Our expert says:
I like your phrase "normal enough" - I'm not sure I've ever met an entirely "normal" person, but most of us manage to be normal enough to get by. Some people are lucky enough to find the right medicines to suit their paticular chemistry, right away. For some of us, it takes time to find the right meds to achieve useful control of the situation. And of course, medicines not taken usually don't help much. Do I understand that the manic episode came after you stopped the meds ?
Why do you feel other people are judging you ? ( In my experience, most people are so self-absorbed that they hardly notice if you're bleeding) Is it that some people who tangled with you when you were too high may remember that and wonder how you are now ?
Psychotherapy can help you cope, IF used along with proper medication. I'm sure painkillers won't help - they have no benefits and many possible problems with regards to your moods and ability to cope.
Have you had a serious chat with your psychiatrist about the issues you raise here, to get an understanding from someone who knows you well ?
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