For people with mental health conditions, telepsychiatry can be an excellent option to consider. These days many healthcare services, including psychiatric care, are handled virtually and there are many advantages to opting for a virtual psychiatrist rather than receiving care in person.
What Are The Advantages of Telepsychiatry
There are several advantages to telepsychiatry, and for patients, the main advantages include the convenience factor and the ability to choose the best possible psychiatrist for their needs and not simply rely on finding “psychiatry near me.”
Many studies have shown that telepsychiatry does not reduce the accuracy of diagnosis nor the quality of care of psychiatric services. We also use a secure platform for each session, so patient privacy and confidentiality are protected.
Telepsychiatry also has been approved by the American Psychiatric Association and many of my patients prefer it to traditional face-to-face meetings. After all, as a psychiatrist in Thousand Oaks, I know only too well how stressful it can be navigating L.A. traffic.
Telepsychiatry allows us to meet without forcing patients to drive to a mental health center or medical center or take extra time out of their day for travel. With telepsychiatry, we typically see reduced wait times for health services, which is another advantage.
Are There Disadvantages?
Some patients do respond better in a face-to-face setting, so while telepsychiatry services were the norm during the pandemic, this was probably not the best option for these patients. Many patients love the convenience, but for those that prefer meeting in person, it might be wise to find a local psychiatrist instead.
Some treatments also cannot be accessed virtually, such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) or ketamine treatments. EMDR can be an excellent option for patients with PTSD, and ketamine can be an option for patients with treatment-resistant depression, but they do need to be provided in a medical office setting.
What Can Be Treated Via Telepsychiatry?
Many mental health issues can be treated with telepsychiatry services. For instance, I offer services as an ADHD psychiatrist, depression psychiatrist, anxiety psychiatrist and bipolar disorder psychiatrist. I also treat patients for alcoholism and drug addiction.
Behavioral health care is truly just as important as taking care of your physical health. Mental illness can take a huge toll on your happiness and enjoyment of life, and, too often, people resist getting mental health services.
Psychiatric disorders are not a weakness. They are biological diseases that often are treatable. Seeking psychiatric treatment is no different than heading to your primary care doctor to deal with issues such as strep throat or asthma or heart disease. Whether you are suffering from one or more mental health disorders, I strongly urge you to seek psychiatric care and move toward a happier, healthier life.
Whether you opt for virtual psychiatry or in-person services, the best advice I can give is to find a doctor that provides you with a thorough diagnosis that addresses all of a patient’s mental and physical issues.
For instance, if you are suffering from addiction and chronic pain, both of these issues need to be addressed in order for treatment to be as successful as possible. Likewise, if you suffer from anxiety and an eating disorder, a doctor shouldn’t just focus on anxiety and ignore the eating disorder. Co-occurring disorders are extremely common, and it’s crucial to find ways to treat every issue you are facing.
Telepsychiatry Vs. Telepsychology
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor and, as such, these doctors are the only mental health professionals able to write prescriptions for psychiatric medications. Additionally, as a medical doctor, a psychiatrist will approach each patient from both a physical and mental health perspective.
Often, a psychiatrist will want a patient to undergo certain tests beyond diagnostic testing. For instance, we might want to check your blood for any indicators of health issues or perhaps even consider scheduling an MRI or EEG to study a patient’s neurological health. In some cases, physical ailments can be causing mental health issues or contribute to these issues. If we can alleviate physical health issues, this can decrease or eliminate symptoms of mental health issues.
Additionally, it is important that you provide your psychiatrist (or any doctor) with a complete list of the drugs and supplements you take, including recreational drugs such as marijuana, MDMA, etc. Sometimes drug interactions also cause or exacerbate mental health issues.
Keep in mind, we are not here to judge you, we are here to help, so you must be completely honest about all substances that you take, even vitamins and other health supplements so that we can provide the best possible mental health care.
While a psychologist cannot provide you with prescriptions for medication or evaluate your physical health, these professionals serve as a crucial part of any successful treatment plan, and they also can diagnose mental health disorders. Psychiatrists typically focus only on diagnosis and treatment but don’t actually provide talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy or other types of non-medication-related therapies.
In many cases, medication can help patients, but the most successful treatment plans also incorporate different types of therapy. Talking to a psychologist or therapist can be hugely beneficial, and, often more beneficial than simply relying on medication management.
Therapy can provide you with an outlet for your emotions as well as providing you with helpful strategies to manage your day-to-day life. Even those without mental health disorders can benefit from therapy and there are many therapists and psychologists out there offering virtual services these days.
Contact Dr. Jesalva Today!
If you are suffering from mental health issues, I can provide you with quality telepsychiatry services. If you prefer to find “psychiatry near me,” my offices are located in Thousand Oaks, and I can serve patients face-to-face throughout the Los Angeles metro area.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is often considered a disorder of childhood, but the symptoms of this disorder can stay with you into your adult years. Additionally, some people aren’t even diagnosed with ADHD until adulthood. If you are struggling with symptoms of ADHD, seeking help from an adult ADHD psychiatrist can be a good step to take.
