I haven't been myself lately

What does the phrase “I haven’t been myself lately” mean to you? Does it mean you have several personalities and your primary personality has been dormant lately? Or, does it mean you can be moody, and at times you aren’t the person most people have come to know? When does moody cross the line into multiple personalities?

I consider myself a pretty cheerful, outgoing, pleasant to be around kind of person. If I am stressed for a few days, maybe a little bit short with people due to lack of sleep, etc. I generally apologize, and explain that I just haven’t been “myself” - I’m just not in my usual mood.

Multiple Personality Disorder is not even close to moodiness. It’s (supposedly) when the psyche splits the personality off into one or more branches, creating a whole new “person” with it’s own set of values, memories, feelings, personality traits, some say with even his/her own health issues
MPD became quite popular in the 80’s- my sister in law was diagnosed as having it.
People are becoming sceptical now of whether it even exists, however.
I’d say when people say they’ve not been themselves, it means something much more mundane, like a normally cheerful person was grumpy, or a sharp person has been forgetful…
I really can’t stand moody people- the kind of people you have to walk on eggshells with. That’s no way to live.

Lack of sleep - man that’s it for me. If I don’t get enough sleep I am a real grump, especially the first few hours after waking up. Other than that, stress, yeah that will do it. I also hate to be rushed or in a hurry, I get somewhat curt in that situation too. There’s also the “heavy” things on my mind mood, like health problems, relationship problems, financial problems, etc.

I think I also have another level of mood, or outlook on life. I can be a real “adult” and take everything in life real serious, and be real responsible. Then other times I just say the hell with it all, no of this crap is really important anyway, and take a road trip somewhere. I suppose it all depends what the major motivating factors are in my life at the time.

I don’t think I have multiple personalities, just a mild-mannered side, and a wild side.

Shape shifting.

You should try it.

It means that I am doing and saying things I wouldn’t normally do because I have something on my mind for example during the school year I would get like that around certain test times…I kept telling one of my brothers to shut up whenever he would talk to me, eventhough normally we get along very well. I just wanted every minute possible to think of the test and how to make time to study and keep up with homework. Not only had I been mean to my brother but sometimes I had gotten in huge verbal fights with my mom and stepdad. My mom would keep telling me that I wasn’t being myself and it was true because my normal self would never raise my voice at my mother.

Every once in a while, I just get into a completely irrational bad mood.

I interpret everything everyone says in the worst possible way. Hell, I get pissed off at people for their manner of dress, the way they chew their food, and how they breathe (!). I am absolutely convinced that nothing is going to turn out right, so why bother even trying? Oh, I’m willing to go through the motions, but I know I’m going to be thwarted by others’ stupidity, my own mistakes, and the wicked hand of fate, I’ll be damned if I’ll make any attempt at doing a satisfactory job.

This will last a few hours to a couple of days, and then I’m okay for two or three months.

Sadly, these moods have no relationship whatsoever to my menstrual cycle, or I’d just lock myself up every 28 days as a preventative measure. Nor do they seem to have much to do with how things are going at work, my relationship with my husband, getting enough sleep, eating seafood, or any other trigger I can think of.

If I feel it coming on, I make every possible effort to avoid contact with people. If I’m absolutely forced to interact with other human beings, I exert my iron will to fume silently or, when necessary, speak only in the most neutral, rational, short, declarative sentences in order to avoid a meltdown. If it comes upon me suddenly when I’m interacting with a group and I cannot flee, I generally end up having to make some apologies.

