Treatment for Anxiety Disorders in the Philadelphia area
What are Anxiety Disorders?
The term “Anxiety Disorder” refers to a group of treatable medical conditions that manifest with excessive fear or worry, resulting in distress beyond what is appropriate for the situation. They include Specific Phobias, Social Anxiety Disorder, Panic Attack Disorder (or panic disorder), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and others. There are several physicians, nurse practitioners and psychiatrists in the Philadelphia area who specialize in evaluating and treating anxiety disorders.
Why should I see a medical professional or doctor for problems with anxiety?
Non-psychiatric medications, psychiatric medications, medical illnesses, caffeine, alcohol and substance use, physical activity and stressors can affect one’s level of anxiety or worry. Proper diagnosis and treatment of anxiety disorders requires a full medical and psychiatric workup (often including laboratory studies).
What types of treatment are available for Anxiety Disorders in the Philadelphia area?
Treatment should be tailored to the individual and can consist of therapy, medication management or both. A thorough evaluation by a physician or medical professional is recommended as treatment may vary from changing a non-psychiatric medication that is causing elevated anxiety or panic (with coordination between providers) to adding a medication that targets symptoms directly. Therapy for life’s stressors and modification of behaviors (physical activity, diet, meditation and substance use for example) should be thoroughly discussed and part of your treatment plan with your provider.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (particularly Exposure Therapy) is one of the most effective and studied forms of non-medication treatment for anxiety disorders (Generalized Anxiety Disorder [GAD], Obsessive Compulsive Disorder [OCD], Panic Attack Disorder and others). Patients may want to consider seeing a therapist or provider with specific training and certification in CBT.
How Can I Find Treatment in the Philadelphia area for my Anxiety Disorder (GAD, OCD or Panic disorder) ?
There are several options for finding a psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner who treats anxiety disorders in the Philadelphia area. This process can seem overwhelming (particularly when struggling with symptoms of anxiety). However, finding a specialist is no different than finding a doctor who specializes in other areas of medicine. Talk to your doctor about psychiatrists in Philadelphia or psychiatric nurse practitioners who treat anxiety disorders or panic, call the departments of psychiatry at local Philadelphia hospitals and teaching institutions and ask what physicians or doctors they recommend. Call your insurance carrier and ask about anxiety disorder treatment and specialists that accept your specific insurance or search the internet for psychiatrists who treat anxiety disorders. Remember to specify in search engines what you are looking for (and where). For example, searching for “doctors who treat anxiety” may give you a list of psychiatrists throughout the United States, while searching with phrases such as “Anxiety treatment in Philadelphia,” “Panic disorder doctor in Philadelphia,” “Anxiety treatment near me” or “OCD treatment in Philadelphia” will optimize your results to providers near you. If family or friends have seen local psychiatrists who specialize in the evaluation and treatment of anxiety, it may be reasonable to ask if they would recommend (or not recommend) a certain doctor, psychiatric nurse practitioner or psychiatrist in the Philadelphia area.
See the “resources” tab for additional information including hotlines, mental health associations (for both patients and family members) and other available resources in the Philadelphia community.
What should I do in case of an Emergency?
Immediately dial 911 or go to your nearest Emergency Room.
- Bourne, E. The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook (Fifth Edition). Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, 2010.
- Bourne, E., Garano, L. Coping With Anxiety: 10 Simple Ways to Relieve Anxiety, Fear and Worry. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, 2003.
- Greenberger, D., Padesky, C. Mind Over Mood: Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think. New York, NY: The Guilford Press, 1995.
- Osborn, I. Tormenting Thoughts and Secret Rituals: The Hidden Epidemic of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. New York, NY: Dell Publishing, 1998.