What Is ADHD
As the name of this disorder suggests, the common issues with ADHD include both inattention and hyperactivity, as well as impulsivity. Of course, most children to some extent or another do have short attention spans and tend to display elements of hyperactivity and impulsivity at times.
When a person has ADHD, however, these issues are chronic and interfere with daily life. For children, it can interfere with learning and disrupt relationships with peers and family members. For adults, we usually see a lessening of hyperactivity, but problems with inattention and impulsive behavior often persist.
With adults, typical symptoms of ADHD include:
Not all people with ADHD, adult or otherwise, will experience all of these symptoms. For instance, with females, ADHD symptoms often tend to present more as inattention rather than hyperactivity and impulsiveness. In some cases, the examples of hyperactivity might include interrupting others and talking excessively, rather than acting out physically.
The perceived “mildness” of symptoms in females often results in these individuals being undiagnosed and receiving little support even though they need help as much as their male counterparts. At any rate, whether you are an adult or a child, ADHD can make life difficult to navigate, and it’s wise to seek help from a professional.
How An Adult ADHD Psychiatrist Can Help
An adult ADHD psychiatrist can help with the disorder, both with diagnosis and medication management, if needed. Psychiatrists, unlike psychologists and therapists, are medical doctors. Their main focus is on diagnosis and the creation of the treatment plan.
Too often, an ADHD psychiatrist won’t provide patients with a thorough enough diagnosis. Many people with ADHD have co-occurring disorders such as anxiety or depression or even bipolar disorder. This is why it is important to find a psychiatrist that truly focuses on the diagnostic process.
A psychiatrist must spend enough time evaluating a patient to ensure that all mental health and physical health issues are addressed. In some cases, there could be underlying physical conditions or certain medications or substances that are causing ADHD symptoms or the symptoms could be caused by another mental health disorder.
Treatment plans vary on the severity of symptoms and sometimes include the use of medication. Medication can be a very beneficial tool for treating ADHD, but it only serves as one component of a treatment plan. Behavioral therapy and counseling also can be very beneficial, and I typically recommend that my patients seek out the services of a psychologist or therapist rather than simply using medication alone with no other mechanism of support.
How Psychologists & Therapists Can Help
While psychologists and therapists cannot prescribe medication, they can provide other types of treatment options. Through cognitive behavioral therapy, you can learn how to improve your time management skills and become more organized and how to create a daily schedule that can make life easier and less stressful. This type of therapy also teaches you how to respond to stressful or difficult situations.
Many people with ADHD also benefit from talk therapy. ADHD can take a toll on your self-esteem and can inhibit your ability to build strong relationships with others. Talk therapy can help you work through these issues and provide you with strategies to improve your communication and listening skills.
Sometimes with adults, couples therapy can be helpful, providing each partner with a safe space to discuss their concerns and emotions as well as gain a deeper understanding of each other.
Meditation & ADHD
While behavioral therapy and medication have long been helpful tools for those diagnosed with ADHD, studies have shown that daily meditation can help alleviate symptoms and improve focus and concentration. Meditation also can improve your mood and reduce your stress levels.
When it comes to ADHD, meditation is part of a treatment known as mindfulness-based intervention or MBI. In addition to meditation, a person with ADHD could consider taking yoga or tai chi classes and learning breathing exercises. Often meditation and breathing will be taught during a yoga or tai chi class.
When To Seek Help
Often, adults with symptoms of ADHD are reluctant to seek treatment. But whether you were diagnosed as a child or you are an adult that has not yet been diagnosed, seeking help can be the best way to improve your quality of life.
If symptoms of ADHD are interfering with your ability to lead a fulfilling, successful life, it’s time to seek treatment. Finding the best psychiatrist for your needs can be tricky, but these days with telepsychiatry it’s easier than ever before to find a doctor with whom you feel comfortable.
Many people simply search for a “psychiatrist near me,” and while I serve as a psychiatrist in Thousand Oaks and a psychiatrist in Westlake Village, I also provide services as a virtual psychiatrist.
Telepsychiatry can be an excellent option for many patients. Not only does it allow you to select a psychiatrist that truly meets your needs, but it’s also much more convenient. You can meet in the comfort of your home and avoid issues such as traffic or taking off extra time from work or other commitments to drive to and from appointments.
Contact My Office Today
Whether you want to meet in person and need an adult ADHD psychiatrist in Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks or prefer to meet virtually, I am here to help. In addition to treating patients with ADHD, I also offer services as an anxiety psychiatrist, bipolar psychiatrist as well as offering treatment for depression and even substance abuse. Give me a call and let’s set up an appointment and get you on the path to a happier, healthier life.
