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!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Anxiety Attacks During Pregnancy

 by Dr. Lindsay Kramer, psychotherapist and staff writer at The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles

A lot of people associate pregnancy with a joyous experience in which new life is being brought into the world.  There are terms such as “pregnancy glow” or “miracle of childbirth” that lead us as a society to presume pregnant women are happy, excited, and blissful.  This is not always the case.  Pregnancy can be very stressful, uncomfortable, and scary.  And for first-time expectant mothers, the body experiences drastic changes that inevitably affect daily functioning.  That is why it is important to be aware of all aspects of pregnancy.  

Though it is not often spoken or announced, pregnancy can cause high levels of stress and anxiety.  Anxiety attacks are actually very common amongst pregnant women, even if they have not had prior attacks.  It's been reported that as much as 10 percent of woman struggle with panic attacks during pregnancy.
Let’s review what comprises a panic or anxiety attack.   
Panic attack symptoms can include
-racing heartbeat
-chest pain or feeling like you're having a heart attack
-trembling or shakiness
-shortness of breath and/or difficulty breathing
- feeling like you're "going crazy, dying or losing control".

 Panic attacks generally frequent no more than ten minutes, but can occur multiple times throughout a day.   

Women who have a history of anxiety or panic attacks are more likely to experience them in pregnancy.  Anxiety attacks when pregnant can be triggered by a multitude of different reasons.  Some of the most common issues are listed below:

-Increased anxiety due to hormonal changes that can initiate a panic attack.
-Anxiety due to fears of the future (being an adequate parent, increased responsibility, financial stress).
-History of anxiety prior to pregnancy, becoming more frequent while pregnant.
-An anxiety attack may result from coping with changes in your appearance and body.
This is by no means a definitive list of the causes for anxiety attacks during pregnancy.  The causes depend on the individual and can vary in severity and frequency of attacks.  It is important, especially for pregnant women, to seek out help to manage anxiety.  So what can you do to best ensure health for yourself and your baby?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy has been the most successful treatment for anxiety and panic attacks.  This type of therapy involves facing fear gradually with strategies and techniques.  It also involves training people to replace negative thoughts with realistic thoughts, helping people gain more control over their patterns of thinking, behaving, and feeling.  This type of therapy can also aid pregnant women in identifying the triggers for their anxiety and can reduce the amount of anxiety attacks in the future.  Therapists at The April Center specialize in the treatment and management of anxiety.  Pregnancy can be a vital time to seek out professional help and learn different techniques and tools to overcome anxiety, so that you and your baby can lead a happy and healthy life.
All the best,  
from The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles

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


Friday, July 24, 2015

Social Anxiety Disorder Symptoms in Teenagers

 by Dr. Lindsay Kramer, psychotherapist and staff writer at The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles

To begin, if you are a teenager reading this, I commend you. That means that you have enough initiative and curiosity to google terms such as “social anxiety” or “social phobia.” It also probably means that you are anxious and preoccupied with how you appear in social situations or what others think of you. I am hypothesizing that, to some degree, you are struggling to understand who you are, and it can be exhausting when others around you are experiencing the exact same thing. Sure, the easiest solution would be to “fit in” or at the very least, to not stand out. But this often leads us to a very lonely and very scary place.

Now, if you are a former teenager and have graduated from adolescence, I want you to think back to those years…what was it like? What sort of feelings came up for you? How did you survive the world of hormonal imbalances, first loves, “frenemies,” acne, controlling parents, and gossip? How did you balance a social life with academics and preparing for what comes after high school? I am guessing it was not easy, and at some point, the world felt uncertain and shaky. Adolescence is a very difficult period and one that must be approached with empathy and awareness. Social anxiety disorders are very common in teenagers and can be easily overlooked or misinterpreted as just being a “teenager.”

So what can one look for when figuring out if you or your teenager struggles with social anxiety?

