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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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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!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Do Family Doctors Treat Anxiety?

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

The question "Do family doctors treat anxiety?" is one that deserves a real response.  There is a simple answer: "Unfortunately, they think they do."  This post is not meant to criticize or judge.  However, it is meant to share the truth about a disturbing reality for those struggling with anxiety that seek treatment from their family doctor.

Are you ready?  Here is the truth:

Family doctors do not know how to treat anxiety!

I have nothing against family doctors.  They provide an extremely valuable and important service for broad illnesses and medical needs.  However, they are simply not trained or skilled in diagnosing or treating anxiety disorders, such as Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety, phobias, OCD, Hypochondriasis, PTSD, and Generalized Anxiety.

Treating anxiety requires specialized training and experience.  It cannot be treated with general knowledge, nor can it be treated like all other medical or mental health issues.  Unfortunately, society tends to support the notion that family doctors can treat everything!  And although most know that without specialized knowledge, there are many ailments that can't be treated with a cookie cutter approach, most tend to fall into the trap of seeing a family doctor for anxiety treatment.

One interesting observation is that family doctors are willing to refer patients to other medical doctors when more expertise is required.  Why not always do the same when facing a patient with anxiety? 

Many anxiety sufferers that seek my help have had a long journey prior to discovering my anxiety treatment center.  Many initially visited their family doctor for treatment, only to be prescribed Xanax or Ativan (addictive anti-anxiety medications) for anxiety symptoms that could be treated naturally.  Meanwhile, their family doctor provided no awareness of diagnosis, no treatment plan, no referral to an actual anxiety doctor (a psychologist specializing in the natural treatment of anxiety disorders) and no offer to monitor tolerance of the medication.  Following their poor treatment and possibly adverse reactions to the inappropriately prescribed medication, most patients renewed their search for someone who could actually help them with their anxiety.

I want to be clear.  I'm not blaming family doctors.  Many are victims of training that tells them that they should be able to treat all of what ails their patients.  Some of them, thankfully, have a respect for the limitations of their scope and will refer to a therapist or psychologist.  But these are in the minority.  Most simply whip out their medication pad and start prescribing.  And, ultimately, it's the anxiety sufferer who experiences even more struggle as they then go back to the drawing board (hopefully without another problem -  addiction to the meds prescribed!). 

For those of you reading, it's probably clear that this is a reality that I find frustrating.  But this is why I provide this information.   For those suffering with anxiety symptoms and anxiety disorders, I hope to quicken the path towards finding help that can actually reduce and resolve their suffering.

Anxiety Disorders are treatable!  But only when one finds the proper treatment!

Follow the link for more on our anxiety treatment services and how to break free!

All the best,

Director of The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles

P. S.  Don't forget to sign up for my anxiety newsletter on my website's home page where you'll receive free anxiety tips!

photo credit: diekatrin via photopin cc

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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