Dr. Christie Mensch practices in Kansas City at the Wyandot Center, where she provides mental health evaluations and treatment for adults in the area. Among the patients Dr. Christie Mensch has experience in treating are those who suffer from bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder exists in several forms, depending on the severity or characteristics of a person’s symptoms, but is characterized by marked changes in a person’s energy levels and mood over a period of time. A person might shift from having depressive episodes to having a manic or hypomanic period.
During a depressive episode, a person with bipolar disorder typically feels hopeless or sad and experiences a significant lack of energy. Sleeping changes, such as difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much, frequently also accompany these periods.
On the other side of the spectrum is a manic period, in which the person seems feels “up” or wired, with very high levels of energy. He or she might sleep very little, talk quickly about many different topics, and have racing thoughts. Irritability and agitation may also accompany a manic episode, and the person may engage in dangerous or reckless behaviors, such as high-risk sex or overspending money.
Of course, the signs of bipolar disorder and the qualities of the different episodes vary between individuals. For instance, some people have a less severe “up” period, which mental health professionals refer to as “hypomanic” rather than “manic.” A psychiatrist can perform evaluation of an individual suspected of having bipolar disorder, and develop a plan of treatment.