The Mood Swing

by Bill Brenner on January 15, 2010

Back in the day, when I was throwing parties in the basement of my house in Revere, Mass., I would reach a certain level of intoxication around 2 a.m. where I’d freeze in place, yell “mood swing!” and throw candy and other food items around the room.

People seemed to enjoy it, so I kept doing it. Even then, the ego was there.

Looking back, I now know that those mood swings, which were real, were the beginnings of some mental damage.

To this day, I experience it, even with the Prozac.

I can wake up in a perfectly good mood. Then, two hours later, a wave of melancholy will hit me for no good reason. Then I listen to some angry music and it eventually passes. Other days I’ll wake up with a feeling of dread for no particular reason and an hour later the mood turns sunny and I’m ready to take on the world.

It’s been happening more frequently in recent weeks, which I’ve come to realize is the winter effect. Minimize my sunlight and throw a lot of cold, gray weather my way and it gets a little tougher to hold it all together.

I started taking an extra 20 MG of Prozac last week, the idea being that I take a higher dosage for the duration of winter and dial it back to where it was come spring and summer.

It’s just starting to have the desired impact. The mid-afternoon mood swings I was having last month have gone away. But I still get up on a morning like this one, where I feel the brooding impulse for no particular reason.

And so I put on music like this:

[spotify:track:2yWOMbhPN2XJAiVy46Bhvz]

And now I feel better.

That’s how it works.

A tricky thing to manage, but it’s much, much better than it used to be. For that I Thank God.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

christine coughlin January 15, 2010 at 11:44 am

OCD is obssesive compulsive disorder. In means you must do certain things over and over to get out of the room out of the house out of your car. Everything in you life needs to be in its place and in a order that makes you feel ok…it sound like you are bi-polar. the ups and downs during the day during an hour..

Lisaclearly1 August 21, 2010 at 3:50 pm

The mood shifts are troubling, not because they happen, but because of the intensity of the swing and the rapidity, and the absence of cause.

I recognize the tendency to increase your anti-depressant meds, too, because the lows feel so awful. The lows pass, you decrease the anti-depressant meds because you feel ‘back on track’, and you don’t mess with the dose again until you feel awful again. At that point, don’t you say to yourself “Damn, Prozac isn’t working anymore! Better try a little more…”

You totally miss the significance of the swings to ‘high’ because they feel so damn normal-to-great. I’ve watched the cycles run their course many times in my siblings, and I’ve got a mild form of it. (I say ‘mild’ because it responds to a very low dose of meds, and at the worst times my behavior and thought processes in response to the mood swings didn’t get too extreme.)

It’s ironic that in this age of enlightenment, when it’s ok to be depressed and take meds, or be OCD, there’s still RECOIL at the prospect of having one of the other Tags, like Schizophrenia, or Bi-polar, etc. It’s a shame because of the years wasted feeling rotten, and the toll it can take on families.

Becca December 1, 2012 at 3:37 am

I completely understand. OCD and mood swings go hand in hand with many other psychological effects. I was doing some of the behaviors early in life without realizing, than yrs. Later came the mood swings, panic, paranoia, and irrational thinking.

It’s funny…….for those top of the world moments, I feel like I could break free from all my behaviours than 20 mins. later I find myself doing them because something along the way changed my mood.

Ana Maria Infante May 2, 2014 at 11:01 am

Hello Bill! I can`t avoid writing this to you. Your story matches in many places with stories I hear weakly from my new patients. There is no way out until you decide to stop your actual path and make a new one. There is no way out using medication and I`m not telling you to leave the pills suddenlly!!! That would be very dangerous!!! I only want to make clear that the solution is in other place. Your feelings are the point of an iceberg, they are telling you something important about your life,( if you are going against your will in some point or other very important issues ). With the pills you will hear that voice, which is yourself, in a twisted way, it will be difficult to understand what`s going on. But if you make an effort you can hear some of it, in simple ways, for example feeling pleasure with some kind of music or noticing which kind of things make you sad, what do you remember then… You can find me in FB with my whole name (plus) Klenner (my mother`s last name). It`s only your choice, in your therms, and in your time to go out of that place where you are now. There are people who doesn`t want to go out and that`s fine, because it is a choice. All I wanted to tell you really is that: THERE IS ANOTHER CHOICE. Do you want to go with it? Write to me.

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