These days, it can be hard for people to connect, and while social media offers a means of connection, too often social media use is harmful rather than helpful. As a local psychiatrist, I have seen a clear link between depression and anxiety and social media usage, and many studies also support this link.
To be fair, everything on social media is not dangerous or even undesirable. Some of the content can be fun, informative and even encourage people to expand their ideas and try new activities. Social media also provides us with an easy way to engage with friends and family that we may not get to see often. Additionally, we might find others who are dealing with similar issues as ourselves, and this can help us feel less alone in the world.
The problem arises when we begin to overuse social media or when we use social media in place of forming real connections with human beings. Social media also can become addictive, and this isn’t just an issue with children or teens. Older adults can become just as addicted to social media, and the results can be equally toxic.
How Does Social Media Affect Our Mental Health?
Multiple studies show that heavy social media users suffer from far greater rates of depression and anxiety than those who rarely use social media. Many of these studies also show that levels of depression and anxiety intensified after heavy social media use.
There could be many reasons for this increase in depression symptoms and greater anxiety. For instance, the more you use social media the more likely you are to be barraged by upsetting news stories and images, which can cause one to feel more anxious or hopeless.
Social media content often showcases glamourous or seemingly “perfect” lives where people are always good-looking, wealthy and full of energy. These people are always on the go, having amazing adventures or they have happy, seemingly idyllic lives.
Anyone can present a “perfect” image online, but the reality is that all of us have problems and challenges. What you see online is rarely a fair representation of someone’s actual life, but little snippets that they choose to show. Social media also often glamorizes serious issues such as drug and alcohol use or mental disorders such as eating disorders.
It can be especially difficult for younger people to separate this fiction from fact. Pre-teens and teens are not complete in their emotional or physical development, and as such, their brains are developed enough to handle many aspects of social media.
For children and young adults, the cyberworld also is a huge source of bullying and this can have an enormous impact on mental health. People on social media basically say whatever they want, and often the comments are hurtful. This can have a huge impact on a younger person’s self-esteem. Likewise, people often feel rejected if their social media content attracts little attention.
Social Media “Advice”
As an experienced anxiety psychiatrist and depression psychiatrist, as well as treating ADHD and bipolar disorder, I find one of the most disturbing aspects of social media, the barrage of so-called medical and mental health experts that are happy to diagnose your mental disorders or provide you with advice on how to treat whatever disorder you might have.
Rarely, is this advice sound and rarely is the advice given by trained professionals. I cannot stress enough that medical advice on social media is rarely accurate. Again, people can say just about anything on social media without providing any evidence.
I know that there is content out there that can help destigmatize mental illness, and this can be helpful, but, in general, I strongly urge people from following advice from so-called experts on Facebook, Tik Tok and other social media sites. Rarely, is it helpful, and it’s often inaccurate and dangerous.
How Much Social Media Is Too Much?
As a local psychiatrist that specializes in treatment for anxiety and depression, I see many patients that spend several hours a day on various social media sites. Typically, I recommend taking a complete break from social media once in a while and limiting your time on social media sites to 30 minutes or less per day. For some people, even this amount might be too much.
I don’t recommend starting off your day with a trip to your favorite social media sites. It’s best to enjoy a morning cup of tea, a brisk walk around the block or perhaps enjoy a crossword puzzle rather than head online to see what others are doing or what atrocities the world has unleased that day.
While we cannot turn our back on the world, we can start each day with practices that provide us with a more positive mindset. We are better able to tackle our day-to-day routine if we start off each day in the healthiest way possible.
It also can be wise to shut off your phone or electronic devices entirely in the evenings and switch over to more relaxing activities, such as taking a bath, listening to soft music or perhaps just chatting with a loved one. Spend a few minutes writing down thoughts in a journal or enjoy a quiet activity such as a game of chess or reading a book.
Take A Break & Seek Support
If you are suffering from depression and/or anxiety, my first bit of advice is to take a social media break and, instead, contact an experienced professional for help. Depression and anxiety are biological diseases that are treatable, and a trained local psychiatrist can help.
I recommend seeking out psychiatric care initially because psychiatrists are able to look at the whole patient from both a medical and mental health perspective. As medical doctors, we can assess your overall health and determine if there are any physical issues that might be contributing to your anxiety or depression. We also are the only professionals that can provide you with medication should that be a necessary component of your mental health treatment.
Psychiatrists typically do not provide actual therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and talk therapy. We provide a thorough diagnosis and create a treatment plan that addresses your anxiety and depression as well as any co-occurring disorders and this may or may not include medication management.
Psychologists and therapists are licensed mental health professionals that can provide you with these services, and they can be just as beneficial as medication because they provide you with coping mechanisms and also provide you with an outlet to discuss your feelings in a safe, supportive space.
In Lieu of Social Media . . .
