I’m not sure what’s going on

I am struggling a lot at the moment, I have very good days and very bad days, on my good days I will be in a great mood and have lots of energy, know who I am etc but on bad ones I zone out for hours, struggle to understand what's going on a round me, feel like I'm dreaming, my vision goes funny, I have no personality, interests etc and lose connection to everyone
Asked by Roseann

Hi! My name is Christina Gilkey and I am a licensed clinical social worker.  There are a number of questions to ask when riding a "rollercoaster" where you find yourself experiencing good days and bad days.  On those bad days where you find yourself zoning out for hours, struggling to comprehend what is happening in your environment, feeling like you are in a dream, experiencing a distorted vision, lacking in personality and interests, and feeling disconnected can you think of any type of pattern that is occurring leading up to those days?   If not, it would be helpful to develop a simple log where you can document things daily like mood, sleep, nutrition, stress level, hydration, substance use (if any), missing medication doses, and social interactions.  A proper log would record these things daily and have at least one month of information. Any and all of these things can affect our mood.  It's important to seek out any organic influences where a lifestyle change could make a big difference and also would be very beneficial information for your physician to have if you decided to seek a professional opinion related to a diagnosis or being prescribed some medication to help with regulating your mood. 

Another thing to consider is to have experienced any kind of physical trauma such as a head injury?  If so, I highly recommend a medical appointment where you can get a full evaluation including a CT scan to determine if there is a biological issue causing the changes in mood.

Have you experienced any other type of traumatic event such as witnessing any violent act, a physical assault, a natural disaster, etc?  Have you experienced any significant loss of a job, your home, or a loved one? If so, you could be experiencing symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress and I would recommend you see a mental health counselor and/or psychiatrist to see if you meet that criteria. 

One other thing to consider is seeking an appointment with a Licensed Clinical Social Worker or Psychiatrist to inquire about a different mental health diagnosis that would require a full assessment and at least 6 months of past history in order to determine if you meet the criteria for a number of other disorders that could be impacting your mood. This is a complex process that requires a licensed professional to gather an abundance of information in order to make an ethical diagnosis or rule out any disorder.  Too many people who are not trained, experienced professionals like to put labels on others and this can be very damaging when it is inaccurate so if you are curious about a possible mental health disorder, please go see a licensed professional for a full assessment. 

The other important thing is to have a strong network of social supports; people who care about you and will check in on you when you are experiencing bad days.  It is important for you to know you do not have to suffer in silence.  There is no shame in seeking help. There is no shame in telling someone you trust so they can be there to support you until you are able to get an appointment with a professional to help you navigate and better understand your situation.  I hope this has been helpful!