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Ask Dr. SchwartzAsk Dr. Schwartz:
Psychotherapy and Mental Health questions

Illness or Exhaustion?

Thu, Mar 7th 2013

Hello Dr.

I am a 35 yo female. I've been with my fiancée for 17 years. I have always struggled with depression, mild emotional outbursts, and lack of sex drive. When I was younger I took antidepressants. I began them again about a year and half ago, then stopped them again about 6 months ago.

Many things in my life have changed over the past year. I began a new job in a new profession which I am not thrilled with. I chose this route because I knew it was a good financial decision for us and our three kids. I began working the overnight shift 5 days a week almost 8 months ago.

Beginning about 6 months ago, I began to become more irritable than normal, lashing out more, and more sexual. Then three months ago those behaviors worsened by 100 times. I was constantly angry at my partner for every little thing, insanely jealous, so anxious I couldn't eat and lost 20 lbs. I was always yelling at my children, I would spend my nights at work crying and then be fine in the morning as if I was a normal happy person. In addition, despite my anger towards my fiancée, I wanted to have sex 24-7.

This time has been confusing to say the least. I've started therapy again, had my thyroid checked because I had missed some of my medication and started on medication for that again because it was imbalanced (TSH was 9), as was my vitamin D (only 8). My partner and I have been talking it out and things are starting to look up jealousy, and insecurity wise. However, I am still clingy, hyper-sexual, somewhat emotionally labile, and still cry quite a bit.

I have gotten the opinions of a psychiatrist, and a psychiatric NP. One thinks because of my past history that I may have a mood disorder. I was prescribed Seroquel. The other thinks I am just suffering from exhaustion and should try to sleep more. Currently, I get about 2-5 hours of sleep per day. She suggested taking my anti anxiety pills more frequently to help me fall asleep.

These opinions couldn't be further from each other! All I want is to feel better, feel normal. I don't know what to do, take the medicine or try to "work it out" and just sleep and is easier said than done.

I'm asking you for a third opinion and an outsider's perspective on my situation.

I feel torn up inside.

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