Anxiety Disorders

L. David Willison IV, MD, PhD

Psychiatrist located in Westwood, Los Angeles, CA

It’s normal to experience occasional anxiety, but if overwhelming distress or intense fear prevents you from doing everyday activities, you may have an anxiety disorder. Child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist Dr. L. David Willison IV, MD, PhD, specializes in treating anxiety disorders at his private practice in Los Angeles. Anxiety disorders are highly treatable — call to book an appointment today.

Anxiety Disorders Q & A

What are anxiety disorders?

Anxiety disorders are a group of psychiatric conditions that involve extreme, persistent feelings of worry and fear. Each disorder has unique symptoms, but all anxiety disorders cause excessive worry in nonthreatening situations.

As an anxiety disorder specialist, Dr. Willison treats the full range of anxiety disorders, including:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder, which causes excessive worry about routine events and activities.
  • Separation anxiety disorder, which affects children when parents or guardians leave.
  • Specific phobias that trigger extreme fear and panic, such as a fear of flying.
  • Panic disorder, which causes sudden feelings of terror and a sense that one is dying.
  • Social phobia is the fear of social rejection or negative evaluation.

How common are anxiety disorders?

If excessive anxiety interferes with your daily life, you’re not alone. Anxiety disorders are the most common and pervasive mental health problems in the United States. About 18% of adults and 8% of children and adolescents suffer from some type of anxiety disorder.

What are the symptoms of anxiety disorders?

Anxiety symptoms may vary depending on the type of disorder you have. Common symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Restlessness or irritability.
  • Uncontrollable worry or dread.
  • Feeling nervous or tense.
  • A sense of impending danger.

Physical symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Racing heartbeat.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Sweating.
  • Trembling.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Gastrointestinal problems (often including symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome).
  • Fatigue.
  • Trouble concentrating.

What’s the process for treating anxiety disorders?

First, Dr. Willison performs a thorough psychiatric evaluation, which includes a discussion of your thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Once he provides an accurate diagnosis for your anxiety disorder, he develops a personalized treatment plan to help improve your life.

Dr. Willison has extensive experience treating all types of anxiety disorders with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure response prevention (ERP). He also offers medication management and an integrative approach to treatment that might focus on lifestyle and behavioral treatments.  

To find out how you can overcome your anxiety, call the office of L. David Willison IV, MD, PhD, to book an appointment today.

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