General Question

chels's avatar

What is causing my ridiculous mood lately?

Asked by chels (6778 points ) October 1st, 2010

I’ve been way more impatient than I’ve ever been in my life. I’ve been getting extremely annoyed at stupid things (though I can’t help it) – things that would normally not annoy me. More than anything I’ve been getting annoyed with people who constantly talk about themselves and brag about whatever is going on in their lives. It’s not that I’m not happy for them because I truly am, but the fact that these people have been so conceited lately is just pissing me off.

Now my stress level has been higher than normal for a while now, same goes for my anxiety. I’ve been having smaller panic attacks – but more than I’ve ever had before. My pulse rate has been a bit faster, sometimes I have to try to calm my breathing.. even when I’m not doing anything overly strenuous. I do things to try to relax e.g. listening to relaxing music, closing my eyes for a few minutes, focus on my breathing and try to calm, etc.

I can’t exactly see a doctor/specialist right now because I have no insurance, so please don’t tell me to see a doctor. I know I have to and will once I have insurance again.

Anyway, any insight on why I might be feeling like this would be absolutely wonderful.

If you have any questions for me just let me know.
Sorry for the long description.

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51 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

Any chance you are hyperthyroid? Those symptoms fit that diagnosis.

chels's avatar

@JLeslie There is a chance, actually. My mom has/had (?) Hashimotos (I think she’s just hypo now) and my grandma is hypothyroid.

JLeslie's avatar

Having you been avoiding a lot of things you need to deal with? That can really raise anxiety.

JLeslie's avatar

But you don’t currently take thyroid meds yourself, right?

chels's avatar

@JLeslie Not really. There really isn’t anything for me to avoid, ya know? And nope, I’m not currently taking any thyroid meds, however that is because I haven’t been tested for it.

JLeslie's avatar

Have you been losing hair, is your skin or eyes very dry? Do you have a goiter when you look at your neck? You would notice it when swallowing, you can feel it with your hand or see it in the mirror.

JLeslie's avatar

If you have a doctor you have seen in the last year, maybe he will order the blood test as a favor, and you can just pay for that. Minimum test you need is your TSH tested, should be rather inexpensive

chels's avatar

@JLeslie My skin (more so my face than anything else) has been a lot drier than usual. I don’t think my neck is swollen much. As for losing my hair, a bit more has been coming out than usual but I guess I didn’t really think much of it.

Also – I haven’t seen any doctors in the past year other than my gyno and she’s in a different state. I should also mention that I’m going out of the country on Sunday and won’t be back for a few months.

muppetish's avatar

@chels If you find that the symptoms you are experiencing could point to a thyroid condition, you can still have your blood tested without health insurance. I have been living without health insurance for a few years now and had to have my blood tested for anemia. Search through the clinics in your area and find one that will take you without insurance (I went to a local doctor and paid $60 for the consultation. I don’t know how much the blood test was, but I believe it was under $100. I could have had a free consultation had I gone to my campus’ health department, but it couldn’t wait.)

JLeslie's avatar

Your GYN can order it, and you can have it done where you live. You could call Quest labs, or whatever lab is near you and ask how much it costs.

nikipedia's avatar

Do you get regular exercise? With or without any kind of underlying pathology, exercise tends to be an excellent (and free!) mood stabilizer.

chels's avatar

@JLeslie @muppetish I don’t really have any time since I’m leaving on Sunday. :/

chels's avatar

@nikipedia I have actually been trying to excersize more lately for that exact reason, plus I enjoy it. Though my body has been reaaaally achey, so I can’t really do lots of it.

JLeslie's avatar

Where are you going? You can get the test there.

JLeslie's avatar

Muscle ache is a symptom of thyroid.

Well, in England you will be able to get the test done I would think.

If you want to try and squeeze it in before you leave you could call your GYN and explain your concern, and that you are leaving the country, and see if a lab near you is open Saturday.

