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Why am I always tired, moody, depressed, unable to concentrate, and never get my period?

By December 3, 2009 - 4:46pm
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I am 18 years old and I grew up with not going to the doctor or dentist very often. My parents don't have health insurance and hardly any money. When I went to the doctor when I was 16 after begging to go I told the doctor that I have had my period since I was about 14. But in the last year it had started slowing down to where I only got it once every couple of months, I have very bad acne, and that i weighed about 190 pounds at the time. She took some blood and told me that my hormone levels were good and my metabolism was functioning like it should. She told me to use birth control. Well I went on birth control for 5 months and only got my period twice. I had to stop because I didn't have the money to keep buying it. Well since then I am now 235-240 pounds, still get depressed, have migraines out of the blue, get moody, and my period only comes about once every 8 months or so. I am not pregnant and their is no way I could be. Lately I feel really hungry but when I start eating I feel really full right away.

I have proof that until I hit puberty I was fine. I only weighed like 120 pounds and I was very active.
I am still active now. I walk or bike everywhere I go. I don't have a car. I am also in marching band. I get jittery for no reason and i can't focus. I go to a counselor and my depression is very low right now. They don't know what to do either. I have bad teeth too. I brush twice a day and use mouth wash but I have yellow stains and my teeth sometimes hurt. I am also getting my two bottom wisdom teeth.

I don't know what to do any more. I am tired of being tired and moody. Please give me something to go on.

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You don't need to have all the symptoms...just one may be an indication. Lightheadedness and weakness is a classic hypoglycemia symptom.
Regarding feeling this way after you eat: you may not be eating the right things, so follow the instructions in the article for a while. Also, you may already be in a high adrenaline mode because of low blood sugar when you feel that way, and simply eating doesn't fix that. It can take time for that alarm response to low blood sugar to resolve. That's why breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it's important to get a firm footing for your blood sugar first thing every day.
Hypoglycemia and diabetes are two totally different things - they are basically unrelated.
I would suggest that you NOT think in terms of having to give up sugar forever, nor would I suggest trying to "figure out" from reading alone whether you have hypoglycemia. Also, a blood test is unreliable for hypoglycemia - it might miss it. Most people with hypoglycemia don't have such low blood sugar that it would show up on a blood test, but they still have a strong reaction when their body perceives a low blood sugar reaction.
The best way to figure it out is to follow the hypoglycemia diet, and see if it helps you (so, you'd give up refined sugar temporarily.) Then, if/when you're feeling better, you can try eating the old way again, and see how it makes you feel. In other words, after you're better, go back and try to induce a hypoglycemic reaction and see if you can reproduce the symptoms you are concerned about.
By the way, unless they've changed the recipe, Nutella is made with partially-hydrogenated oils, which means it has the dreaded and terribly unhealthy trans-fats. You are better off eating zero of those, ever.
You can replace nutella on your bread with nut butter, and melt a small piece or two of healthy dark chocolate onto it. Much better, and better for hypoglycemia too.

April 28, 2012 - 9:06pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Dr. Daniel Heller)

Much thanks for your help and suggestions, Dr Heller. I'll try out that Diet and I hope I feel better.

April 30, 2012 - 11:55am

Anon, you are correct: this shouldn't be happening to you. Also, 5-6 hours a night is not enough sleep for you. You should be getting 8-9 hours of sleep per night, so you are functioning on a big sleep deficit. You're not the only one not getting enough sleep nowadays, but for some other people the consequences may be years down the road, whereas you're experiencing them now.
The medical possibility that you need to have ruled out is called "narcolepsy" which means falling asleep for no reason, and falling asleep very rapidly, during the day. However, in narcolepsy, you wouldn't feel tired before falling asleep. You'd feel fine one second, and the next you'd be asleep. So it doesn't sound like that but you'd need to talk to a doctor about it.
Beyond getting enough sleep, another important factor could be what you are eating. You could definitely be reacting to what you eat. Either your blood sugar falling too rapidly, or a food allergy. Here's what to do to make sure your blood sugar stays at a good level all day long: http://j.mp/JPXm7L, and here's some information on food allergies: http://j.mp/ILRpI0.
The simplest approach would be to eliminate all sugar from your diet (fruit is OK) and make sure you eat a good breakfast with some protein in it. But reading those articles will give you a much better understanding.
Take care of yourself, and start getting enough sleep!

