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Dr. G/How to control uncontrollable Behavior
casa222 posted:
Dr. G, I have Bipolar Disorder I that is not 100% under control right now. I am currently going through constant medication adjustments while also attending therapy sessions to try and regulate frequent mood swings. I have just recently had a 6 day hospital stay due to a suicide attempt. The attempt was very foreign and strange for me. I can barely remember the details leading up to everything. The main thing that sticks out in my mind is that I had very compulsive thoughts about harming myself that led to impulsive behavior to just take 2 completely full bottles of medication. Do you know if compulsive/impulsive behavior can be controlled by medication or are there any techniques that I can practice when something like this starts to overtake me again?
Joseph F Goldberg, MD responded:
Dear casa222,

It would be hard if not impossible to offer any thoughts about what could be causing compulsive thoughts, much less how to treat them (which would depend on a better understanding of what's causing them -- depression? psychosis? agitation? obsessions? poor impulse control? medication adverse effects? substances?) There are many questions that a careful interviewer would want to ask about before offering suggestions about diagnosis and treatments -- very pertinent to discuss these questions with your own doctor to get meaningful advice.

Dr. G.
casa222 replied to Joseph F Goldberg, MD's response:
Thank you, Dr. G. I would definitely like to get my psychiatrist on board with tackling this problem with me. Some of the speculations you made that may have caused the compulsiveness do fit my case. How can I better direct my doctor to interview me in a way that we can effectively detect what is causing this behavior? I really want to resolve this issue but I am not sure what my next step should be. I fully trust my psychiatrist and I am not afraid to bring anything up with her so any advice you have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
skypper replied to casa222's response:
I know I'm not the doc, but just wanted to make a suggestion if that's ok.
Perhaps it would be helpful for you to copy and paste what you have written here and present that to your own doctor? Sometimes it's easier than trying to remember what to say when you're there at your appointment
When nothing's going right, go left!
Joseph F Goldberg, MD replied to casa222's response:
Dear casa222,

It isn't the patient's job to teach the doctor how to do his/her job -- just to present the complaints and symptoms and then rely on the competence of the doctor to ask the right questions to figure out what's going on. You could bring in your postings from this site and then it's the doctor's job to figure out the nature of the problem and its best treatment.

Dr. G.

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Joseph F. Goldberg, MD, is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY. He also maintains a private prac...More

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