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Description of Common Disorders

Anxiety
Anxiety 

Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure. People with anxiety disorders usually have recurring intrusive thoughts or concerns. They may avoid certain situations out of worry. They may even come to experience a sensation of terror without an explanation why.  An irrational fear of sunset, or night time may sometimes be present in generalized anxiety.  They may also have physical symptoms such as sweating, shivers, trembling, trouble breathing, nausea, dizziness or a rapid heartbeat.

 

There is some evidence that anxiety disorders run in families; genes as well as early learning experiences within families seem to make some people more likely than others to experience these disorders. People who suffer from an untreated anxiety disorder often also suffer from other psychological disorders, such as depression, and they have a greater tendency to abuse alcohol and other drugs. Their relationships with family members, friends and coworkers may become very strained and their job performance may decline.

We can work together to identify and learn to manage the factors that contribute to your particular anxiety. Various techniques are used to reduce or stop the undesired behaviors associated with these disorders. For example, mindfullness and relaxation techniques to counteract the agitation and rapid, shallow breathing that accompany certain anxiety disorders. I can help you learn to understand how your thoughts contribute to the symptoms of anxiety disorders, and how to change those thought patterns to reduce the likelihood of occurrence and the intensity of reaction.

Depression
Depression 

Everyone experiences sadness from time to time, but depression is debilitating, impairing, and lasts longer. People with depression may experience a lack of interest and pleasure in daily activities, physical pain, significant weight loss or gain, insomnia or excessive sleeping, lack of energy, inability to concentrate, feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt as well as recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.  Depression may present itself differently in men than in women, such as with anger, silence, and violent outbursts more commonly seen in men.

Fortunately, depression is highly treatable with appropriate care.  We can start with an exploration into the factors contributing to your depression, whether genetic, chemical, biological, psychological, social and/or environmental in order to help us understand which aspects of those problems can be improved.  We can work together to identify options for the future and set realistic goals that enable you to enhance your mental and emotional well-being.  We will identify negative or distorted thought patterns that contribute to feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. Together we will develop skills to relieve suffering and reduce the chance of recurrence.

Trauma
Trauma

The word “trauma” means wound.  As such, psychological trauma is an emotional response, comparable to a wound, in reaction to a terrible event like an accident, sexual assault, or natural disaster. Immediately after the event, shock and denial are typical. Longer term reactions include unpredictable emotions, aversion, flashbacks, isolation, strained relationships, decreased concentration and decision-making capabilities, and even physical symptoms like headaches, nausea, or “phantom pain” in bodily areas which experienced the trauma. Sleeping and eating patterns may be affected, and pre-existing medical conditions may worsen due to the stress.

I will work with those who have experienced such events, helping you in recognize that they are passing through a difficult period. We will create a safe space in which you can appropriately process the event and mourn any “loss” experienced. Together we will build a support network and find constructive ways of dealing with the emotional impact. 

Other treated disorders:

 

anxiety/panic

depression

obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

trauma/abuse

post-traumatic stress disorder  (PTSD)

bipolar disorder

chronic pain or illness/terminal illness

insomnia

relationship problems

cultural adaptation for United States residents who moved to Mexico or vice versa

general stress      

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