January 7, 2007

Why is My Son Always Angry?

By Dr Gareth

Q I WAS reading on the internet about bipolar disorder and I am sure my son has it. He has angry outbursts all the time and never does what I ask him. He is 20 and we are always falling out. Should I take him to the doctor?

A THERE has been a lot of media interest in bipolar disorder recently and as a result some people are mistaking regular 'bad moods' as a mental illness. Bipolar disorder used to be called manic depression and results in very disabling episodes of feelingvery low and depressed. They can be so bad that the patient is suicidal. These are interspersed with less frequent episodes of feeling energetic, irritable, elated and sometimes delusional. This is very different from having arguments with a moody20-year-old. I would try to sort it out yourself without involving the doctor.

Q I WAS at the doctor's before Christmas and, when I was given an internal, she said that I had a bulky uterus. I didn't think to ask her what she meant. Is it serious?

A THE most common cause of a bulky uterus is pregnancy. So the first step would be to make sure that you aren't pregnant. Other causes can include fibroids, which are benign growths in the muscular layer of the uterus. They can get quite big withoutcausing any problems and most don't require treatment. Cysts can also develop in the ovaries or uterus. In any case she should refer you for an ultrasound just to be sure of what is going on.

Q I RECENTLY started a new job which demanding and means that I often have to have several things on the go at once. I used to be really good at this but now I am very forgetful and just want to go home and hide or cry. What is wrong with me?

A IT sounds like you are suffering from stress. Why don't you buy a self help book? Stress Management for Dummies is particularly good. If it doesn't help then you may need to speak to your doctor about counselling.

Q I HAVE an embarrassing 'man's problem'. My urine doesn't come out in a steady stream but is like a shower. You can imagine the embarrassment if I have to use a urinal. I have taken to peeing sitting down. What can I do?

A YOU have a relatively common problem known as a meatal stenosis, when the end of the urethra is narrowed. Your GP can refer you to a urologist. It is relatively easy to correct.

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