Posted by: nas | 2008/06/27

Bipolar? Intermittent explosive disorder

I have a friend that i am starting to gte very concerned about.
In the past couple months, she has been displaying excessive aggression to those around her... nothing violent yet, but she would scream; shout and argue about things that seemingly insignificant; become emotional; bring up issues from the past; not wanting to lisetn to reason or compromise; ignore everyone around her for a couple days; and return to normal the next, as if nothing happened- not even an apology or remorse for behaviour.
Some times her behaviour in this state borders on "demonic"- like a woman possessed.
At first i thought, maybe its PMS (the easiest explanation), and because it would appear that "this behaviour" is usually around that time of the month.
But in recent months, i am beginning to wonder if there might be something else. It has gotten to a stage, where you never know if it is a good day to make a joke; or even go home- because recently the slightest thing might be construded differently. This behaviour is slowly affecting her marriage, her interaction with her child- and does not have many friends, and those that she has, are pulling back slowly. She also has a very short attention span- getting all interested to do something, will start but not follow it through- wasting money in the process.
Please advise: am i over thinking this and she in fact has no problem, or should i try getting her an appointment with a clinical psych or her doctor - who will be able to help with dealing with the problem and or prescribing some meds?

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Our expert says:
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Its possible that PMS is indeed part of this, with maybe other factors such as some severe stress over issues maybe you don't know about, adding to it. The decreased attention span is qworrying, too, along with this short fuse temper and decreased self-control. There are numerous possible conditions which could add to this --- Depression, Anxiety Disorder, and some physical conditions, too. It would be wise to persuade her gently to see a good local psychiatrist ( who would be able to check for psych conditions while also being a fully qualified medical doctor who can consider physical medical causes, too.
Treatment may indeed help, but one can't specualte about possible treatment until one knows what the actual problem is. Diagnosis should whenever possible, precede treatment planning.

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