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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5334
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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I am bipolar and was discriminated at work that I just

Resolved Question:

I am bipolar and was discriminated at work that I just started and don't have insurance and I am in a tail spin I do not like doing the medication and try alot of holistic things I do not want to die but medication are not always the answer it took me three days to get some sleep what should I do
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 6 years ago.

Hi! I believe I can be of help with this issue.

First, I want you to know that at the end of my answer I'm going to put in an anxiety reducing technique for you to use when you are feeling hopeless or feeling anxiety to help you just have a minute's relief. Because if you are feeling this way there is a lot of anxiety going through you. Therefore, I want to address the anxiety. But now for the first part of the answer:

You need to Google "contact information Medicaid {name of your state}". You need to call the phone number they give you for contacting them and find out where you go in your county to apply for public insurance. Do this step also as soon as possible. Once you have Medicaid, then you can go through their providers' list and start interviewing psychologists and psychiatrists. You need to make sure you feel confident in the people you decide to go with. And they need to be experienced with Bipolar Disorder (BD). So ask.

You need to begin therapy ASAP. You are against meds, but I need you to make sure your psychologist is for meds. Why?

Because Bipolar Disorder is a disorder that can get out of control and you need every tool you can get to manage the disorder! So holistic tools are important but so are medications. So the psychologist you choose needs to be able to refer you to a psychiatrist who is familiar with BD.

The type of therapy that is most effective for Bipolar Disorder is a Behavioral or Cognitive Behavioral approach that focuses on mood management skills. Group therapy can be very useful as well.

Let me finish by recommending for Bipolar Disorder (manic depressive disorder) a good workbook that I've used in my practice. Get it from the library and start it right away! Ask the therapist you are interviewing if they use a similar approach. It is very useful for learning to manage your symptoms. I wish you the very best! Here it is:

The Depression Workbook: A Guide for Living with Depression and Manic Depression by Mary Ellen Copeland. Amazon:

Now here are instructions on a therapeutic protocol called Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR). It's really quite easy to do almost anywhere. My patients suffering from panic attacks or anxiety, when I teach them PMR at first are amazed how simple it is and that it is a psychological protocol. It was first used in the 1920s! Since then, of course, it has been refined and many studies have been done showing its effectiveness. You will practice PMR at first when you don't wake up with an attack so that you will be familiar with it. I want you to practice the PMR at least 5-6 times before an attack or feeling acute anxiety. Why? Because when you're in the throes of anxiety, you will only remember to do something you are very familiar with it. So practicing 5-6 times is really a minimum. And this is good also for just general anxiety without panic attacks or suicidal thoughts as well. You need to do this to help you regain your footing throughout the day to keep on track through your tasks.

I want to stress the importance of breathing as well. Part of the physiology of what is happening to you in a panic attack is that your breathing is getting shallower. This reduces the oxygen in your blood to your brain. That increases the anxiety reaction, which strengthens the attack and you are in a vicious cycle! Not good. So breathing is the primary tool. I have found in my practice that learning breathing techniques can be helpful. But some of my patients are not interested in learning more than one thing at the beginning, so I have found that just reminding you to BREATHE deeply at the same time you are doing PMR is almost as good. If you are willing to take a yoga class and learn breathing techniques, that's the best. But, breathing deeply with your PMR will help.

So, we're ready for learning PMR. I want you to print my instructions below my signature and have a copy in each of the rooms of your home where you may be when you have an attack. And again, you need to practice this easy technique at least 5-6 times as soon as you can. It needs to become as natural to you as breathing. Ah, remember breathing?


  1. After finding a quiet place and several free minutes to practice progressive muscle relaxation, sit or lie down and make yourself comfortable.
  2. Begin by tensing all the muscles in your face. Make a tight grimace, close your eyes as tightly as possible, clench your teeth, even move your ears up if you can. Hold this for the count of eight as you inhale.
  3. Now exhale and relax completely. Let your face go completely lax, as though you were sleeping. Feel the tension seep from your facial muscles, and enjoy the feeling.
  4. Next, completely tense your neck and shoulders, again inhaling and counting to eight. Then exhale and relax.
  5. Continue down your body, repeating the procedure with the following muscle groups:
    • chest
    • abdomen
    • entire right arm
    • right forearm and hand (making a fist)
    • right hand
    • entire left arm
    • left forearm and hand (again, making a fist)
    • left hand
    • buttocks
    • entire right leg
    • lower right leg and foot
    • right foot
    • entire left leg
    • lower left leg and foot
    • left foot
  6. for the shortened version, which includes just four main muscle groups:
    • face
    • neck, shoulders and arms
    • abdomen and chest
    • buttocks, legs and feet

Quickly focusing on each group one after the other, with practice you can relax your body like ‘liquid relaxation’ poured on your head and it flowed down and completely covered you. You can use progressive muscle relaxation to quickly de-stress any time.

What You Need:

  • A comfortable place.
  • Some privacy.
  • A few minutes.


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