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11 Mar 2003

My partner can't control his moods.
My partner and I have been together for the past two years. Over this period I've come to realise that he's prone to violent mood swings. In most cases I've been able to calm him down, and encouraged his behaviour to return to 'normal'. About five months ago we moved in together, and since then his mood swings have become directed at me, making it harder to 'bring him down', and in some instances his behaviour has become violent.

Each 'swing' is followed by intense period of depression, which he copes with by smoking dagga. We've often smoked together, but it's always been recreational - and now I'm worried that he's developed a psychological dependence on the drug. His mood swings are usually quite irrational, and he becomes impossible to reason with. They're usually displayed when we're alone together, and he's more often than not the life and soul of any party - and I find it hard to rationalise the difference in personalities presented to our friends and to me at home.

Recently, I heard him talk about suicide for the first time, and while I've often heard people in their early twenties talking about taking their own lives, it's been an attention-seeking mechanism. In this instance it's really scared me.

Could you please recommend a course of action?
Answer 393 views
Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Dear Worried,
You're mixing two related things. One is mood swings, and the other is his behaviour when his mood happens to swing, for whatever reason. But you're right that both could be a cause for concern. Dagga may seem helpful to him, but isn't generally known for making people more rational and reasonable.
What he needs, though it may take a while before he recognizes this, is to see a shrink for a proper assessment of his mood swings, and potential help to bring them under control, which can sometimes be done relatively simply. And the mention of suicidal thoughts, makes it more urgent that he takes this step towards expert help and advice.
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