Mood Swings

Today (well yesterday) my mood started off very down and negative, particularly about myself and what I am able to do, what I think I'm good at, just general poor self esteem. I was watching TV this afternoon , and since then my mood seems to have gone 180 degrees the opposite way. I've been totally positive and upbeat. I have never had such complete mood swings in such short timescales before. I'm tired now, but feel settled with the world around me. I know it isn't likely to last, but I am gradually feeling improvements which are sometimes hard to actually see. Having said that, one improvement I noticed yesterday was that for the first time, I didn't forget what I was talking about half way through explaining something to someone.

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  • Sorry to hear of your problems i myself can have my mood change quite a lot worst time for me is early morning ! But find i generally feel a bit better as the day goes on ! Have you discussed how you feel with your doctor i found mine has been a great a great help ! I wish you well and hope you feel better soon please let me know how.your getting on david !

  • Thanks for your support. It's variable so I can't say exactly what time of day I feel worse / better. Right now I'm ok, but having to keep things that stress me (very minor stress by 'normal' standards) under control. I know that whatever mood or feeling I experience is massively amplified from what it would have been prior to my injury, I also know that slowly, the volume is getting reduced, so I'm hopeful it will return to acceptable levels.

    It's an interesting question you've asked regarding the doctor. My doctor, from what I recall anyway, has simply asked whether I feel like I'm going to vomit, every time I have presented myself to the doctors, although they did eventually would refer me to headway on my wife's request (which took 3 weeks, although that was a very useful meeting). I'm not poorly in the way a doctor can assist. I don't believe there is any medicine in the world that can address this, only time and understanding by people around me and people who understand (like here), and relearning by my brain.

    So many people in the real world have let me down and not been there and don't seem to have grasped the issue that I have resorted to turning inwards and making sense of the world around me from first principles, so in fact this is the only place I have shared anything properly other than with my incredibly supportive wife, who has the most immense humanity of anyone I have ever met.

  • Glad you are seeing some improvements, I think it's hard to notice them sometimes as the 'failings' are more noticeable! I get mood swings too, but mine tend to go the other way, I feel quite content and positive and then I get this surge of anger or utter despair hit me like a tidal wave. Quite scary as I have no idea where these feelings come from or what triggered them.

  • I have also had the same as you described, as in, I could feel ok and the smallest thing could send me into rage, much like I would have described my children when they were very young as having 'no blood in brain'. It's like an over reactive focussed anger. It's calming down now and happening less, but it could be set off by something as simple as someone looking at a clock when I'm talking to them. I too don't have any real understanding of where it comes from other than I have noticed that there is some 'real' anger or upset which can be very small, but because my feelings seem to be amplified, it gets over the top and consuming. I have started to recognise this to the point where the annoyance could be something that most of us may hardly think about and shrug off, but during the recovery phase, my 'shrug off' filter isn't connected, so I feel it more.

  • my mood swings were really severe until i started taking the drugs (erp). i would be okay and then my mood would plummet and then a little something that made me happy would make me feel ecstatic and so good. incredibly confusing. i still have mood swings but they're more casual and much much longer and slower. these are the strangest days i've had though. everything is slow and i have zero energy to do anything. but i feel optimistic somehow. exhausted. sigh.

  • For me I have never liked taking medication for anything, which may mean it takes me a little longer I don't know. Perhaps my mood swings aren't quite as severe. I know what you mean about slow and no energy. Some days (most at the moment actually) I just don't seem to get going and then at the end of the day wonder what an earth I've done all day.

  • I have always had up and down mainly through reality checks of what I can and cant do ! . but I seem to be waking up now and seeing that everyone has been taking the pee and liberties and advantage of my forgetfulness.disorganisation and vunerability...... I am quite mad mostly now. not good. angry with the world in general. everything seems so unreliable . and the medical system seems to be the same. takeeach day as it comes and do what fits that day. xx

  • I too have found my anger particularly focussed on the people around me that I would have thought would have been there for me who have shown the complete opposite or people who just don't seem to be considerate. I have started tackling that anger by thinking to myself that I will only include people in my life who I appear to be wanted by or people who I may be able to help. I have found though that when I look at myself I'm not sure I have always been there at the right time for people so in order for me to be settled with what's happening, I mean no bad feelings to these people who don't appear to care, just realise that I am not quite as important to them as perhaps I thought I was, just like some people aren't that important to me. I'm probably not explaining this well, just typing as I can think it, but bottom line is my anger is my brain not understanding something and not being satisfied with something. If I it's external to me then I have learnt that I will look at things differently. It's early days, but you're right, each day at a time. As for the medical system, it's not just them, the world seems to be such as disconnected place right now.

  • I know what you are talking about. This morning I was sorting through old photos and it took me way back in time. I must say , that when I finished, I felt quite up in my mood. I was taken back to when my children were babies, and all the fun we used to have with them as small kids. Then I felt a bit down afterwards, as I realized that they are now on the other side of the world!