It can be tough for people with depression to get out in the world and be active, which is one reason social media is often heavily used by people suffering from depression. Still, there are better activities that have been shown to alleviate depression. So shut off your device and consider the following:
Exercise – Just about any type of exercise can be beneficial. Exercise releases endorphins and these help to boost our mood. Additionally, just heading outdoors can boost our mood. Even if you just make it once around the block, this can be beneficial. Yoga and breathing exercises also can be a great way to reduce depression symptoms, as well as anxiety.
Structure – Creating a daily plan can help us stay on task, but it also can provide a sense of security. This doesn’t have to be complicated routine that includes huge, daunting tasks. Just start out simple with tasks such as making your bed, eating a healthy breakfast, taking the dog for a walk and paying the bills.
Clean The House – For people with depression, it is very easy for them to avoid housecleaning and organizing tasks, which of course, just makes the depression worse. However, physical cleaning tasks actually get the heart pumping which can boost your mood.
Even just cleaning up one single room of your house can boost your mood because you did something cardiovascular and accomplished something at the same time. Just tackle one space such as a single bathroom or just wash the dirty dishes and clean off counters. Even just emptying the trash can be a goal. Believe it or not, this can make you feel better.
Make Connections – This can be so difficult for people with anxiety and depression, I know. People need people and social media interactions are not a complete substitute for real interaction with a live person. Even if you can’t meet in person, schedule a zoom call even if it’s just for a quick chat and cup of coffee.
Volunteer – Helping others can make you feel better, and volunteering doesn’t have to be complicated. Every community has volunteer opportunities from helping out at a pet recue, a local food bank or perhaps taking part in a beach cleanup event. You can meet other people and take your mind off of your problems, even if only for a few hours.
Eat A Healthy Diet – A healthy varied diet can improve our mental health as well as our physical health. While it can be difficult for people with depression to shop for food and cook, try to limit processed foods and excess sugar.
Some studies suggest that foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can boost your mental health. Foods rich in selenium also might be beneficial, as some studies have shown that people with depression tend to have lower selenium levels.
Keep in mind, while the above tips aren’t cures for depression, they can alleviate symptoms and certainly provide more help than time spent on social media. The best treatment plans incorporate these strategies as well as therapy and often medication.
Get Help Today!
If you are suffering from depression, anxiety, I encourage you to seek mental health care because treatment can be successful, and you deserve a happier, healthier life. As local psychiatrist in Thousand Oaks, I offer in-person visits for patients throughout Los Angeles, but I also provide telepsychiatry services for patients in any location. Using a virtual psychiatrist can be an easy way to find a psychiatrist that best suits your needs.
If you are suffering from a mental illness and are searching for a psychiatrist in Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks or another nearby city, I can help. Whether you need help with bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, ADHD or other mental illnesses, I encourage you to give me a call and set up a consultation.
Too often, people feel shame about mental illness and believe that seeking treatment is a sign of weakness. However, psychiatric disorders are not a weakness, they are simply biological diseases that often are treatable.
Seeking professional help for mental disorders is no different than seeking treatment for any other type of illness. Would you feel ashamed for seeking treatment for an ear infection or asthma or appendicitis? Of course not.
You should feel no hesitation about seeking treatment for depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, substance abuse or any other mental illness. Everyone deserves a chance to live a happy, healthy life and seeking treatment can lead you out of the darkness of mental illness and toward a much brighter future. Here’s a quick look at some of the disorders I treat.
While both terms were used for many years, ADHD is now the preferred term for this type of brain disorder, which occurs both in children and adults. ADHD has a wide range of symptoms, ranging from an inability to focus to hyperactivity and impulsivity. An ADHD psychiatrist can provide you with a diagnosis and prescribe medication if necessary as well as recommend other treatment options and strategies to help make life easier.
If you need addiction treatment, either for drugs or alcohol, I can help. Addiction is a disease that cannot be cured but can be managed successfully. A person with addiction will need a plan to help them maintain sobriety and to help deal with the side effects of quitting alcohol or drugs, which can include mood shifts, depression, anxiety and stress. While this sounds daunting, with proper support and treatment, all of this can be managed and long term.
Everyone has worries and stress from time to time, but for people with anxiety, this is a chronic, day-to-day battle that often interferes with work, home life and socialization. People with anxiety often feel constantly on edge and anxiety can cause fatigue, mood changes, sleep issues and even panic attacks. Anxiety is not a sign of weakness; it’s a biological disorder and an anxiety psychiatrist can help you manage and reduce symptoms of anxiety.
Many people with bipolar disorder mistakenly believe that treatment cannot be effective in managing the many symptoms of this disease, but that is simply untrue. It can take time to find the ideal treatment for each patient, but the mania, depression and other symptoms can be treated, and an experienced bipolar disorder psychiatrist can help.
