Three Office Locations: Los Angeles, San Diego and The South Bay

Our newly added San Diego office serves Mission Valley, La Mesa, SDSU college area, El Cajon and Hillcrest.

Our South Bay office serves Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, Palos Verdes, Torrance and El Segundo.

Direct commentary, information and education on anxiety, OCD, phobias and panic attacks regarding you and the world in which we live.

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Los Angeles and San Diego, CA, United States
Break Free From Anxiety Disorder and Get Your Life Back!
Call The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles: (310) 429-1024 or San Diego: (619) 961-1003. Or email Dr. April NOW.

Three locations serving Los Angeles, San Diego and The South Bay!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Hoarding Animals?

Hoarding is generally a form of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and is not reserved to just inanimate objects, but can involve animals too.  What's important isn't necessarily what the hoarder is hoarding, but the cycle itself.

Hoarding is a compulsive behavior marked by the collecting of primarily useless objects -  old newspapers, boxes, bags, knickknacks, etc.  Often times, as seen with extreme hoarders, one's home is filled with so many objects he or she barely has a path to walk.  Sometimes whole rooms must be sectioned off due to inability to enter.  There might even be areas with objects stacked from floor to ceiling.

The cycle begins and ends with anxiety.  If you engage in hoarding, you are escaping some anxiety with your compulsive actions.  For example, rather than cope with anxiety around boredom, loneliness or loss, you engage in repeatedly collecting and keeping objects to escape discomfort.  The more you engage in this cycle, the more your anxiety and compulsive behavior intensifies.  The thought of removing any of these objects brings about anxiety and the cycle of collection and avoidance continues.

Click this link for a news story demonstrating some very severe cases involving animal hoarding (note that these cases described more than likely have some mental health concerns in addition to just OCD):  

The most effective form of treatment for hoarding is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy.  With motivation and commitment, most who hoard can make great progress.  

Follow this link for more information on anxiety disorder treatment

Thursday, June 25, 2009

OCD and Anxiety made worse by family members?

OCD and anxiety symptoms can increase through the unintentional enabling of spouses and parents.  

This is very common because those that love you do not want to see you in pain.  So, they might support your anxiety by assisting you in avoiding it.  

For example, a spouse might do all the shopping because you're afraid to go into the grocery store.  Or maybe your wife or husband declines all social invitations due to the fact that social settings make you anxious.  

A parent might help a child check under the bed a specific number of times or not send their child to camp due to their fear of germs.

Although these acts come from a loving place, they serve to maintain and even increase obsessions, compulsions and anxiety over time.  

How?  Because every time one avoids that which they fear, it serves to reinforce the anxiety or obsession.  So, when family members help you avoid that which makes you anxious, it only serves to solidify symptoms.

What should family members do for you if you suffer with OCD and anxiety?  Well, it's time for some tough love.  They can encourage you to face your fears.  They can be clear that they know by engaging in behaviors that support your OCD and anxiety, they're actually helping you to maintain it.  And then stop.  No more enabling.  

For riveting examples of what it takes to reduce OCD and anxiety symptoms, check out my episodes (and all the others!) on the inspiring A&E TV show "Obsessed"  by following this link and clicking "episodes".

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Panic Attacks Can Happen To Anyone - Even Pro Athletes!

Panic attacks are not reserved for what society might call "the anxious ones" - even pro athletes can have them.  

Cincinatti Reds first baseman Joey Votto bravely shared Tuesday that after his father died he struggled with panic attacks and depression.  This was a courageous disclosure in light of society stigma and, certainly, the supported false belief that athletes should always be "tough" and stoic.  Click on this link to read the story:

Panic attacks are a human issue.  When undergoing severe amounts of stress, anyone can have their first panic attack.  Unfortunately, after this scary experience more panic can follow.  Why? Without awareness of what panic is and how to resolve it, a fear of the panic symptoms often develops.  

Very fortunately, there are specific techniques and tools anyone can learn to resolve anxiety struggles.  Follow the link for more information on how to resolve panic attacks and anxiety

Monday, June 22, 2009

How our biology makes Anxiety, Panic, and OCD reduction a challenge

Anxiety, panic, and OCD reduction are not easy.  One main reason is that we humans are set up to seek pleasure and avoid pain.  

Anxiety and its various symptoms and disorders can create a lot of pain and suffering.  Unfortunately, the more you avoid experiencing the pain of anxiety, the more it follows you around.  Therefore, we have to go against our biological inclination to run.

Thank goodness for CBT.  Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is the most effective and only proven form of treatment for anxiety reduction.  This treatment provides tools and techniques designed to help you face anxiety.

Follow the link to read more about how to reduce anxiety, panic and OCD.

The April Center for Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles and The South Bay

The April Center for Anxiety Attack Management is committed to helping you remove the destructive barriers of anxiety, so that you may lead a calmer, healthier, happier life.

Take a look at our website at or give us a call: (310) 429-1024
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