I do consider this a part of my own personality. I know the mood well and I have learned to detect the subtle warning signs. But it’s definitely a case where I am temporarily broken and not functioning correctly. I normally think of myself as a very easy-going person. I don’t worry a lot about the future, I try to learn lessons from the past rather than dwelling on guilt, and it takes some very persistant and offensive behaviour to get me pissed off at someone. But in The Mood, my ability to shrug and say, “Oh, well,” is completely gone. Everything that goes wrong is a tragedy, a stone around my neck. Any uncertainty becomes a disaster wating to happen, and I must fret over it endlessly. Every minor irritation seems like a deliberate ploy to drive me out of my skull. I get stuck in a tiny circles of thought where I go over and over my regrets, worries, and grievances. I recognize that I’m behaving abominably, but I’ve slipped a gear somewhere and I lack the abilty to snap out of it. I’m me, but “me” is broken–temporarily, thank goodness.

This is so hard to be on the receiving end of. Do you have any suggestions for the person on the receiving end? You mentioned you shut yourself off from others if you can, but the person I am thinking of doesn’t. When the doom and gloom sets in and the interpreting everything in the worst possible way starts, better to call you on it? or shut up and back away slowly? or something else?

FTR, when I am not up to the world, I shut myself off too.

I’m sorry. :frowning: I know I’m not the cause of your problem, but I feel some karmic responsibilty.

Sometimes I’m too dumb to sequester myself when I should, and my husband will ask, quietly, “Do you need some time to yourself?” and I’ll be so grateful to him I nearly weep, because I know I’m being awful, and I’m so glad he understands what’s going on and is willing to help me, despite myself. He’s also good at running interference so I don’t have to deal with a lot of people. I don’t know what I ever did to deserve a man like this. :slight_smile:

The hubby knows how to handle me, but I find it absoltely infuriatng for anyone to ask me if I’m in a bad mood or ask what’s wrong. I can’t say why; it’s totally irrational. All I really want is for people to leave me alone. I understand that some amount of communication is required, and I can grit my teeth and get through of it as long as people conduct their business and then * shut up*.

If your aquaintaince doesn’t share the instinct to run away, I don’t know if my advice will be helpful at all. I’d just say, avoid them when possible. When it is necessary to converse, keep it neutral and keep it brief, and then skedaddle. If you just cannot find the Right Thing to say (or suspect that there isn’t a Right Thing) say, “I’m not phrasing things well. Why don’t I think about this for a while, and we’ll talk later.”

Don’t try to cheer them up and don’t point out that they’re in a bad mood. Both these will probably get your head bitten off. And I can’t see what good could come of antagonizing them when they’re in a foul humor. I don’t want to make it sound like you are beholden to take their crap just because they’re in a bad mood, but I can’t think of any way for you to make the situation better while they’re feeling that way. It’s an irrational state. If they’re like me, they aren’t going to respond in a positive way to joking around, or sympathy, or tough love, or any kind of clever psychological strategy; it’s just going to take time for things to work themselves out.

When they’re not in a bad mood, that’s the time to approach them to talk about what happened, and how it made you feel, and how they could avoid hurting your feelings in the future. Depeneding on how close you are to the person, and how they feel about their own black moods, you may be able work out some kind of a system like the hubby’s “Do you need time to yourself?” thing where you agree not to bug the person during their bad moods and help them avoid annoying people in exchange for them trying to curb some of their antisocial behavior. Or maybe they’re totally different from me, and they’ll say they want you to tell them, “Hey, you’re being an asshole!” or their bad mood is just a mask for their internal pain and they want a shoulder to cry on, or whatever.

Good luck.

Oh please don’t feel that way at all. From your description in the first post and the one above I feel you and I are alot alike in the way we deal with ourselves when having the “crankies” and we are blessed with husbands who apparently react similiarly. I don’tr really have the “takes everything in the worse way” issue from myself, but my “crankies” otherwise sound alot like yours, including feeling it come on and not being able to identify why, and trying to isolate myself as a coping mechanism to prevent rudeness to those I care about.

The friendship in question (the person going through periods of taking everything in the worst way) is beyond repair, but I was asking sort of as a chance to learn from someone not so emotionally involved if there was something I could or should have done differently. Your advice

sounds reasonable and do-able. Thanks so much for taking time to think about it and share with me.