Also, leaving for England for several months would be stressful. It could just be the anticipation.

chels's avatar

@JLeslie I’m not sure I’ll have much time tomorrow, that’s the thing. Also, it isn’t particularly stressful because I’ve been going to England every few months. I’m quite used to it actually. I think the anxiety started around Jan/Feb. There were things to be stressed about then (more so than now actually) – however my stress and definitely my anxiety/panicky-ness has grown considerably.

shilolo's avatar

Where are you now? In SF there are free clinics, and in other areas there are low price doctor’s offices that will provide elective evaluations for a smaller fee than a regular doctor’s visit.

chels's avatar

@shilolo I’m in Jersey ‘til Sunday.

JLeslie's avatar

Here is quest’s website. Some tests you don’t need a doctor to order, but most you do. I think it is BS, if someone is willing to pay for a blood test I think we should be able to order whatever we want, but that is a different topic. The website will tell you where labs are and the hours.

shilolo's avatar

Depending on your location, you could go to an urgent care clinic today for an evaluation (I don’t know any of those places, and other web searches might lead you elsewhere). I strongly recommend AGAINST ordering/requesting your own tests since you wouldn’t know how to interpret them anyway. A little bit of knowledge can be more dangerous than no knowledge.

JLeslie's avatar

@shilolo She can’t treat it without a doctor if it is thyroid related.

JLeslie's avatar

Plus, I think she should ask her GYN.

chels's avatar

@shilolo I know there’s one probably twenty minutes from here. My only problem is that I don’t have a car, and I’m pretty positive that my parents wouldn’t take me, even if I asked. Also, friends taking me there are out of the question since I uh, don’t really have any.

JLeslie's avatar

@chels, contact someone in England, and ask them if you can see a doctor there. I think that is your best bet, you won’t feel rushed, and you won’t have to think about it before you leave.

shilolo's avatar

@JLeslie Some people get this crazy idea that by simply reading things on Web.MD they can identify illnesses based on symptoms. The problem is that a properly trained doctor learns more from the history and physical than any test (which are used to confirm diagnoses/test hypotheses). Anecdotes such as “my sister had the same thing…” aren’t quite the same as years of experience. Whether @chels has a legitimate medical problem or something else is impossible to know without an evaluation, and there are many other things that can lead to her complaints that don’t revolve around the thyroid. Hyperthyroidism certainly would be part of the differential diagnosis, but as with any subset of relatively vague symptoms, it could be something else (or nothing at all).

JLeslie's avatar

@shilolo I half agree with you. Now that I have a doctor who lets me get a blood test whenever I want, my thyroid has been much more under control. She will test basically anything I ask, but I am not asking for anything odd. It is all within the realm of her practice, and I am not getting tested every week, or anything ridiculous like that. I rarely request a test that she has not thought of testing me for herself, I’m not walking in with printouts from the web. It’s more to help me monitor the health problems I am already aware of. Diabetics get to know, why can’t I? But, I agree letting patients just order any test would probably be a bad idea. Still, a TSH is not brain surgery. In normal range, not in normal range. It is a reasonable thing to test with her symptoms, at minimum to rule it out.

shilolo's avatar

@JLeslie Thyroid disease manifests differently in different people. Some people have low TSH but normal T3 and T4 (so called subclinical hyperthyroidism), others have low TSH and high T3/T4 and others have TSH in the “normal range” but high T3/T4 and are symptomatic (the normal “range” is just that, a range). If one is genuinely suspicious of hyperthyroidism, then more than the TSH is ordered so that an accurate picture can be obtained and treatment initiated more quickly. Point is, even a TSH in the normal range in the “right patient” might be abnormal, thus the need for a thorough evaluation.

JLeslie's avatar

@shilolo I agree with you actually. But, I would bet $100 most GP’s would just order a TSH. If it comes back abnormal, maybe then more tests. Also, she is tight for money, so the TSH is probably the one to test, if we can only pick one right now of the thyroid measures. I also agree it could be nothing or something else, and not thyroid at all.

@chels has your blood pressure been low? Do you feel light headed or spacey at times?

chels's avatar

@JLeslie No idea about my blood pressure. As for feeling light headed/spacey, yeah but that’s probably because I don’t really eat much – nor do I have an appetite really. Though I’ve been that way for a looong while.

