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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Short Fuse

Question: Lately I have had a sense of irritation/aggravation towards everything and everyone around me. This problem happens at any time unexpectedly. The smallest things get to me and when I get mad it is hard for me to calm down. I know I need psychiatric help but I can't afford it so my problems go untreated. What can I do to get help or to calm me down?

Click on comments to see Laura's advice.


Eleventh Hour LLC said...

Dear Brandon,
Sometimes irritability is a sign of depression. We often see people who are significantly depressed and their main symptom is irritability. Also, people who are sleep-deprived are irritable. There is also the possibility of bipolar disorder with what you describe. Many states have state departments of mental health just like they have departments of public health. The state funded agencies will give you a full evaluation, usually on a sliding scale payment related to your income. Sometimes your primary care nurse practitioner or doctor can do a formatted screening for depression. It is a series of questions and then you get a rating. It is really important though, that you have at least an initial evaluation and medication trial with a psychiatric specialist because if you are not diagnosed properly, you may take the wrong medication and suffer significant worsening of your symptoms. So, it is worth it to check out what's available through your state's agencies and then have a full evaluation by them. Once you are on a medication, then your primary care doctor may feel comfortable prescribing it in the future for you so that you don't have to pay for psychiatric services. The key here is the initial evaluation and diagnosis so you know what you are dealing with. Visit your states website and search for mental health services and you'll be surprised at all that is available for you at reasonable cost, or no cost at all. Good luck and let us know how you are doing.

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