Dr. Daniel Heller
PMS Comfort

April 28, 2012 - 8:49am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Dr. Daniel Heller)

Thanks for your speedy reply Dr. Heller. I've considered Narcolepsy actually, but have ruled it out as the only symptom I possessed was sleep paralysis. But I don't think I feel tired so much as I feel sleepy, it's really sudden sleepiness that I feel. I've also considered Hypoglycemia. Correct me if I'm wrong, that's where the blood sugar is low, no? Sometimes I wonder if I do have that because of how I feel when I'm hungry or wait too long to eat. In you second article, it mentions feeling irritable and cranky, shaky and tired when hungry or when you don't eat on time. And I do feel like that when I'm hungry and don't eat on time. I also feel some sort of.... light-headedness or weakness. Is that a symptom of low blood sugar? Also, sometimes after I eat, I still feel the same way! Why is that? By the way, does Hypoglycemia means that I have diabetes? I also still feel hungry sometimes after eating and sometimes I get hungry quicker or a lot. But do I need to stop eating sugar all together? Now that I read that article, I do sometimes feel sleepy after lunch, but not all the times. But I don't crave rice, pasta or anything like that. But umm sometimes I crave bread and nutella :/ I understand that's very fattening and loaded with Carbohydrates. The five questions asked in that first article, only two apply to me.

April 28, 2012 - 7:57pm
EmpowHER Guest

Ah, looks like I'm not the only 23 year old here. I feel very tired, but I do get enough sleep if you consider 5-6 hours enough sleep for a 23 year old. But I feel sleepy during the day and I feel overcome with the urge to sleep, for instance, I'll be doing work in class or something and I'll feel so sleepy all of a sudden. And no matter how much I try to fight that sleepiness I still feel sleepy and sometimes without meaning to I just fall asleep or something then and there. And I'll wake up and be like, "wait. what just happened?!" I don't remember what happens right before I fall asleep.

And a few times it happened to me while I was writing final Exams. I was writing my Exams and started feeling sleepy. Then suddenly I fell asleep and woke up with my head on my desk and confused. Why does this happen to me? I hate that this happens to me. I mean, it shouldn't be happening to me during Exams, let alone classes and at work. Advice? Anything? Thanks.

April 27, 2012 - 9:14pm

Dear Anon. I would like to add that I have been through years of depression and treatments. I know there are good counselors out there and I would encourage you to be honest with your parents. Like Dr Heller said they really do want you to be happy and productive. If you talk to a psychologist who specializes in interest testing it would give you an idea of just what areas you are really interested in and want to pursue. They do all kinds of testing and help you decide what you would like to do with your life, and you do have a beautiful life ahead of you, if you can just find the right path. I think if you ask your parents to see someone who could test you and see what your interests are they may be more amenable to you talking to someone. If you focus on a career choice as a place to start it might help. Best of everything to you and may you soon feel worthwhile. I know how miserable it is to feel that way, it is no fun. But death is not the answer. God does love you. He never takes away His unconditional love and He has promised to never leave us or forsake us. So try to hold on and see something positive in your life. bbnrse

April 21, 2012 - 2:59pm

Anon, everything you're saying confirms what I said before, and I agree with your online friend, too. I also think you are suffering from a lack of perspective, because you are not a failure, and you may not have yet found your reason for living, but I would say you are here for a reason.
I can understand your hesitancy to discuss this with your parents - but you are also saying you don't have anyone else to talk to about it. You could talk to someone at your church about your life, it sounds like your parents wouldn't object to that. Maybe your pastor will even point out that if you are not a lawyer and don't have a degree by now, maybe what everyone expected of you didn't work out because it isn't God's plan for you. On the other hand, I think all of this pain and unhappiness and suffering isn't the plan for you, and you need some help to get out of the rut you've found yourself in.
I think you should read on here about depression, and your options. Remember, your parents truly want what is best for you. They may not at first believe you, but ultimately they want you to thrive and succeed. And, it's not fair for you to expect them to guess what you are experiencing inside if you don't show them, and don't tell them. You will have to express yourself to them - and you'll probably have to be a little bit stubborn and insist that you are truly unhappy.
I wish you the best. Please don't think you can solve this problem online - you need to take action in real life.