The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that more than 17 million American adults suffer from major depression. Depression can make life extremely difficult and many people with major depression or chronic depression attempt suicide. (If you are having suicidal thoughts, please call 988 to reach the national Suicide & Crisis Hotline. Help is available 24/7)
Many of my patients have sought the services of a depression psychiatrist in the past and found that treatment was unsuccessful. However, previous treatment options simply might not have been a good fit for your needs. There are many new treatments available, and we likely can find an option that helps reduce or even eliminate your symptoms.
Co-Occurring Disorders & Psychiatric Consultations
In many cases, my patients will suffer from more than one mental disorder or perhaps a combination of physical disorders and mental health disorders. For any type of treatment to be successful, diagnosing and treating all co-occurring disorders is crucial.
For instance, if a patient has chronic pain and addiction, this pain likely led to the addiction in the first place. If a person has bipolar disorder and addiction, it’s also likely that the bipolar disorder led the patient to self-medicate with drugs and/or alcohol. People with an eating disorder might also suffer from depression or anxiety, etc. If we don’t treat all of these issues, then treatment is likely to be less successful.
Often, psychiatrists don’t take the time necessary to create a comprehensive diagnosis. They simply focus on one disorder and miss other issues that also are affecting a patient’s wellbeing. I will provide you with a thorough diagnosis that takes into account all of your symptoms, both mental and physical.
The diagnostic process will include several sessions and also might include some physical tests, including bloodwork and other diagnostic tools. For instance, we may find that a physical condition or perhaps even a medication you currently are taking is causing some of your symptoms.
I believe that a collaborative and multidisciplinary approach is the best option for all of my patients and my treatment framework addresses four dimensions – biological, psychological, sociological and spiritual. There is nothing more fulfilling to me than providing care and helping my patients experience happier and healthier lives.
There are many types of mental health professionals, including therapists, psychiatrists, and psychologists. While all three might provide a diagnosis, only a psychiatrist can prescribe medication and psychiatrists also attended medical school and are medical doctors with medical degrees.
Therapists and psychologists provide other treatment options, such as talk therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. Typically, psychiatrists provide diagnosis and suggest treatment options but do not provide the actual therapy beyond prescribing medications. Not all treatment plans will include medication, but even if medication, I highly recommend using additional therapies, such as behavioral therapies as a combination approach generally is the most successful.
There are many medication-assisted treatment options and medication can be a highly effective way to reduce or eliminate symptoms of a mental illness. Keep in mind, that it can take weeks or months to find the best medication and the best dosage to help reduce or eliminate your symptoms.
We also can consider alternative treatments, if traditional medications don’t seem to work or you perhaps want to try a different approach. For instance, ketamine can be an option for patients with treatment-resistant depression and possibly for those with severe anxiety disorders. While this is a type of medication-assisted treatment, it typically only involves short-term, controlled use in a doctor’s office.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is another option for treatment-resistant depression. This is a treatment that uses an electromagnetic pulse to the nerve cells in the part of your brain that controls mood. For people with depression, this area of the brain often suffers from decreased activity and stimulating the nerve cells may help reduce depression symptoms.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is another alternative treatment, typically used for patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In some cases, EMDR may be used to treat some types of anxiety and panic disorders, as well.
In-Person Services & Telepsychiatry
While I am conveniently located for those needing a psychiatrist in Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks and even the greater Los Angeles area, I do also work as a virtual psychiatrist. This can be a good option for patients outside of my treatment area or for those who simply love the convenience of meeting virtually rather than in person. Whether you want to meet in person or online, please don’t wait another day to call and schedule a consultation so that we can set you on a path toward a happier life.
Millions of Americans suffer from some type of mental health disorder, and as an experienced psychiatrist in Thousand Oaks, I know that it’s all too common for people to neglect their mental health. While battling psychiatric disorders might seem hopeless, there truly is hope and I have a few basic mental health care tips that can help.
Keep in mind, that these tips are not cures, they are simply a few bits of advice that can make life a bit easier for those with depression and anxiety or those prone to mood swings due to issues such as bipolar disorder.
For any type of mental health issue, seeking treatment is essential. Just as you would go to a doctor for a broken bone or to the dentist to fill a cavity, seeking professional help is just as important for mental health issues, but the following self-care tips can be beneficial to follow.
1. Divert Your Attention
Feeling panicked or overwhelmed? Consumed with thoughts you can’t seem to control? Deep breathing exercises and mediation can help, but sometimes, simply engaging in a simple task can help reduce the anxiety and lower your stress levels.
For instance, if you are worried about an upcoming event rather than sitting and thinking about it or pacing back and forth in anxiety, get up and do something menial. Clean your bathroom, mop the floor, clean out the fridge, organize your closet or take the dog for a walk. Even petting a dog or cat for a few minutes has been shown to boost our mood, and our furry companions also benefit from this activity.
These tasks don’t require perfect concentration, but they get you moving and get your blood flowing. Exercise boosts serotonin and endorphin production and these hormones can boost your mood and can help you feel calmer and more in control.
