A study by the Institute of Mental Health suggests that approximately one in ten people suffer from some type of mental disorder in the United States. Bipolar disorder, a condition where individuals experience extreme mood swings, affects an estimated 5.5 million Americans over 18. As a licensed clinical psychologist, Teresa Susmaras treats patients with a wide range of mental disorders, including bipolar disorder.
Those diagnosed with bipolar disorder are plagued with mood swings that fluctuate from severe euphoric states to periods of extreme depression. These changes in mood are often completely unrelated to personal events, but can affect the person’s physical health, the ability to function, behavior, and emotional state of mind. Bipolar disorder is rooted in the brain as a neurological disorder and typically starts affecting individuals in adolescence and into early adulthood. However, the disorder can also begin during childhood or even in middle age.
Four distinctive mood episodes have been identified in those who suffer from bipolar disorder, including mania, hypomania, depression and mixed episodes. The disease has no cure, but can be managed with treatment; the National Advisory Mental Health Council estimates that the success rate for treatment of bipolar disorder is a promising 80 percent. Mood stabilizers and antidepressants are the most widely used medication to treat the disorder.
Teresa Susmaras has devoted her career to helping those with brain disorders through her work as a neuropsychologist. Susmaras earned both an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Suffolk University in Boston.