JLeslie's avatar

Well, maybe your symptoms have to do with blood sugar?

Although, thyroid affects apetite also.

JLeslie's avatar

You will be able to get health care in England. Let us know what happens, what the doctors find. Don’t wait too long, God forbid it is something very serious. Even thyroid can be serious if you let it slide, it affects everything in your body.

chels's avatar

Mm, I don’t think it has to do with low blood sugar. I haven’t really changed my eating habits in a long time. Sometimes I eat a shit ton of food, sometimes I only have a meal or two a day (+ snacks). I also make sure I get lots of sugar through juices and stuff since I had issues with that in the past.

JLeslie's avatar

Low blood sugar problems are usually observed when a person does not eat regularly. Eating a couple of snacks a day may not be working for you. Have you noticed you feel more crappy when you have not eaten in hours?

Also spacy and light headed can be a symptom of thyroid related to a drop in blood pressure, or an increase in blood pressure, but you can also get the shakes, sweaty, and heart palpatations from low blood sugar. So now you need a fasting sugar test and a TSH. Not that I am a doctor, I’m not.

chels's avatar

@JLeslie I usually atleast have one decently sized meal a day, not just snacks. And I don’t really feel any different when I don’t eat much. I’m just not one to really get hungry if you get what I’m saying. I’m pretty damn positive it’s not low blood sugar, like I said I used to deal with that a while back, so I try to make sure I have enough throughout the day.

free_fallin's avatar

Personally, I would heed the advice of @shilolo. People definitely use the internet and their own personal experiences to diagnose things for others way too often. They mean well but it can do more harm than good. The only people you need advice from regarding this are doctors or people who know you extremely well. Stress always does weird things to my health. I have mild panic attacks over the smallest things, but I have some major social anxiety issues. You do have a lot going on in your life right now. Though it’s all GREAT things, it’s possible the stress is eating away at you.

Your symptoms could match numerous things and there is no need to worry it is something even remotely serious at this point. Having unnecessary tests done will cost money and only add to your stress level.

chels's avatar

@free_fallin I’ve always had issues with stress. Since I was in high school I’ve had high stress and pretty much learned to deal with it. Because of that is why I’m 99% sure that everything I have going on isn’t stressing me out.

The stress I have now is more like.. brought on by my anxiety.. Does that make sense? I don’t really stress unless I start getting anxious or panicky. Now when it comes to what makes me anxious or panic – it’s a few key things that I’ve noticed:

- Irrational fears (like scared that someone will break into the house or not wanting to be in the car at night because I’m scared we might crash)
– Worrying about my health. When I get random heart palpitations or become out of breath after walking a few steps or even eating, I get freaked out.
– Other random things like: Flying, turbulence, being around people I’m uncomfortable with.

Those are really what make me all crazy, and after getting all crazy, that is when I usually start stressing.

Jeruba's avatar

Are you involved in something or committed to something that you really, really don’t want to do? Or is there some other conflict in your life that you just don’t want to deal with, like something where your head tells you one thing and your gut tells you another?

When you get relief, where does it come from?

What kind of messages are your dreams giving you about fears and sources of anxiety? Those can require creative and practiced interpretation—not from a dream-symbols book or from posting questions on fluther but from your own knowledge of yourself. If you use your dreams thoughtfully, they can provide plenty of insight about your true state of mind; but only you can read your own dreams.

chels's avatar

@Jeruba Nope. Everything I’m involved in right now is exactly what I want. I don’t have any real conflicts either. Everything is good and happy. :)

I get relief from a few things.
– Thinking about where I’ll be in a few months
– Calming myself down. Whether that be doodling, or concentrating on calming my breathing or talking myself into relaxing.
– Taking a break from whatever I’m doing to just lay and listening to music.
– Talking to people about how I feel

The funny thing about my dreams is that normally I remember most of them, and lately I just remember none.

shilolo's avatar

Not to diagnose you, but it sounds as much like you might be experiencing an anxiety disorder (check out the symptom list) complicated by some mild agoraphobia. I still think you need an evaluation as soon as you can manage it.