The next time you feel overwhelmed, take five minutes and walk around the block, do some jumping jacks, water your plants, or wash some windows. Get your blood pumping and focus on something else. It doesn’t make problems disappear, but it can help give you a break from your anxiety and worry.
2. Dismiss The Social Media “Experts”
Whether it’s on Tik Tok, Facebook, YouTube or some other social media platform, there are hundreds of mental health “experts” out there that provide advice about various mental health issues. Few (if any) are legitimate doctors, but they often promise cures or treatment options with no actual scientific evidence to back up their claims.
It is highly recommended that you filter out this noise and perhaps even taking a nice long break from social media in general. In fact, sometimes, it’s a great idea to skip watching the news in general. While we never want to forget about what’s going on in the world, if you are having a particularly tough time with anxiety, depression, feelings of anger, etc., it can be wise to avoid spending a significant portion of your day scanning the headlines.
3. Small Victories Are Victories
For many people who suffer from mental illnesses, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and to feel as though you aren’t accomplishing enough. You may feel as though everyone in the world accomplishes more than you do on a given day. But, the truth is, everyone is unique and even those people that seem capable to handle any task or crisis 24/7 have problems that you cannot see.
Life is not a competition, it’s a journey and sometimes the road is pretty rough. Create a to-do list for your day and week to keep you focused but keep those tasks as manageable as possible. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel or handle 500 tasks in a day.
Your to-do list shouldn’t just include chores, but some relaxing activities as well. For instance, maybe you will plan to read for 20 minutes or arrange a bouquet of flowers or maybe sketch or draw.
At the end of each day, grab a gratitude journal and write down three things that you accomplished that day as well as three items that make you feel grateful. For instance, maybe you paid the bills on time, cooked a nice dinner, and walked the dog. Perhaps you feel grateful for nice weather, hearing a favorite song or having a friend touch base via phone or text.
4. Elevate Your Diet
They say you are what you eat, and there’s some truth to that. As a psychiatrist in Thousand Oaks, I am a medical doctor and as such, I focus on each patient’s physical health as well as their mental health. I know that a healthy varied diet can help your body work as efficiently as possible and can even help boost your mood and ability to focus and concentrate.
If you aren’t quite sure how to change your diet or which foods are the best fit for your specific health needs, consult with a dietician and start making some changes. It can even be fun! Try out new recipes and new types of cuisine, and maybe even enroll in a healthy cooking class at your local community center or community college.
In many cases, learning something new (such as gaining new cooking skills) can help you feel better about life in general. So, in addition to learning about nutrition and improving your culinary game, consider adding a few brand-new activities to your life. Take up a new hobby or join a social group, such as a bowling league or adult softball league and try something new.
5. Create A Nighttime Routine
For many people with a mental illness, nighttime can be anything but restful, which is why it’s so important to create a calming routine that transitions you from the day into a period of restful sleep.
One routine might include turning off the TV and electronic devices and enjoying a warm bath. It can be soothing to add Epsom salt occasionally, as this may help alleviate some anxiety or reduce stress. Listen to some soothing music, light an aromatherapy candle and enjoy a cup of chamomile tea.
For some, using a white noise maker or an app with soothing sounds, such as falling rain, can help lull you to sleep after your bath. You also might use those few minutes before bedtime to make notes in your gratitude journal or read some inspiring quotes to settle your mind.
Seeking Treatment: In-Person & Telepsychiatry
While these tips can make life a bit more manageable, finding a psychiatrist and a therapist is an important step that you need to take. Even if you’ve worked with therapists or doctors in the past with little success, I encourage you to continue searching for doctors and professionals that are the best fit for you.
As a psychiatrist specializing in bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression and ADHD, I find that many doctors simply don’t spend enough time on their initial assessment and tend to miss co-occurring disorders. My goal is to treat the whole patient, not just one specific mental illness, and many of my patients have co-occurring disorders.
For instance, if you have bipolar disorder and ADHD, both of these issues need to be addressed to truly help a patient. If you have addiction, depression and chronic pain, we have to address the chronic pain and the depression, or the patient will likely fall back into using drugs and/or alcohol.
Once we reach a complete diagnosis and create a treatment plan, patients need to understand that treatment does take time. Even with medication-assisted treatment, it can take time to find the best medication and the best dosage. The key to success is having some patience and just hanging in there and working toward a better, happier life, which absolutely is attainable.
These days, many patients will seek the services of a virtual psychiatrist rather than scheduling in-person visits with a “psychiatrist near me,” as the internet search phrasing goes.
Telepsychiatry has many benefits. First, it allows you to find a psychiatrist that is the best fit for you and someone with whom you feel comfortable. Second, it can reduce anxiety because you can meet in the comfort of your own home, and, third, you won’t have to deal with driving or traffic, which can be anxiety-inducing all on their own.
Contact Dr. Jesalva Today!
