with fears of aging and dying. I feel like I'm getting older and can't find any point or meaning to anything and I'm very afraid. I get nervous about germs and diseases. Sometimes I even have to wince because I get very frightening thoughts I have trouble controlling, and this is embarassing if it happens in public. It's not so much voices as my brain having a scary conversation with itself and thinking of things it doesn't want to. I even sometimes get scared I've yelled things out even though I'm sure I haven't. I used to drink a lot to deal with my anxiety and worries about existence, etc., but now I don't like drinking cause it makes my moods even worse.

I feel like it's unlikely I'll ever be happy going on how I do now. The worst really are the moods and the intense emptiness. I feel like I'm not going to be happy; that's just the way it is. I also have trouble relating to other people and have very few friends, so not much support except my spouse, who I half the time feel doesn't understand me, although he tries to. I actually should add that I avoid friendships because I am afraid of criticism. I don't like it when my "friends" in the past have said insulting things, so in my mind it's been better to avoid such social interactions rather than risk them hurting my feelings. My family seems oblivious to mental health issues even though they seem to be rampant in my family.

I should add that I've had the severe anxiety for at least half my life, probalby since I was about 12 actually. The depression and moodiness came on more in my early twenties. Actually when the moods were first coming on I ended up racking up over $10,000 in credit card debt, and I am still paying this off.

I often think of suicide and I also sometimes cut. I'm posting this right now in an attempt to avoid cutting actually, cause my husband is trying to sleep and I need someone to talk to, even if its just a post on a forum.

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Hi lostunsure and welcome to the forum. You are welcome to talk to us. :)

What you are going through sounds terrible... :(

For what my advice is worth (I'm bipolar myself so maybe I am not the best qualified to say this), I would strongly advise you to see a doctor about all this, preferably a psychiatrist. Do you know of one near you? You can be helped with what you are experiencing and you deserve this, for all you are going through. I don't know how open you are to the idea of medication, but you could possibly benefit from it.

There is a subtype of bipolar disorder that has rapid mood swings, sometimes several times within a day, called ultra-radian cycling although I am not diagnosing you by saying this. Some people have found it useful to print out their posts and take them to their appointment; it's not always easy to say everything in a short space of time and sometimes you feel shy with a new person. I see a psychiatrist, regularly but sometimes I forget what I wanted to say, so it helps to have it written down. You have described how you feel very vividly and it might help.

You mentioned having had therapy. Could a previous therapist possibly give you any ideas about where to find a doctor? Have you been in therapy long? I found it a tremendous help with all my issues that have accumulated over the years. There is also a specific kind of therapy that helps with the sort of things you describe, called DBT. (Dialectical Behaviour Training) - don't be put off by the name. It also addresses the emptiness you describe, although it may be that your therapists had already been incorporating this in your therapy, I don't know.

Meanwhile, you are welcome to talk here. Sometimes it helps just to express it...

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Hey Luna thank you for your reply. I am not tremendously open to meds because I had a rather bad experience with side effects with the last SSRI I took, although I certainly might consider meds again if this gets much worse. As for DBT, my husband too thinks this might be a good idea for me to try. I feel like I should definitely look into some things like this but I get too nervous to make appointments, which sounds dumb, I know. I think it's really good idea that you said I should print out my post and bring it, or any other diary entries I have. Sometimes when I get to a therapists office, unless I'm in a really bad state, it's hard for me to really show how difficult things get for me. Because I spend so much of my life trying to act "normal" in the face of a lot of emotional pain, I kind of keep that act going sometimes when I go to a therapist. And things can switch so rapidly for me. Like this afternoon, I'm not doing too bad, but I know just one thing can send me into a mood. I mean like a song, a newspaper article, seeing someone and getting jealous of them, or something that reminds me of a bad time in my life, anything. I've been told my moods are very unpredictable by the people closest to me, the very few people who know how bad I can get.

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About meds; SSRIs are not the only kind, there are several other groups of meds. I don't like SSRIs either, they make me feel numb and detached from my feelings and from life. They are usually used as "front-line" drugs because most people respond well to them. Tell the doctor about your bad experiences and ask that s/he not put you on one of those. What did you take before?

I've had periods of time when I have been as reactive as you say - anything could make my mood drop just like that. My mood is stable now, if tending a bit to the low side, but that is my own fault from stopping my meds last year, I'm still recovering from that.

What will enable you to be feel strong enough to make an appointment to see someone? What holds you back? Maybe it's worth looking at that?

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It's so hard to feel like making the appt. I'm not even sure what's holding me back. I'm pretty sure I'm going to soon, but I feel so empty, like why even bother? I'll always be screwed up and therapy has never fixed me before. Plus I just hate sitting there wondering what they are thinking about me, and I don't like that most of the therapists I've been looking at are only reachable by phone instead of email. I can find a million excuses, if you want the truth, and I'm unsure what's holding me back.

I just feel like the supposed "best years of my life," my 20's are finished anyway, and becoming a old person who can't experience novel experiences or pleasure is what's ahead. And then I get freaked out and think everyone dies anyway so why bother doing anything. I realize this all sounds kind of dumb but I truly obsess about these things and I'm so scared of getting old and I just feel like so much of life is so pointless. Especially for someone who hasn't really accomplished very much like me. I don't have kids or anything to give me meaning. I struggle every day to find meaning. It's hard for me to find a reason to go to a therapist. I've been feeling like this for so long I'm not sure how else to feel, or how other people do it.

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Maybe your feelings of emptiness are exactly the reason to make that call? You have reached out here for support. Possibly there is a part of you who wants help. I hear you that it's difficult going to therapy. Maybe a professional can help, though?

It's true that we all die someday. Though that fact is beyond our control, we do have some say in what happens with our lives today.

Is your husband supportive?

I hope you feel better, lost.

Edited by IrmaJean
grammar
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Thank you Irma Jean. I agree, it might help, it just gets hard to build up the initiative to set it up. I'm going to try and make myself go eventually. My husband is supportive but I dont think he always really gets how I feel. I feel very misunderstood and lonely and like no one understands me. It's not his fault, I'm difficult to deal with probably, and he does try. I just feel like I was a different person when we met. I feel like things in my life have really lacked continuity and I am not necessarily the same as I used to be. I don't really fit in with other people I don't think. My dream is to find other people who understand me but I am very nervous of people hurting my feelings because I get extremely upset when people say things I don't like and are mean to me. I get so upset and it makes me hate myself even more and hurt myself or do stupid things. Sometimes I go to bed at night totally distraught and then the next morning I'm like a different person.

I get so caught up in my emotions I feel like I'm almost out of control, and I am very reactive to what others say. My husband tries very hard not to say the wrong thing but most people just say whatever they want. I wonder what it would be like to understand other people and fit in with them, it must be a wonderful feeling.

I'm scared my therapist will say something that upsets me and it makes me not want to go.

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