Bipolar disorders used to be referred to as manic-depressive illnesses because of the extreme changes in mood, energy, and activity levels ranging from very up or manic to very low or depressed. There are four types of bipolar disorders characterized by the experience of the patient.
Bipolar disorders are characterized by abnormally intense emotions. Many patients experience changes in sleep patterns, activity levels, and behavior. For a complete diagnosis of a bipolar disorder, patients must present at least 3 manic symptoms and 4 depressive symptoms. The depressive symptoms must last for 2 weeks or more. Some of the symptoms associated with manic episodes include:
Some of the symptoms associated with depressed episodes include:
Dr. van Riel customizes treatment to address the specific symptoms and needs of her patients. She may prescribe medications including mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, or antidepressants. Some patients may also benefit from sleep aids. Psychotherapy techniques may also be used. Many patients benefit from talk therapy and learning techniques to recognize their feelings and behaviors in order to choose different, healthier responses to their emotions.
"She's amazing. Made me feel comfortable from the moment I sat in her office."