Bipolar Disorder Specialist

Kaushansky Psychology

Licensed Clinical Psychologist located in Westwood, Los Angeles, CA

Contrary to a common misconception, bipolar disorder doesn’t cause multiple personalities, but it does cause swings between extreme moods. One day you’re overly productive and energized, then the next day, you have difficulty getting out of bed. At Kaushansky Psychology in the Westwood area of Los Angeles, licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Daniel Kaushansky, PsyD, offersdiagnostic assessment and personalized treatment for bipolar disorder to help you lead a healthy, active, and fulfilling life. If you’re interested in treatment for bipolar disorder, please call or email Kaushansky Psychology to set up a free initial phone consultation or to schedule an appointment today.

Bipolar Disorder Q & A

What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that causes mood swings between high or manic episodes and depression. You might have periods of normal mood between your extremes. There are three common types of bipolar disorder: bipolar I, bipolar II, and cyclothymic disorder. 

Bipolar I is characterized by swings between manic and depressive episodes. Bipolar II also causes swings, but your manic episodes aren’t quite as severe, and your symptoms are classified as hypomanic. Cyclothymic disorder is the mildest type of bipolar disorder and causes swings between less intense mood extremes. 

What are the symptoms of bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder causes depressed, manic, and hypomanic symptoms. During a depressive episode, you might experience symptoms such as:

  • Intense sadness, worthlessness, and hopelessness
  • Fatigue
  • Lost interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Changes in appetite
  • Thoughts of suicide or death

However, during manic episodes, you may have:

  • Feelings of euphoria
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability or feeling on edge
  • Reckless or self-destructive behaviors

Hypomanic symptoms are less severe versions of manic symptoms. If you notice that you’re living with intense mood swings or that your emotions, thoughts, or behaviors interfere with your ability to function or quality of life, you should make an appointment at Kaushansky Psychology for assessment and treatment.

How is bipolar disorder treated?

Dr. Kaushansky begins with a comprehensive assessment of your mental health. During your evaluation, he asks a lot of questions to learn about your mental state, symptoms, and general health and lifestyle. It should feel like a conversation or a gentle interview. This first appointment may take a little longer than future meetings, as Dr. Kaushansky needs time to evaluate your condition and reach a diagnosis.

Following your assessment, Dr. Kaushansky will create a personalized treatment plan to help you manage your condition and better control your moods. He often combines cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) strategies with mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques to help you learn to focus your attention on the present moment and learn to recognize negative thoughts and feelings. Once you can identify the earliest signs of negative emotions, you can practice strategies to change your thoughts and behaviors, ultimately improving your mental health and overall quality of life.