Whether you need a psychiatrist in Thousand Oaks, a psychiatrist in Simi Valley or anywhere in the Greater Los Angeles area, I am here to help. I also offer telepsychiatry services, which enlarges my scope beyond Ventura and L.A. counties. I offer the services of an ADHD psychiatrist, anxiety psychiatrist, bipolar psychiatrist, depression psychiatrist and more for teens and adults. Give my office a call at any time to book an appointment and move toward a happier, healthier life.
While all of us suffer from anxiety from time to time, for those with an anxiety disorder, these troubling thoughts and feelings greatly interfere with daily life and reduce the quality of life. The good news is that anxiety can be treated, and an anxiety psychiatrist can help. Here are a few important facts about anxiety and your treatment options.
1. Anxiety Disorders Are Common
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness about 20% of all adults in the United States and about 7% of children suffer from some type of anxiety disorder, and this is the most common mental health issue in our country. Millions of Americans suffer from anxiety, and many never seek treatment, which is a shame, because there are treatment options that can greatly reduce the symptoms of anxiety and help a person live a happier, healthier life.
2. Chronic Anxiety Is A Cause For Concern
We’ve all been a bit nervous before a big event or perhaps a school exam or perhaps the first time flying in an airplane. Sometimes anxiety is a normal response to a perilous situation, alerting us to danger. Sometimes we even feel a bit of anxiety when going through a positive change, such as taking on a new job position or moving into a new home.
For people with an anxiety disorder, however, these anxious feelings can be far more severe and not necessarily connected with a specific event. Some people with anxiety, feel anxious and worried throughout any given day, even if there is no specific event or reason behind the anxiety. Many people with an anxiety disorder might dread an event, but the anxiety doesn’t simply disappear once that event is over or they might avoid the event entirely because of the fear and anxiety.
People with an anxiety disorder often feel anxious for no particular reason, not associated with any upcoming event or task. Even if the anxiety is associated with a specific event, it tends to be a much higher level of anxiety than a person without an anxiety disorder would experience. Worries and fears are constant, or chronic, and affect daily life, interfering with work, school and personal relationships.
As an anxiety psychiatrist, I find that many people don’t realize that chronic anxiety is not just a normal way of life. However, if worries and fears are keeping you from enjoying life, an anxiety disorder could be the culprit, and there are resources available to help you manage this anxiety.
3. Symptoms Can Be Emotional & Physical
Anxiety disorders can cause a wide range of symptoms. For instance, you might find that you have difficulty breathing, a faster heartbeat and even hyperventilate. These are common symptoms of an anxiety disorder. Some people feel nervous or tense or have difficulty focusing or concentrating on daily tasks due to worry and anxiety.
Physical responses include sweating or having an upset stomach or even severe gastrointestinal distress. Most people with an anxiety disorder often feel tired and weak and have trouble sleeping. In many cases, people with anxiety will avoid circumstances that tend to trigger an anxious response, such as social events, flying, going to a medical doctor, etc.
4. There Are Several Types of Anxiety Disorders
The American Psychiatric Association recognizes several different types of anxiety disorders. Some individuals will be diagnosed with one of these disorders or perhaps more than one anxiety disorder, depending on their symptoms.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder – With this disorder, a person tends to suffer from consistent feelings of worry and anxiety that interfere with daily life. They may suffer from both physical and emotional symptoms and often tire easily and have difficulty concentrating and sleeping. These worries typically aren’t focused on one specific event, but rather worries and anxiety about many things, big and small.
Social Anxiety Disorder – Individuals with this type of anxiety disorder tend to focus most of their fears and worries on social situations. Those with social anxiety might avoid meeting new people, attending social and family events or even interacting with salespeople and cashiers. They might fear going to school or going to work, and even when they still manage to handle social interactions, they do so with a tremendous amount of anxiety.
Panic Disorder – People with a panic disorder will experience extreme feelings of fear and physical symptoms that include shortness of breath, chest pain, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, trembling, feelings of numbness and often gastrointestinal pain or distress. These are intense episodes where a person feels an almost complete lack of control, and sometimes they literally occur completely unexpectedly and not necessarily related to a specific event. If you have experienced recurrent “panic attacks,” this may indicate that you have panic disorder.
Agoraphobia – When we think about agoraphobia, it’s not uncommon that you might think about a person that is afraid to leave their home. While this can be one manifestation of agoraphobia, in some cases, a person can leave their home, but they have very intense fear when leaving this perceived “safe” space.
People with agoraphobia typically are afraid of crowded places and often a person will develop agoraphobia after suffering from panic attacks in a public setting. Staying in their home, therefore, often seems like the safest option, but, of course, this severely limits their ability to live a fulfilling life.
Specific Phobias – When a person develops an intense fear about an object, animal or situation, this could be classified as a phobia. With agoraphobia, which is considered separately from specific phobias, the fear is usually very broad with intense fears surrounding public areas or crowded areas.
