I specialize in treating the following:
Anxiety disorders are characterized by extreme worry, fear, and nervousness. They include general anxiety, panic disorders, obsessive compulsive disorders, post traumatic stress, social anxiety, and phobias.
Individuals with anxiety disorders often experience prolonged feelings of tension and anxiety. They can’t relax, may twitch or appear in constant motion due to their fears. They may startle easily or have trouble concentrating.
—Keath Low, About.com
Body image issues are a common problem. In a society that promotes unrealistic body ideals, it is challenging to not get caught up in comparing oneself to these unrealistic standards. As a result, many individuals may experience depression, anxiety, anger and even self-loathing. In addition to affecting an individual’s view of self, poor body image may also result in avoidance of social situations and may interfere with developing healthy social and romantic relationships.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a psychological disorder that involves a misperception of one or more body areas. Individuals with BDD perceive a defect or flaw in their appearance that is either very small or nonexistent. Areas of concern often involve flaws of the face or head (e.g., hair thinning, acne, scars, redness, wrinkles, facial asymmetry, size/shape of facial features such as nose, mouth, lips, etc.). Other areas of concern may include but are not limited to genitals, breasts, buttocks, abdomen, hips, and thighs. Individuals suffering from BDD are preoccupied with the perceived defect(s) to a point where it causes clinically significant distress in several areas of functioning. They may spend excessive amounts of time checking their appearance in mirrors, putting on makeup or otherwise masking their appearance, and seeking reassurance. Individuals with BDD will often avoid social situations and romantic relationships. As a result, high levels of anxiety, depression, embarrassment, shame, and self-disgust are frequently present.
Although depression may occur only one time during your life, usually people have multiple episodes of depression. During these episodes, symptoms occur most of the day, nearly every day and may include:
- Feelings of sadness, emptiness or unhappiness
- Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
- Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities, such as sex
- Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
- Tiredness and lack of energy, so that even small tasks take extra effort
- Changes in appetite — often reduced appetite and weight loss, but increased cravings for food and weight gain in some people
- Anxiety, agitation or restlessness — for example, excessive worrying, pacing, hand-wringing or an inability to sit still
- Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or blaming yourself for things that are not your responsibility
- Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
- Frequent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide
- Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
For some people, depression symptoms are so severe that it’s obvious something isn’t right. Other people feel generally miserable or unhappy without really knowing why.
Eating disorders are a group of serious conditions in which you’re so preoccupied with food and weight that you can often focus on little else. The main types of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder.
Eating disorders can cause serious physical problems and, at their most severe, can even be life-threatening. Most people with eating disorders are females, but males can also have eating disorders. An exception is binge-eating disorder, which appears to affect almost as many males as females.
Treatments for eating disorders usually involve psychotherapy, nutrition education, family counseling, medications and hospitalization.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead you to do repetitive behaviors (compulsions). It’s also possible to have only obsessions or only compulsions and still have OCD.
With OCD, you may or may not realize that your obsessions aren’t reasonable, and you may try to ignore them or stop them. But that only increases your distress and anxiety. Ultimately, you feel driven to perform compulsive acts in an effort to ease your stressful feelings.
People with panic disorder have sudden and repeated attacks of fear that last for several minutes. Sometimes symptoms may last longer. These are called panic attacks. Panic attacks are characterized by a fear of disaster or of losing control even when there is no real danger. A person may also have a strong physical reaction during a panic attack. It may feel like having a heart attack. Panic attacks can occur at any time, and many people with panic disorder worry about and dread the possibility of having another attack.
A person with panic disorder may become discouraged and feel ashamed because he or she cannot carry out normal routines like going to the grocery store or driving. Having panic disorder can also interfere with school or work.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.
Many people who go through traumatic events have difficulty adjusting and coping for a while. But with time and taking care of yourself, such traumatic reactions usually get better. In some cases, though, the symptoms can get worse or last for months or even years. Sometimes they may completely shake up your life. In a case such as this, you may have post-traumatic stress disorder.
Getting treatment as soon as possible after post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms develop may prevent long-term post-traumatic stress disorder.