Dear Dr. Archer,
I want to know what's wrong with me. I tend to have violent mood swings, just in a matter of hours. I go from cheery, outgoing and having a positive outlook on life, to I'm anger, easily irritated and down on things I used to support. My values change as much as my moods, and I don't know what I stand for anymore.
When others cry of distress, I either look at them empathetically or just downright cynically, like they deserve it. I'm very sensitive to criticism and want nothing to do with stress. With stress I feel suicidal; it's my trigger. I'm afraid I'm losing my mind because I feel like I can't hold my own set of beliefs because I'm so wishy-washy.
I can't stand to be with others because I think humans are stupid, but then I crave their attention and approval. If someone irritates me, I explode because I have no temperament.
Do you know what's wrong with me? Do I have some disorder or illness? I realize you can't make a diagnosis, but can you point me in the right direction? Thanks for your time and your psychological advice.
While it's normal to experience a wide range of emotions, such as irritability, anger and sadness from time to time, you are correct, your moods are out of control. When moods affect our ability to function properly they need to be addressed. I commend you for realizing you have a real problem.
There are many causes for mood swings; too much stress, too little sleep, unhealthy diet, anemia, hormonal changes, alcohol or drug abuse and neurologic conditions like seizures, strokes or tumors.
However, the first thing that always must be addressed is the possibility of bipolar disorder. You are correct that I cannot make an accurate diagnosis online. You need professional help from a psychiatrist in order to get this evaluated, Ezequiel.