With a specific phobia, the fear is focused on one specific issue or object, such as an intense fear of heights or perhaps of dogs or spiders or even a fear of flowers or trees or choking. In general, the person is irrationally fearful about something with very little real danger.
For instance, of course, a person could choke on a piece of food, but a person with a true phobia of choking might only eat a liquid diet or avoid many types of foods. Often, a person with a phobia will become preoccupied with feelings of fear about this object, even when they are not presently confronted with the object.
Separation Anxiety – This tends to be more common in children but can occur in adults. This is a type of anxiety where a person feels an irrational level of fear when separated from a specific person or persons.
While it’s common for a person, especially a child, to experience some anxiety about separating from a parent, especially the first few times this occurs, a person with separation anxiety will experience extreme distress and fear. The person might feel consumed with worry about losing this person or even suffer from nightmares about becoming separated from the person.
5. OCD & PTSD Are In Their Own Category
While people with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder do suffer from a great deal of worry, fear and anxiety, these two disorders are no longer classified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as anxiety disorders.
Of course, just because these aren’t listed as anxiety disorders doesn’t mean that they don’t cause anxiety or that an anxiety psychiatrist cannot help. As a psychiatrist, we are trained to diagnose and provide treatment for a wide range of mental health disorders, including all types of anxiety disorders as well as OCD and PTSD.
6. Many People Have Co-Occurring Disorders
In many cases, a person will have an anxiety disorder as well as another type of mental health disorder. A person could suffer from a panic disorder and PTSD, for example, or perhaps an anxiety disorder and an eating disorder. It isn’t uncommon for people with anxiety disorders to also suffer from depression.
As an anxiety psychiatrist, my job is to take a deep dive and discover all of the issues a patient is facing and why. In some cases, an anxiety disorder could be exacerbated or caused by a physical condition or even a medication that a person is taking. In other cases, a past trauma might be a contributing factor.
A person also might develop an anxiety disorder because they also have a substance use disorder, such as drug addiction. Genetics often play a part, so if your parent or grandparent suffered from anxiety, you might be more likely to have an anxiety disorder.
Your psychiatrist should look at all factors that could cause an anxiety disorder including co-occurring disorders. Once we determine the correct diagnosis for a patient, we can design a treatment plan that addresses all of the issues the patient faces and not just the anxiety.
7. There Are Many Treatment Options
As an anxiety psychiatrist, my focus is on diagnosis and providing treatment options. In some cases, this might include medication, which I can prescribe. However, medication is not the only option we would consider.
Often, cognitive behavioral therapy is the best way to manage an anxiety disorder. This type of therapy helps you build strategies and skills to help you alleviate and deal with symptoms. Often learning these skills boosts a person’s confidence and allows them to handle fearful situations with greater ease.
In some cases, a combination of medication and therapy is recommended. There are several anti-anxiety medications and even some antidepressants that can help relieve feelings of anxiety and improve one’s quality of life. Typically, we do recommend that you also undergo psychotherapy, as well, so that you also have strategies to help you through stressful situations.
Often, if a person has co-occurring disorders, we will work with a variety of therapy types and possibly a combination of medications. Alternative treatments such as ketamine treatments, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) might be options, especially for patients with treatment-resistant depression or PTSD in addition to an anxiety disorder.
No matter what type of mental health disorder you have, a quality psychiatrist should be able to help. Whether you find someone advertised as a depression psychiatrist or bipolar psychiatrist or ADHD psychiatrist, they should have the skills to help you with anxiety disorders as well as any other co-occurring disorders you may have.
Do You Need An “Anxiety Psychiatrist Near Me?”
So often, when we search the internet, we add the words “near me” to the search, such as “anxiety psychiatrist near me.” Obviously, everyone wants a psychiatric provider conveniently close to their home but opting for a telepsychiatry service can be the best option.
Not only does this allow you the freedom to find the best doctor match for your needs and personality, but you also have the freedom of being able to meet with your doctor from just about anywhere on the planet as long as you have an internet connection.
Whether you want a local psychiatrist or a virtual psychiatrist, I can help. As a psychiatrist in Thousand Oaks, I can serve patients in Newbury Park, Westlake Village, Calabasas, Simi Valley, Agoura Hills and Camarillo, but if you live outside of these areas, I am always happy to meet virtually to help you find solutions for any mental health issues.
If you need an anxiety psychiatrist or need treatment for depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, substance use disorders or perhaps co-occurring disorders, please contact us today. I will provide you with a thorough evaluation and design a treatment plan that can greatly improve the quality of your life. Psychiatric disorders are not a weakness, they are biological diseases that we can treat, so get in contact with us as soon as possible to set up an appointment.
Dr Jesalva is a psychiatrist. He is in private practice in Thousand Oaks, CA since 1989. He successfully treats very challenging patients with varying co-occurring disorders with medications.