What I Treat
Panic Disorder with or without Agoraphobia
Although it certainly doesn't feel like it, panic disorder is likely the best anxiety disorder of them all to have. It's extremely treatable in a relatively short amount of time. People with panic disorder have sudden rushes of anxiety with physical symptoms to include the following: heart racing, shortness of breath, shaking, feelings of unreality, and fear of dying or losing control. These attacks can be so frightening that people often think that they're dying and go to the emergency room for help. Fear of having panic attacks often leads to agoraphobia where people avoid situations due to the fear of those situations triggering another attack. Some typical agoraphobic situations people avoid are driving, exercising, being in crowded places, and drinking caffeine.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder can take on many different forms. Its rituals include checking behaviors (i.e. checking that the door is locked), cleaning behaviors (i.e. excessive handwashing), and excessive reassurance seeking from others. Intrusive thoughts can include terrible images or fears that you might harm others in violent ways--people are often afraid to tell others, even loved ones, about these scary thoughts. OCD rituals can also lead to perfectionism that interferes with task completion. Scrupulosity is religious OCD and leads the sufferer to pray excessively or, alternatively, avoid religious activities they used to enjoy due to the anxiety associated with it. Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), the extreme and sometimes disabling dissatisfaction with ones appearance, fits into this category as well. Exposure response prevention (ERP) is the treatment of choice for OCD.