  • I feel the same about my children, one of whom is about to leave home for university and the other is starting college. I so enjoyed my children when they were young, I felt I had a real purpose in life and often was transformed into their world, it was incredible. One of the things I looked at everyday whilst 'coming back' to the real world was a picture of them smiling when they were young and I found that so comforting. In an odd way I think partly because I was feeling quite childlike so I could identify with them, but also knowing I was their dad helped get me back. It's all so difficult to describe.

  • I get these mood swings too! The worst and first one I have experienced it was when i went back to the city where I work and started to work again, the emails i started getting requests for life style coaching sessions, I got depressed feeling that i'm not motivated myself and negative most times how can I motivate others it was the first time in my life i feel that way, i mean even food didnt help my mood that day! So i just slept for 20 hrs and didnt help either...

    But two weeks later (today) i gave my first life style coaching session, i did pause while speaking and babble alot but I was happy because my client was happy it helped with my self esteem..

    It's hard and depressing I must say but we need to try and not think of our selves as a failure because of the BI.. I still havent held a workshop since thats another task i do at work it freaks me out now and i get anxiety attacks, it sucks and im scared to do it because if i fail it would harm me for good..

  • I know what you mean about work. I haven't gone back yet but will be trying it part time a little soon. The pressure is from both directions. On one hand I don't want to tell people how I feel and how it's affected me because it may make me look incapable of doing my job and perhaps some will form an opinion and keep it. On the other hand people not knowing puts a huge pressure to perform and it scares me. Of coarse there are other people who have absolutely no idea about this and when they see me, and won't see any physical scars, they will assume I am running at 100 % and be completely oblivious to the effect it has on me.

  • Oh gosh I know how you feel on this one. I am struggling that people don't understand or cut me any slack if they don't know, or I get frustrated that I 'need' to justify my incompetence! I think the worst is when I tell someone and they still don't understand!

    I have gone back to work 2 and half hour shifts, with a colleague alongside me the whole time and I am really struggling. So I would advise take it slowly and be patient with yourself (I really need to practise what I preach :) )

  • Thats exactly how i feel also

  • I try to not look at what I an do, as opposed to pre injury, but rather what I can do compared to where I was just after my injury. I was considered a lost cause, and the fact that I am even still alive, is an achievement. That I can live on my own, volunteer, read novels, enjoy music, and movies, love, and still grow, I consider a bonus.

  • I a also struggle with my emotions I have full blown temper tantrum it happen a lot in hospital once I even threw a bedpan across the ward apparently (no memory of this) at least it was empty

    I see people what they really are I have been dump by so call friends because I not the Emma I was before

    I also have no filter I tell people if I no like them or what they fails

    My neuro in hospital I could never his name so I always flustered and said the little man with the big baldy head like a two year old

    I so happy not feel alone

    Emma x

  • Since my brain injury I see people and things so differently and its so hard to describe to people who haven't experienced this. Some people I used to call 'friends' I now see were only in my life because they wanted something from me and have not been there when I needed them. There are also people in my life that I have seen who they really are and have gone way past just friends, they are such amazing humans, its so hard to describe to people who have not gone through this. I have even made connections with utter strangers just by sharing a smile.

    My emotions have gone through everything. It's almost like my awake brain spends time in every single corner of my brain across every age I have every been for a while. I have been happy, angry, sad and all can be at the smallest of things.

    It's as if all the adult bits of my brain, i.e. what others have taught me since I was a child, have been put to sleep for a bit, while the real me and the child me look out at this world and try and make sense of it. If enough things come together and make sense then my inner me trusts one of these adult bits then that it will wake it up! I have found that emotions play a huge role in this. If something is upsetting it can hold me back, but things that make me feel secure, eventually help me move forward.

    For example, I have always thought I am in weird dream or coma or something. I would latch on to one thing, such as a clock we have and watch it and watch it and watch it. Eventually I seemed to trust it, then I would move on to something else, like a wall or grass or a bird in the garden or whatever. The same with people. It's a slow process, but trust is the key.

    I too have felt childlike, behaving like one, writing like one, and speaking like one. It's weird because I'm an adult, so part of me does the child thing and the adult in me sits back and watches. There are some of my child things I hate and some I love, such as wandering if animals will come over and talk.

    As I am a person who generally thinks nothing of myself, there was also one time where I really liked me (this makes me upset as I type this) and I didn't care what people think of me as long as I was happy. To have really felt this was amazing, I just hope some that stays with me a little more too :)

    In a funny way, I am hoping to keep some of my child views as a recover because I think that is the real way at times and some of the adult stuff thats been thrown in doesn't make sense and thats why I find things confusing at times. There have been loads of times where I have spoken every thought in my head out whilst being in public, just like a child would much like what you described with your neuro.

    The most important bit of advice I was given was to 'trust' things. Only I can decide what to trust, but I have found that when I trust something (like the clock or the wall etc) then I stop worrying about that and move on to the next bit. With people, trust the ones that you love and that you know love and care for you because they will provide a stable place for your inner brain as you recover and trust yourself.

    Take care and thank you for sharing your reply because that has made a huge difference to me knowing that someone else is going through this in a similar way, so I don't think I'm going mad.

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