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Psychiatric Disorders

Also See – Modalities of Treatment

Panic Disorder

Characterized by panic attacks of different intensity and frequency. Panic attacks are highly uncomfortable episodes, manifested through a range of symptoms, from sweaty palms and a sensation of a “knot” in the throat, to intense fear that something dreadful is about to happen to even symptoms that mimic a heart attack.

Specific Phobias

Characterized by intense, irrational fear, with or without panic attacks, in specific situations like riding in elevators, flying in planes, walking or shopping in wide open spaces, seeing blood, spiders, etc.

Social Anxiety

Very common problem, characterized by fear of being negatively judged by other people in social situations: parties, public speaking, job interviews, meeting new people, etc.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Characterized by a constant, heightened state of fear or excessive worries; fear of losing control; disproportionate worries about life events, which end up interfering with one’s quality of life.

Depression

Characterized by progressively losing interest in activities one used to enjoy, followed by inability to “see light at the end of the tunnel,” low energy, sleep disturbance, feelings of hopelessness or helplessness.

Bipolar Disorder Type I

Characterized by dramatic, clearly defined “highs and lows” of one’s mood.

Bipolar Disorder Type II

Characterized by subtle variations of mood: predominant depression, with brief periods (2-7 days) of feeling excessively energetic, impulsive, talkative, impatient. The mood may change rapidly and spontaneously from depressed to “very happy.” These mood changes interfere with the ability to perform on the job or to maintain stable relationships. Often Bipolar II Disorder tends to be less severe than Bipolar I Disorder, often it is more difficult to diagnose. Often these patients go to their Primary Care Physician when they are depressed and obtain an anti-depressant, which they cannot tolerate. In people predisposed to mood fluctuations, anti-depressants make them restless, “jittery,” and extremely uncomfortable. The correct approach to treatment is using a mood stabilizer first, with or without an anti-depressant. A better understanding of this condition, life style changes and behavioral modifications–in addition to the medication treatment–are highly effective.

Adult Attention Deficit Disorder

Characterized by inability to focus attention on tasks like reading a book from beginning to end, organizing schedules or papers, losing track of what has been said in conversation, etc. It often goes undiagnosed, especially if the condition is mild or is “inattentive “ type. It mimics symptoms of anxiety or even hippomania. Although people have this condition since childhood, it may go undiagnosed and untreated for years. It brings about comments like “you are always absent minded,” or “you are not paying attention to what I say,” or “you are lazy,” or “you are a disaster in organizing your time.” The end result is a great deal of anxiety and distress in the person who hears these comments day in and day out. There are now many options to treating this condition; for example, with stimulant or non-stimulant medications, which are highly effective, as well as behavior modifications.

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