Here is an extensive and detailed list of symptoms of social anxiety disorder for teenagers

-Consistent or ongoing fear of situations and interactions involving new people.
-Heightened anxiety in peer interactions and settings.
-Frequent fear of social or performance situations, in which the teenager worries about acting in embarrassing or unacceptable ways.
-Panic attacks or anxiety attacks when thinking about or engaging in social interactions. These attacks include intense anxiety and are often accompanied with heart palpitations, chest pain, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, nausea, trembling, numbness, sweating, and dizziness.
-Avoidance of social situations, such that the teenager isolates, makes excuses, or refuses to engage in social encounters.
-Heightened distress in routine social situations, such as participating in class, starting or maintaining a conversation, or going to a party.
-Hesitance to participate in normal outings or activities, such that the teenager no longer wants to be involved in extracurricular activities, sports, or clubs due to social anxiety.
-Difficulty transitioning from home to school, in that the teenager resists going to school, becomes truant, or has a high number of unexcused absences.
-Difficulty paying attention or concentrating during class, due to a persistent worry of having to participate in discussions or of saying the “wrong thing” and being embarrassed.

It can be challenging to distinguish normal teenage angst from social anxiety disorder. In fact, a lot of teenagers struggling with social anxiety fail to receive proper treatment due to their symptoms being dismissed or attributed to adolescence. Cognitive behavioral therapy with a trained mental health professional can help the teenager learn new skills to reduce anxiety and distress in social situations. The mental health clinicians at The April Center for Anxiety Attack Management have been helping teenagers overcome social anxiety symptoms for many years. I strongly encourage you to reach out, make contact, and begin to take steps toward a happy and healthy life.

All the best,  
from The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles

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


Friday, July 10, 2015

Fear of Throwing Up

by Dr. Lindsay Kramer, psychotherapist and staff writer at The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles

Emetophobia is a word that most of us are unlikely to have encountered.  Precisely defined, it is the fear of throwing up.  Expanded, this can include a fear of vomiting in public, a fear of seeing vomit, a fear of witnessing another person vomit, or a fear of being nauseated.  Although Emetophobia is not as recognized as, say Agoraphobia or Claustrophobia, it has been stated by the International Emetophobia Society to be the fifth most common phobia.  In fact, one article states that a search of the phrase “fear of being sick” discovered nearly 29 million websites.  So let’s talk in detail of how this fear of throwing up develops, the effects it can have on a person, and how it can be treated.

Emetophobia affects predominantly females, although it can also be present in males.  It is found more acutely in adolescent populations; however, recent research has indicated an increase among adult populations as well.  Like most phobias, the fear of vomiting is most likely linked with a traumatic experience (in this case, one of throwing up).  It has also been connected to a person having witnessed a family member or a friend being sick or hospitalized.  

A person suffering from Emetophobia can experience severe limitations in his or her daily life.  Similar to Panic disorder, there is a repetitive cycle that occurs in Emetophobics.  First, there is some sort of anxiety trigger related to vomiting.  This could be a friend getting the flu, watching someone vomit on TV or a feeling of being full after a meal.  This trigger brings up thoughts of vomiting, and the person begins to “check” his or her body for signs of nausea, stomachache, etc.  Then the phobia phase takes over and the person engages in behaviors to rid him or herself of the anxiety.  For instance, they might leave work early or avoid eating to prevent any chance of throwing up.  This cycle (fear, anticipation, looking for signs of trouble, and chronic avoidance) tends to characterize the life of an Emetophobic.

Now, since chronic avoidance is a key element in the phobia of throwing up, Emetophobics can become severely disabled in their lives.  It is not uncommon for someone suffering from this phobia to avoid restaurants, hospitals, public places, and contact with anyone they might believe to be ill.  Female Emetophobics have also been known to avoid getting pregnant for fear of morning sickness.  These efforts to protect against vomiting can imprison a person inside their own fears.

Emetophobia can be successfully treated with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.  This type of therapy involves gradual exposure to the fear, which in this case, would be vomiting.  This is not to say that an anxiety doctor would require the person in treatment to vomit; rather, it is intended that the person practice with situations, objects, and activities that they fear would lead them to throw up.  In other words, anxiety treatment would focus on gradual exposure to that which the person has been avoiding.  Anxiety doctors work to reduce the fears associated with vomiting, and re-engage the person in activities that are important to them.  

