Other Disorders That We Treat

Panic Attacks, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Trichotillomania

At the Westwood Institute for Anxiety Disorders, we also treat a range of other clinical conditions, especially anxiety and compulsive disorders. These include Panic Attacks, General Anxiety Disorder, and Trichotillomania.

Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder

A Panic Attack is a discrete period of intense fear or discomfort in the absence of real danger that is accompanied by at least 4 out of 13 somatic or cognitive symptoms. The symptoms include:

Panic attacks occurs suddenly and build to a peak very quickly, normally in 10 minutes or less. The sufferer often feels a sense of imminent danger or impending doom and an urge to escape.

Panic Disorder is characterized by multiple, unexpected Panic Attacks followed by at least 1 month of persistent concern about having another. Sufferers worry about what the Panic Attacks may lead to or stem from, or experience significant behavioral changes because of them. There are two subtypes: Panic Disorder without Agoraphobia and Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized Anxiety Disorder is the condition of excessive anxiety and worry about certain events or activities, occurring for more than half the time in a period of 6 or more months. The sufferer finds this worrying difficult to control. The feelings are also accompanied by at least three additional symptoms for adults and one for children, from the following list:

The worrying is not realistic for the likelihood or actual effects of the event that the sufferer fears. GAD sufferers are often needlessly anxious about day-to-day activities such as traveling to work on time or taking care of chores.

Trichotillomania: Compulsive Hair Pulling

Trichotillomania (TTM) is the pulling out of one's own hair that results in noticeable hair loss. The body area that hair is pulled from can vary, and commonly include the scalp, eyebrows, and eyelashes. Pulling episodes may occur scattered throughout the day or in sustained, deliberate periods, and some sufferers do so in a trance-like state while distracted by other activities, without being aware of it. Usually, the sufferer first has a sense of tension that is related to resisting the urge to pull. There is often also a sense of pleasure or soothing from the pulling itself. The disturbance not be better explained by another disorder (Eg. hallucinations or medical conditions of the scalp), and must cause significant distress or impairment in important life functioning, such as finding or keeping a job and maintaining relationships.

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