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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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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!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Common OCD and Anxiety Disorder Thinking Patterns Treated During CBT

by Dr. Craig April, Director of The April Center for Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles

OCD treatment is more than Behavior Therapy. It also includes a cognitive focus. This is the "C" in CBT (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy).

When someone comes to my center for help, the cognitive side of OCD is often shared first. For example, although OCD comes with a host of behaviors that are ritualistic and compulsive, it is the thoughts that are often most disconcerting to sufferers.

These thoughts are generally "Obsessions" - One of the hallmarks of OCD, as I've discussed in several of my posts.

The most effective behavioral CBT treatment strategy (and a large part of treatment at The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles) for obsessions and compulsions is called Exposure and Response Prevention.

However, outside of obsesions are the beliefs, perspectives and attitudes that maintain anxiety. This is where the cognitive focus of CBT lends a hand towards anxiety relief.


With OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) and many other anxiety disorders comes a tendency to engage in repeated patterns of thinking, beliefs and attitudes that serve to create more anxiety. Here are a few types:

1.) All or Nothing Thinking:

This type of thinking allows no gray area. It is either all this or all that - black or white, right or wrong. For example, "I was a bit anxious, so I am a total failure".

2.) Mind Reading:

This is most common for those with social phobia, but strikes those with other forms of anxiety, as well. This pattern views assumptions about what others are thinking as fact. For example, "Everyone thinks I ruined the party because I had a panic attack" or "They think I'm weak for being afraid".

3.) Fortune Telling:

This pattern of thinking focuses on predicting the future. For example, "I know I'm gong to freak out on the plane"

These 3 patterns of thinking, of which their are many more, are called cognitive distortions. They are not based on fact. They are based on assumption and habitual thinking that require restructuring with CBT in order to reduce anxiety.

Do you have any of these patterns of thinking?

Specialized OCD and anxiety treatment goes beyond behavior therapy by applying cognitive therapy focused on modifying false beliefs and anxiety producing thinking patterns. Just remember, changing the way you think helps you change the way you behave and respond.
You can contact Dr. Craig April at 310-429-1024 or email him at

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

When Is It Time For Anxiety Treatment? 20 Questions

by Dr. Craig April, Director of The April Center for Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles

When is it time for anxiety treatment? In other words, what are some basic areas to help you determine when you've got a problem that requires specialized anxiety counseling?

I've thrown together a basic list that covers most anxiety disorders.

If you answer "yes" to any of these questions, it is time for anxiety treatment:

1.) Are your thoughts often focused on sensations in your body?

2.) Are you often concerned about your anxiety?

3.) Are the topics you worry about repetitive?

4.) Are you avoiding objects, places, events or situations due to your anxiety?

5.) Does your anxiety interfere with your relationships?

6.) Are people in your life making special accommodations for you based on your anxiety?

7.) Do you have panic attacks or panic when you approach your fear?

8.) Do you have unwanted thoughts that you cannot seem to stop?

9.) Does your anxiety effect your work or ability to focus at work?

10.) Is your anxiety presenting a barrier to achieving your goals?

11.) Do you often feel agitated?

12.) Are you often struck by scary, irrational or inappropriate thoughts or caught up in "what if . . ."?

13.) Do you perform rituals that make no sense, but you do them anyway to reduce anxiety?

14.) Do you have difficulty with sleeping?

15.) Has anyone suggested you seek therapy or counseling for your anxiety?

16.) Do you worry intensely about future events or plans long before they arrive?

17.) Do you think you have a "phobia" that interferes with your life?

18.) Have you ever suspected that you have an anxiety disorder?

19.) Do you prefer to stay at home or travel only in a "safe" distance around your area?

20.) Have symptoms increased over time or are they limiting your freedom in any way?

How many of these questions have you answered "Yes" to?

Although this is not an exhaustive list or one that leads to a diagnosis, these are common issues that cross most anxiety disorders that I treat at my center weekly.

Know that you can reduce your anxiety and decrease your suffering. It just takes motivation and a commitment to yourself to finally face that which has caused you to struggle.

So, one last question to ask yourself:

Is it time for anxiety treatment?


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Driving Fear and Freeway Phobia in Los Angeles

by Dr. Craig April, Director of The April Center for Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles

Driving fear and freeway phobia in Los Angeles are issues I treat so frequently at my center that I lost count.

But how do you know if you've got a real problem that requires help in the form of specialized anxiety treatment?

Here is a list of phobia symptoms related to driving fear:

1.) You avoid driving to certain areas or on certain roads or freeways.

2.) When driving you feel extremely anxious with physical symptoms that may include difficulty breathing, dizziness, shaking and trembling, rapid heartbeat, tingling in your hands, nausea and so on.

3.) When driving you fear something terrible may happen like losing control of yourself or the car.

4.) You have panic attacks while driving that include feeling as if you are going to die or go crazy.

5.) You make up excuses to avoid certain events or situations in which you would be forced to drive.

6.) You are anxious days or weeks before a planned circumstance where you know you'll be required to drive.

These are just a few of the commonly seen symptoms of a driving phobia. Do any of them sound familiar?

Unfortunately, fear of driving does not go away on its own. The longer you avoid driving, the longer you'll fear it. It can also grow more intense over time.

So, how long have you suffered with this fear? Have you sought the proper anxiety treatment?

Sometimes, it takes being "sick and tired" of fear before you are ready to seek specialized therapy and finally begin to face that which haunts you.

Are you sick and tired of your driving fear?

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.

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