- The idea of death appealed to her and she envied the dead who in her view had attained a state of eternal rest and had distanced themselves from the sorrows of this life.
- She wished death would come to her because she ‘Knew’ that her husband and the children would be better off without her.
“I have lately developed unexplained mood swings, which worry me a lot. I am only 33 but some of my friends have claimed this could be a case of an early onset of menopause which I doubt because I don’t experience other symptoms are associated with menopause. I have tried monitoring the issues that trigger my mood swings but I can’t find one. Please help.”
A few years ago, a lady consulted us with symptoms very similar to yours. In desperation, she had quit her senior job at a bank because she could no longer stand the boredom and backstabbing that was the norm at the lender. She believed that there must be a better way of life in which one could feel happy with her achievements. Like you she felt hopeless.
She was indeed a high achiever right from childhood. She attended a national girl’s school, and after getting straight A’s in Form Four proceeded to study economics and finance.
Banks came looking for her when she bagged one of the only two first class honours degrees in her class. She soon obtained qualifications in banking got married and by the age of 30, had a wonderful husband, two children and a future to look forward to. That, however, was not to be. Depression came knocking.
She developed mood swings just like you and her friends gave her all manner of theories to explain this. Some said it was early menopause while others speculated that she was bewitched. Others told her she had turned away from God and that her prayers were said without the sincerity required by God.
She knew that none of these things were true and so she decided to search the internet for an explanation.
She had all the symptoms of depression. First, she said that she had been unwell for at least three months, which was longer than the period defined for the diagnosis. She had in this time felt sad most days almost all day. It was the loss of interest in her job that had led to the sudden resignation. She also said that she had lost interest in many things including her children who were at the centre of her life prior to this conditions. She had always looked forward to Thursday nights which was her date night with her husband.
On those nights she had him all to herself and she was able to be herself at those dinners. For weeks she avoided her husband citing headaches, tiredness and the need to spend more time with herself.
Her husband later commented that she had become very irritable with the children. Nobody and in particular the house help could do anything right. She changed them often usually without any obvious reason. When she sacked her hairdresser of many years, her sister told something must be wrong. They cried together not knowing what to do next.
She hardly ate. She lost seven kilogrammes without planning to. She had always been a small bodied person but her clothes now hanged on her like a scarecrow as one of her nieces commented. Her weight loss was discussed in low tones at work and at home. Some said she had cancer.
One of the major reasons for resigning her job was because she felt her thinking had slowed down. She had, all her life taken pride of the fact that she had a sharp mind and could make decision with great speed and ease. With the depression, even deciding what to wear to work was a major strain.
She went to bed feeling tired, often lost sleep at 3 am and got up in the morning feeling tired. It was a sense of fatigue she could not explain or describe to anyone.
She felt worthless. She was unable to function at the bank, at home and even at the local gym she could not exercise. She felt guilty about things she had done or not done as a child and constantly ruminated about sad things from her past. Her mind was all muddled up and she was indecisive in the extreme.
The idea of death appealed to her and she envied the dead who in her view had attained a state of eternal rest and had distanced themselves from the sorrows of this life. She wished death would come to her because she ‘Knew’ that her husband and the children would be better off without her.
Her friend from high schools dropped one by one day on hearing about the condition she was in. She discussed her own journey with Bipolar Mood Disorder and how she had been helped back to a normal life after a serious attempt at suicide.
It was with this friend that her journey to recovery started. She got better, the bank called her back, her marriage blossomed, and even her hairdresser got her job back She is now the mental health champion at her place of work.