For the Anger, Rage and Emotional Volatility of Bipolar Disorder, Type II Patients & Their Families

Have Anger, Rage & Violence Become a New Silent Epidemic? The New Book, “The Ticking Time Bomb” Brings New Awareness to Misdiagnosed Mood Disorders

It seems like its happening everyday; work place killings, college campus shootings, and escalating domestic violence encounters that claim far too many innocent lives, the steady stream of news stories have caused many to wonder, what is causing our neighbors, co-workers, classmates and family members to become unhinged?

Dr. Michael J. Woulas, Ph.D., a Southwest Florida Psychotherapist, who has been helping patients cope with their internal struggles for over thirty years, is deciding to weigh in on the debate and possible causes. Woulas recently authored a book about the often little known diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder, Type II. His book is titled, “The Ticking Time Bomb.” The subtitle reads, “For the anger, rage, and emotional volatility of Bipolar Disorder, Type II patients & their families.” He is also the founder of a new website he created called, HereIsHelp.net. As a concerned mental health professional, he is alarmed at the growing acts of rage, and is stepping up to become an advocate, educator and speaker to bring more awareness of mental health disorders, why many people are flying under the radar, and how family members, doctors, school officials, and law enforcement can learn ways to better identify someone who can become a ticking time bomb of rage before they self-destruct.

Most people believe that a diagnosis of being ‘bipolar,’ is someone with an illness where the person or patient flips back and forth between contrasting or ‘polar’ opposite moods, often referred to as euphoric or dysphonic states.  In bipolar, type I, a patient in their high moods, tend to be overly talkative, hyper, reckless with money, may experience an over emphasis on sex, and often require very little sleep. This mood state will then eventually turn into a deep depression. These opposite cycles of moods are much easier for clinicians to track and diagnose. However, within the last ten years, new patient research is guiding the mental health community and psychiatry professionals to view bipolar as a spectrum disorder. Just as people with autism have fought stereotypes that generalize the disorder, many feel with increased awareness, the stigma of bipolar can be reduced, allowing more people to come forward and get needed help to cope with changes in their life.

In “The Ticking Time Bomb,” Woulas explains that bipolar disorder type II is a little more difficult for an untrained professional to spot. While a person with a type I diagnosis may have severe highs that can lead to psychosis and hospitalizations, a person with type II does not have psychotic experiences. Type II is generally characterized by the occurrence of at least one episode of hypomania, with sometimes more depressive moods. According to Woulas, “most individuals with this serious but treatable mood disorder are passing through under the radar, due to lack of public and professional awareness. Moodiness, emotional volatility, rage and violence are too often and wrongfully associated with personality disorders, drug abuse or milder forms of psychoses. These symptoms are characteristic of a mood disorder, which needs to be brought into public awareness in order to prevent further catastrophic events from occurring.”

A person with an untreated bipolar, type II mood disorder will often savor their euphoric state of hypomania, in this state they are high-functioning.  Sometimes, these individuals become; tireless entrepreneurs, a business mover or shaker, a Hollywood celebrity, the salesman of the month, or the life of the party, which is why so many refuse to seek treatment. But left undiagnosed and without the correct intervention, the disorder can become a double-edged sword, where a bipolar condition can turn on its victim, resulting in a depressive state that brings on emotional volatility, increased rage, lost jobs, bad decision-making, social embarrassments, wrecked relationships, divorce, and incarceration.

“Paranoia, impulsivity, and a tendency to blame others is also a symptom of bipolar disorder, type II, since the ‘stressors’ triggering anger and rage come from external events. The patients automatically blame others for their innate symptoms,” says Woulas. “The anger and rage can become a steady emotional state which remains just under the surface. Many externalize the rage through violence; others internalize the rage or take it out on themselves. They generally engage in very self-destructive behaviors as a way of dealing with the anger and rage,” says Woulas.

In Woulas’ view, this silent epidemic may be this century’s biggest misdiagnosed mental health problem. In a 2008 American Psychological Association symposium, Frederick Goodwin MD, former head of the NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health), observed that clinicians are now seeing patients in states “altered by antidepressants.” The symposium reported that general practitioners write eighty-six percent of antidepressant scripts. Moreover, fifty percent of those with bipolar have been misdiagnosed by their psychiatrists. It is these misdiagnoses that exacerbate the public’s understanding of bipolar disorders. Even more disturbing to psychotherapists, like Woulas, is that a person with bipolar disorder, type II will often be diagnosed with depression, attention deficit disorder, or with an anxiety disorder, some patients can have bipolar disorder along with one or more of these conditions. However, treating a mood disorder with an anti-depressant, alone, will often worsen an individual with bipolar disorder’s condition.

Woulas has witnessed and helped people who have lost years of their life because they were not correctly diagnosed, and he is now actively working to educate families about bipolar disorder, type II. “The fact that families and individual lives are being destroyed in epic proportions from a correctable mood disorder is very frustrating, and it motivated me to write the book and create the website,” exclaims Woulas. It is important to note that many people with the appropriate medication and therapy can achieve happiness and health if they maintain regular treatment, as well as learn more productive ways to regulate their moods, including their simmering anger and rage.

The community, family members, and local professionals are encouraged to visit HereIsHelp.net, to access detailed information on the symptoms and treatment options regarding Bipolar Disorder, Type II. To purchase a copy of “The Ticking Time Bomb” or to download a PDF version of the book, please visit www.hereishelp.net or email mjw@hereishelp.net.

Contacts: For more information, photos of book author, Dr. Michael J. Woulas, Ph.D. or to arrange an interview or speaking engagement, contact: Mary Nelson-Haffner, Public Relations Coordinator, HereIsHelp.net, at (239) 410-8739, or email mary@lattitudemedia.com. Dr. Michael J. Woulas, Ph.D. has offices in both, Bonita Springs, FL and Fort Myers, FL, and can be reached by phone at, (239) 949-2415, or via email at mjw@hereishelp.net.

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