I hope that this blog provides a clear understanding of Emetophobia.  It can have devastating effects on a person’s life, but proper treatment and a trained anxiety doctor can ensure that one leads a healthy and normal life. 

All the best,  
from The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles

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


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Panic Attack, OCD and Phobia Treatment: The April Center For Anxiety adds Another Location in San Diego!

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

The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles is now also San Diego!

In addition to the Los Angeles offices, we have just opened another office in beautiful San Diego in the Mission Valley area.  This area is centrally located, making it easy for all anxiety sufferers to visit the center for their scheduled appointments.

Led by Dr. Craig April, one of the leading anxiety doctors in the country (as seen on A & E's TV show OBSESSED), all staff at The April Center  is comprised of anxiety experts and specialists. 

And just like our other office locations, we treat all aspects of anxiety, including panic attacks, OCD, social anxiety, phobias, fear of driving, fear of vomiting, Agoraphobia, and more.

This newly added location address is:

2525 Camino Del Rio South, Suite 205
San Diego, CA  92108

*Serving Mission Valley, La Mesa, SDSU college area, El Cajon, and Hillcrest.

For comprehensive anxiety help and treatment that fits most budgets, call The April Center's added location NOW!

(619) 961-1003

All the best,

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

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!


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Fear of Freeway Driving: A Common Phobia

 by Dr. Lindsay Kramer, psychotherapist and staff writer at The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles

Do you or someone you know have a fear of driving on freeways?  This is not uncommon.  We turn on the morning news, and we inevitably hear about traffic accidents on freeways.  If you are a resident in Los Angeles or San Diego, California, freeway driving is equivalent to owning a cell phone—necessary and efficient.  After all, Los Angeles and San Diego are not known for their public transportation system.  So let’s talk about freeway anxiety and how to master the strength to get behind the wheel.

A fear of freeway driving can derive from many different situations.  I have worked with numerous patients that developed a phobia of driving on the freeway after being in car accidents.  This is particularly true when the accident was not their fault.  Fear can develop when we feel a loss of control over ourselves in a situation.  And being rear-ended or side-swiped out of nowhere can induce extreme anxiety—especially when later attempting to drive that same freeway where the accident occurred.  

I have also worked with patients whom have never driven on a freeway and the phobia simply exists due to uncertainty.  For these individuals, the terror that arises when even thinking of driving on the freeway is debilitating and can result in avoidance to minimize anxious feelings.  Some are able to drive on local streets; however, many cannot bring themselves to enter the freeway on-ramp due to the higher rates of speed, plus fear of panic if unable to exit the freeway should they become too anxious.  

Now, obviously, there are ways to travel without having to drive.  However, it is generally agreed that the most effective and practical means of transportation is driving (especially in LA and San Diego).  It cuts back on travel time, and it keeps us from relying on those unpredictable bus routes and schedules.  We can load our car with a week’s worth of groceries rather than being limited to what we can carry in our recyclable bags.  We can be independent and maintain freedom of choice with regard to our destination at all times.  Overall, driving just makes life easier, more pleasant and enjoyable.
Now how do we overcome a phobia of driving on the freeway?  Or even just driving anxiety in general?  First and foremost, it is essential to understand the nature of the phobia. What happens when I think about getting behind the wheel and driving on the freeway or highway?  What are the distorted thoughts that elicit panic? 

The next step is seeking out treatment.  The only proven method for treating freeway phobia is cognitive-behavioral therapy.  Using specific tools and methods, a trained anxiety specialist can work with you to gradually desensitize your fear of freeway driving.  In addition, the anxiety doctor will systematically expose you to the feared situation, while working with you to manage the anxiety. 
With driving anxiety treatment, success stories are consistent when it comes to helping people overcome freeway phobias.  It can be so limiting to live in a big city and not experience the wealth of it due to driving anxiety.  I challenge you to take the step to enrich your life and call The April Center.  Let’s help you get your life back!
All the best,  
from The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles

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


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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