JLeslie's avatar

@free_fallin just to defend myself, the OP asked for ideas, and said she already knew she probably needs to go to the doctor. I think we all agree she would be best off going to the doctor to rule things out and try to get to the source of what is causing her problems. So far all of the guesses seem plausable to me, anxiety disorder, thyroid, blood sugar, nothing, a combination, something worse God forbid.

@chels I believe you that this is different than what you have experienced before.

JLeslie's avatar

About it being a combination, many psychiatric problems are brought on or exaggerated due to thyroid problems. Most hospitals give a mandatory TSH to all people being admitted for psychiatric problems.

The truth is no one can diagnose her on the internet, not even a doctor.

chels's avatar

@shilolo I think you’re right though I’ll still get it checked out :). I’ve experienced most if not all of those things. One thing I’ve really noticed (and I’m not sure if this checks out as well) but I’ve been blanking out a lot lately. Example: I’ll go to copy and paste something on the computer and completely blank out and forget how to do it for like 30+ seconds. This also happens with things like turning on the washing machine and things of that sort. Anywho, hopefully I can get myself to a doctor soon and once I do I’ll let you all know how it goes.

Thanks for the help everyone <3

JLeslie's avatar

@chels I feel the need to tell you that you are not understanding what promotes even blood sugar levels. One big meal, means hours later you can be crashing. I know you said you don’t think this is a sugar problem, and I believe you could be right, but you should still know how the sugar thing works, just for health reasons in general. When you eat the meal, your body quickly goes into a mode to balance your sugar, if your body is not good at keeping your sugar high enough after hours your blood sugar can dip. So it is not a matter of enough calories at one meal, it is a matter of eating many meals throughout the day to keep your sugar more level. When we talk about sugar, we don’t mean literally only eating sugar. Any calories from carbs and sugar count, and high carb meals give you a spike in sugar for a period, but you might be crashing afterwards. I don’t know much about sugar problems, because it is not one of the problems I have, but you might want to read up on it, just for your general health, even if it is unrelated to this problem.

wundayatta's avatar

I hope this doesn’t sound utterly ridiculous, but could you be pregnant?

chels's avatar

@wundayatta Not pregnant! :)

deni's avatar

get richard to find you a doctor there and go as soon as you arrive. i have had similar problems to what you’re describing. not exactly the same and not all the time, so it’s probably a different thing. but mine was after i started a different birth control. i was all over the place. i hated everything and got annoyed by everything. and then, on another note, sometimes if i’m not eating enough (rarely happens) i get these obnoxious mood swings. i could seriously kill someone sometimes they’re so bad!!! anyhow, i hope you feel better. it sucks.

casheroo's avatar

dammit @wundayatta I came here specifically to tell her she’s pregnant! ;)

I have suffered agoraphobia. Someone with agoraphobia would never step foot on a plane to England, repeatedly. Heck, I still have anxiety and you couldn’t pay me to get on a plane over an ocean.
I think you have a lot on your plate. You have been going back and forth to England, not frequently, but more than most people fly. You might just be really, really tired. Your body needs to just relax. I say just enjoy your time in England…relax.

wundayatta's avatar

Well, if you’re not pregnant, I agree with @casheroo—flying a lot, especially internationally, creates an awful lot of stress.

chels's avatar

@wundayatta @casheroo Believe me, I know when I get stressy and flying does not cause it.

sexybonytart's avatar

Sounds to me like your going through what I was going through. Which is repressed frustration and anxiety. It seems as though you may be worrying way more than you need too. Now what I finally did that helped me is I stoped whatever I was doing and asked myself. “Why am I acting like this?” and it came to me. I am letting this aniety over power me and make me feel lousy that is when it finally hit me. Let it go. Close your eyes and picture these feelings going out of your heart, mind and soul. Picture yourself relaxed, smiling and happy. Picture yourself approch what cames your way clamly. Trust me this will work. You can do this on your own. Try it, you’ll see the next up coming days will get better and better. You don’t need a doctor.

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