Is My Moodiness Bipolar Disorder Or Hormones?
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Is My Moodiness Bipolar Disorder Or Hormones?4 Ways To Become A Happier Person
Have you ever suffered from feeling moody, irritable, porous, sensitive? Maybe you have had problems with being overwhelmed, stressed, easily flying off the handle. When you don’t eat enough carbs, don’t get enough sleep, or you have an argument with a friend, your mood plummets.
Almost everyone these days has had an emotional meltdown. Is it hormones, or is it bipolar disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a cyclic disorder, with irregular erratic mood swings which result in changes in sleep, activity, thoughts, and relationships. In the overtly Manic phase, ones thoughts and speech can move at lightening speed. Excessive energy can be misdirected towards unrestrained shopping sprees, sex, or other risky adventures.
If you have a milder version of this, sometimes called “hypomania”, you may get the label or diagnosis Bipolar II. When your mood is up, you are pleasant to be around, the life of the party, often have intense interest in activities. However, for people with Bipolar Disorder, once the mood shifts downward toward depression, problems with sleepiness or sleeplessness arise, coupled with excessive guilt and a lack of pleasure in life. In some individuals, life becomes out-of-control due to their unstable emotions, unstable relationships, and behavior.
Who gets Bipolar Disorder?
2.5% of the US population suffer from some form of bipolar or another. Most often symptoms start to appear in teens or twenties, and most cases are diagnosed before the age of 50.
Bipolar II is running rampant in our culture currently, many people who were previously diagnosed with Adult Attention Disorder are now being told that their hyperactive behavior is actually Bipolar II.
Why the confusion?
A psychiatric diagnosis is based on a list of clinical symptoms that are observed by a Licensed Practitioner. There is really no test, no scan, no blood test that can confirm a diagnosis and tell you whether you have bipolar disorder. But, when the moods, the speech, the activity, the need for sleep, get so out of control, and behavior gets so erratic that your relationships and work are affected, it's time to get help from a Psychologist or Psychiatrist.
When it comes to mood, two basic brain areas are involved:
-The temporal lobe, helps create emotions, and intuition
-The frontal lobe, that is the”censor”, the “mute” button. This is the area that “turns down the volume” on emotions and intuition so we can preserve our relationships, and finances. Perhaps bipolar disorder has to do with losing our frontal lobe brake, and not being able to curb our emotions, which may cause them to get out of control.
The Hormone Connection
Hormones; estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, bind to the frontal lobe. So during puberty and menopause, when hormones levels are swinging wildly up and down, our emotions also go up and down in a “bipolaresque” tendency. Therefore we are more likely to have bipolar symptoms appear during hormonally charged events like puberty and menopause.
Here are some ways to regulate mood swings.
1.Improve Your Emotional Regulation Skills
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Dialectical Behavioral Therapy(DBT) are both treatments, or I prefer the word “classes”, that teach emotional literacy. In a typical DBT class you learn how to name a mood, whether it's sadness, anger, fear, love, or joy and respond effectively. By releasing the emotion before it escalates, you retain more control of your mood. DBT is especially helpful for people who have had a history of trauma, or sexual abuse, where the brain’s mood pathways are bruised by the stress hormone cortisol. Therapists trained in this technique can be found at www.behavioraltech.org.
2. Try These Healing Remedies
- N-acetyl cysteine can be very good for the depressed stage
- Folic acid, 200 mcg, may help with the depressed stage of moodiness
- Phosphatidyl choline, 15-30 mg may help in some cases with an unusually elevated mood
- St. John’s wort can be an adjuvant in combination with other mood stabilizers to help people with seasonal variant bipolar disorder
But you do have to be careful and use any of these supplements. Only use these under the direction of a psychiatrist or other licensed practitioner who is helping you with your mood. And always share with other medical practioners that you are taking these remedies.
3. Make Some Dietary And Lifestyle Changes
- Get plenty of sleep. Stabilizing your mood with sleep helps decrease irritability
- Minimize caffeine
- Maximize morning exercise
- Avoid unhealthy relationships as they can trigger depression and mania
- Avoid alcohol and illegal drugs as they can do the same
- Eat healthy foods, especially fatty fish, as they can decrease depression and increase brain function. These include albacore tuna, herring, mackerel, salmon, and sardines, at least two servings a week.
- Amino Acid Treatments: Ask your physician to prescribe a course and monitor your reactions. For example, taking tyrosine might ramp up your mood if your are manic or irritable, however, a sudden reduction could make you more depressed. This is why special diets that eliminate carbohydrates (i.e.Candida treatment) can also lead to moody and depressed states because they lower tryptophan and serotonin production. Working with a skilled nutritionist to combine carbohydrates with proteins may buffer the adverse mood swings. And finally, if you have a certain genetic background, certain branched chain amino acids, such as leucine, isoleucine, and valine may improve your condition.
- Yoga, stretching your body, and massage can also release opiates, which can help stabilize the mood
4. Ask Your Practioner About Medicinal Mood Stabilizers
- Lithium, can control mood swings, but you will need to check your blood levels, and also your kidney and thyroid function
- Depakote, an antiseizure medication has some report success in treating depression
- Lamictal, especially, can delay bouts of mood episodes, especially depression and hypomania in the so-called “mixed states,” where you are both mad and sad, irritable and happy all at the same time
- Tegretol, is a tricyclic antidepressant that can help with the irritability that is common in some forms of bipolar II. White blood cell count and liver enzymes need to be monitored while taking this
- Other medicines like Abilify, Rispiradol, Seroquel, Geodone, Saphis, and Zyprexa can help, but be aware of weight gain which can raise insulin and estrogen levels in your body which can make your mood swings worse
- Klonopin or benzodiazepines help with anxiety and agitation, but they can also be addictive
Finally, understand that some of the most enthusiastic, creative, artistic, musical individuals are prone to moodiness, mood swings and bipolar disorder. Understand that your unique hormonal, intuitive, passionate brain might give you a capacity for intense states of love, intense states of intuition, but also at times highs and lows. Learn to live, love and work in our world safely and stablely amidst life's inevitable highs and lows. By “loving yourself just the way you are,” as Louise Hay says, you might be able to buffer the ups and downs in your life naturally.