Dr. Daniel Heller
PMS Comfort

April 19, 2012 - 5:44pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Dr. Daniel Heller)

Thank you for your help, it is much appreciated. I'll try and talk to my parents.... though that may be a little hard, but I'll still try. But I'll talk to my Pastor. Thanks again.

April 20, 2012 - 7:07pm

Anonymous: I recommend you talk to a counsellor, either a psychological professional or a qualified clergyperson, if that's what you prefer. As a doctor, what I take from what you've written is that you are functioning under a lot of pressure, and a lot of controlling, from your parents. You said "they decided I should pursue another degree" and "we're applying for me to do graphic design." Since you are 23, it may be appropriate for you to have more autonomy in your life, and more say in the direction YOU want to take. A counselling professional can help you examine this question, and also help you address those feelings of worthlessness and pointlessness - both of which, along with the other parts of your letter, sound like depression.
You are not worthless, and I think that you just haven't flowered yet. You may need some more time and some freedom to discover your unique value and how you can connect with people, rather than only living out your parents demands and expectations.
I think you've come to the right website, too - EmpowHER - this site is about empowering you as a woman and as an individual. I hope you can find some of that here!

Dr. Daniel Heller
PMS Comfort

April 17, 2012 - 12:10pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Dr. Daniel Heller)

My apologizes for the late reply. It's complicated, my parents don't know how I feel, they think I'm fine and whatnot; so to go and see someone, I need their permission. And I've never been to a Psychologist or Counsellor. And I don't drive, I have my license, but I don't drive I really hate driving and I'm scared to drive far on my own. So I don't know where have Psychologist Offices..... My parents won't allow me to travel on my own/take Taxi, they're over-protective of me. Anyway, if I'm to see someone I have to tell my parents and thy don't know how I feel and I'm scared to tell them. And if I tell them then they'll say things like I've nothing to be unhappy about, everything in my life is fine, I'm just looking for attention, etc..... I had an Eating Disorder, Anorexia, for a few years. And they said that I was looking for attention when I wasn't. I just..... I was just like every other girl who wanted to be skinny and pretty and follow those Models and Celebrities who are skinny and pretty, you know? One of my online friends said that I may have depression as well, specifically Dysthymia because I fit most of the symptoms. And have been feeling how I said in my previous letter for almost three years now. But what if I'm just unhappy? I don't know.... I'm just really confused and I just want to feel.... normal. I hate how I feel. When I'm alone my thoughts bombard me and sometimes I just start to cry and sometimes I cry myself to sleep and wish I can die in my sleep.

It's so frustrating and I feel alone most of the times, even though I've a really good relationship with my parents, especially my mum. And it hurts to think about how I've failed for four years. FOUR YEARS!! I forgot what it's like to say, "I passed my Exams!" I feel guilty and wasting my parents money..... I tried to pass my Exams the first two times. The third time I gave up because.... I couldn't. I just had no motivation. I just want things to get better, I want to be on my own two feet, studying something I like, on my own to earning my Degree and not being dependent on my parents. Everyone I know my age are working or in University! Connect with people?! I see myself being alone for the rest of my life. No one seems to like me or wants to be friend...... although my parents say that's because I push people away or refuse to be social. I'm not being difficult, I swear.... I just want this to get better. Everything seems hopeless and I mean.... what is there to live for, huh? Do I even have a reason for living? I come from a Roman Catholic family, we're committed to our faith. But sometimes I say that God don't like me anymore, that he punishes me and he won't...... fix things. Honestly, if I wasn't so scared...... I'll kill myself, I've thought about it so many times and thought of the quickest ways too. I'm so alone and no one knows how I feel and my thoughts won't ever leave me alone. And I feel like I'm failing myself and everyone. Everyone expected me to be a Lawyer! Everyone expected me to have earned my Degree by now! I'm a failure :( What am I supposed to do?

April 18, 2012 - 9:46pm
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