Help! I Am Struggling With Extreme Moods

Published: March 01, 2020
Dear TeenHealthFX,
I am an eighteen years old female, and I've always struggled with extreme moods (mostly depressive episodes). Lately I've felt they've been getting worse, and I've had people point it out to me as well. I lash out one day, then the next it's like nothing happened. I have periods of extreme unprovoked anger, periods where I am giddy to a point of being called hyper, and my depressive moods that can (and almost always do) lead to thoughts of suicide and self harm. I will beat myself (hitting my head) and rip at my hair and face, and lash out at anyone who tries to help. My boyfriend who is also my closest friend is concerned I may have bipolar disorder. I've thought this for a long time, but my mother won't even consider the thought because "I don't have manic symptoms. Mania isn't like that. Bipolar disorder is different than depression." So it's difficult for me to think about talking with my parents. What should I do?
Signed: Help! I Am Struggling With Extreme Moods

Dear Help! I Am Struggling With Extreme Moods,

TeenHealthFX is glad you took the time to ask your question. Unfortunately, we cannot diagnose over the internet. Depression and Bipolar Disorder can be very complex, and each person can have different symptoms.  It is also important to mention how mature it is that you already expressed your concerns to your parents and boyfriend.


There are a few options for you to seek help in your current situation. If you are still in high school, it would be a good idea to reach out to the student assistance specialist, school counselor, or school nurse to talk about your concerns. If you are no longer in school, you can seek help from a mental or medical professional to get checked out and address your concerns.


If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a doctor, you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400. Outside of this area, a valuable resource is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) which is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


If you are considering hurting yourself or others, you must seek help immediately. Call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency room. The Northern New Jersey crisis hotline from Morristown Medical Center is 973-540-0100. Outside of this area call the Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255 or Text "Home" to 741741. All mentioned options are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  


Signed: TeenHealthFX