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Anxiety: FAQ


Everyone feels anxious sometimes, especially when worrying about things that might happen. However, those with anxiety disorders often have symptoms that interfere with their school, work, relationships or daily lives. Anxiety is caused by a combination of factors: genetics, brain chemistry, personality and life events.

A few facts (and some more):

  • Anxiety is the most common mental disorder in the US

  • Anxiety affects 18% of the US population each year

  • Only 37% of those who are anxious receive treatment


Panic Attacks

Panic attacks are not uncommon. It’s described as a sudden rush of intense fear or discomfort that comes out of the blue, often accompanied with:

  • Heart racing, trembling or sweating

  • Feeling like you were choking or having trouble catching your breath

  • Feeling sick to your stomach

  • Feeling dizzy and light-headed

  • Feeling hot or having chills

  • Numbness or tingling in your fingers or feet

  • Feeling like you were in a dream or you were outside of yourself watching

  • Fear that you were going crazy, might lose control or might die

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

You tend to worry about a lot of things in life (health, money, family, work, school, etc.). You predict that bad things will happen all the time – even when it’s very unlikely – and find it difficult to control your worry. You may also experience:

  • Restlessness, feeling irritable, keyed up or on edge

  • Tension in your muscles

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Feeling tired very easily

  • Sleep problems


Social Phobia

You may fear one or more of these social situations: public speaking, social gatherings, meeting new people, disagreeing with others, speaking to authority figures, eating in public, using public restrooms, etc. You’re afraid of being evaluated, that others may detect some sign of anxiety (blushing, sweating, trembling) and think badly of you. You tend to avoid these situations, and when you can’t, you feel very anxious.

Specific Phobia

Your fear is persistent and associated with intense anxiety to the point that you avoid (or want to avoid) certain situations. Although you realize that your fear may be unreasonable or excessive, it still causes distress and difficulty in your life.


Psychiatrists are specialized medical doctors who require at least 12 years in higher education and 15,000 hours of clinical training before being allowed to independently diagnose, treat or prescribe. In comparison, nurse practitioners (NP) require 500 clinical hours (typically supervised by a medical doctor), and physician assistants (PA) require 2,000 clinical hours.

My training offers an in-depth understanding of the nuances when diagnosing, treating or prescribing medications. Every patient is different, and my recommendations are always made on a case-by-case analysis. If together we determine that medication is beneficial, I’ll walk you through different options, thoroughly explaining risks, benefits, and alternatives, so you can be fully informed and content with your next steps.

A few examples:

  • Certain health conditions, like hyperthyroidism, may mimic anxiety. It’s important to rule this out by checking your thyroid hormone levels.

  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) is the first-line medication type for anxiety. Yet, you may feel restless in the first few days of starting before your anxiety gets better. SSRI needs to be taken regularly for about 4-6 weeks before seeing any significant improvement.

My Masters in Psychopharmacology and Applied Psychology add even more insight on all things medication and human behavior. Let me help you free your mind to get that full rest that you deserve.

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