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Bipolar and the Medicine Dilemma

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I’m diagnosed with Bipolar 1 and general anxiety. I’ve been on lithium, depakote, paxil, haldol, hydroxyzine, and others. I’m currently only taking Trazadone 100mg for sleep.

I have a behavioral problem that I’ve had all my life where I get excited about really unimportant things (high score on a game, picture I took on my phone, etc) and I bite my hand. It’s to the point where my hand is pretty calloused. I never draw blood and I usually can refrain in front of others. But these shorts bursts of insane energy just explode out of me. I’m prone to skyrocket in social situations, typical manic behavior. I don’t drink caffeine and I do yoga. It helps me stay calm, but I’m still bound to these fits. I’m open to medication, but they’ve all been a nightmare for me. I need something to calm me down so I can concentrate and remain calm in social situations (or when I get a high score, jeez), but just about everything they’ve tried knocks me out. Hydroxyzine, even at 50mg puts me flat. I’ve tried anti-depressants, psychotics, and mood stabilizers. I’m just not sure which medication would benefit me, but I want to function better.

Bipolar and the Medicine Dilemma

Answered by on -


You’ve been diagnosed with multiple mental health disorders and are being treated with medication but have you tried counseling? Comprehensive treatment, for most mental health disorders, typically involves both medication and counseling.

Medication alone is often not enough to work for your issues. For instance, you say that you can usually refrain when others are present. This indicates that, to a strong degree, you have control over your behavior. Normally, one can control their behavior but not their feelings. When one can’t control their behavior, we have a problem.

A therapist can teach you how to manage the problematic high-energy moments. For instance, he or she may suggest that you wear gloves to prevent yourself from biting when you become excited.

Ask your prescribing physician for a referral to a therapist. You may want to choose a behavioral therapist. Behavioral therapy is a highly-focused form of treatment that seeks to target and eliminate specific, troublesome behaviors. It might not take many sessions to remove the unwanted behaviors. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Bipolar and the Medicine Dilemma

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). Bipolar and the Medicine Dilemma. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 25, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 25 Nov 2014)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.