Q:  Paranoid Thoughts - What Meds will Help?

I have been taking neurotnin and effexor.  I was diagnosed bipolar type 11 after I had a hypomanic reaction to Prozac. I recently have had a hypomanic reaction to the effexor and my doctor added trilafon. He said I have transient stress related paranoia and hyper vigilance.  Are anti psychotics the only medication to help paranoid thoughts? I only have them when I'm hypomanic or very depressed.  I don't think I am psychotic.  I hate taking anti psychotics more than any other medication.

Dear Anne -- 
Definitely not: mood stabilizers have been shown to be effective for psychotic symptoms in mania, and they're what you need to be on in the long run anyway to prevent relapse once you're doing well.  So ask your doc' about backing off the antipsychotics in favor of mood stabilizers.  See my site for the current ones and how we choose amongst them (BPII section; treatment and treatment details sections).  

Dr. Phelps

Published June, 2001