Psychiatrist For Anxiety and Depression Houston

Psychiatrist For Anxiety and Depression Houston Shares Facts About Mental Illness

psychiatrist for Anxiety and depression

Research On Anxiety and Depression

Research on mental illness shows that mental illnesses are common in the United States.  According to the National Institute of Mental Health, tens of millions of people experience depression and anxiety each year. In fact, some research even suggests that mental illnesses are so common that almost everyone will develop at least one diagnosable mental disorder at some point in their life. However, estimates indicate that only half of those with mental illnesses receive treatment.

Facts About Anxiety Disorders

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1 in 13 people, globally, suffers from anxiety. The WHO reports that anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorders worldwide. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year.

Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment.

People with anxiety disorders are three to five times more likely to go to the doctor and six times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders than those who do not suffer from anxiety disorders.

Anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.

Feelings of anxiety can interfere with daily activities such as work performance, school, and relationships.

There are several different types of anxiety disorders such as social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and specific phobias.

Anxiety and Depression Can Occur Together

It is common for someone with an anxiety disorder to also suffer from depression and vice versa. Nearly one-half of those diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Accordingly, there is significant overlap in symptoms between anxiety and depression. Comorbid anxiety and depression are often more resistant to pharmacologic treatment, and patients with coexisting disorders have a poorer medical prognosis than do patients with either mental illness alone.

Facts About Depressive Disorders

Depression is believed to be the leading cause of disability worldwide. Almost 75% of people with mental disorders remain untreated in developing countries with almost 1 million people taking their lives each year.


Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)

Major Depressive Disorder is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for ages 15 to 44.3.  MDD affects more than 16.1 million American adults or about 6.7% of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year. While major depressive disorder can develop at any age, the median age at onset is 32.5 years old. Only 61.7% of adults with MDD are receiving treatment. The average age of onset is 31 years old. (Source: National Institute of Mental Health).

Depressive Disorders are more prevalent in women than in men.

Persistent depressive disorder or PDD, (formerly called dysthymia) is a form of depression that usually continues for at least two years.


Treatment Options

Anxiety and Depressive disorders are treatable, and the vast majority of people with these disorders can be helped with professional care. Several standard approaches and lifestyle changes have proved effective:

  • Therapy
  • Medication
  • Complementary and alternative treatment
  • Self-Help or Support Groups
  • Exercise
  • Diet
  • Stress-Management Techniques
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation(TMS)*Note that TMS has been researched and shown effective for anxiety but it’s not FDA approved or covered by insurance for anything except Major Depression.


Get Help As Soon As Possible

It is crucial for those who experience depression and anxiety to seek treatment as soon as possible. Aggressive and professional management of depression, as untreated or inadequately treated patients are more likely to have negative medical consequences of their depression, including a substantial risk of suicide and longer, more treatment-resistant episodes of depression.

Fortunately, many new medications are available to help. The newer antidepressants, in particular, are playing an increasingly important role in the treatment of both depression and anxiety disorders alone as well as comorbid anxiety and depression.


The Challenge of Diagnosis

Thus, the challenge for clinicians is to make a quick and accurate diagnosis and then to ensure proper and effective treatment.

One reason it is essential to obtain a diagnosis from a medical professional is so they can rule out any medical issues that might be causing physical symptoms as we know that somatic complaints can affect an individual’s mood and emotional state. In conjunction with your primary care doctor, a psychiatrist for anxiety and depression can help rule out any physical causes of mental illness.

Our Psychiatrist For Anxiety and Depression Houston, Daniela White, MD, is located at Midtown Psychiatric and TMS Center, a mental health clinic located in Houston, Texas. All of the clinical staff at Midtown Psychiatry are caring and knowledgeable professionals who are committed to using the most up-to-date treatments for anxiety and depression and other mental health disorders. Give us a call at 713-426-3100 or visit our website at to learn more.


References and further reading:

The Best Treatment When You Have Both Anxiety and Depression

When To Get Help For Anxiety and Depression

Best Treatment When You Have Both Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety is a normal reaction to the stress and worry that is part of modern-day life. One can feel “stressed out,” nervous, or fearful, at times, given the demands of everyday life. If, however, it lasts for a long time or if it becomes severe, it could be suggestive of an underlying mental illness. Depression, on the other hand, can appear as sadness, hopelessness, and loss of interest in life. Some surveys show that 50% of those with anxiety also have depression, and a slightly greater number of those with depression have clinical symptoms of anxiety. The distinguishing attribute of these conditions is that they can last a long time and are likely to get worse if not treated.


Causes of Anxiety And Depression

Some people are more at risk of getting anxiety attacks, as well as depression. A history of either of the conditions in the family can predispose you to also be affected. Sometimes, anxiety is triggered by an event outside the control of the affected person. A terminal illness or death of a close friend or relative can cause a high level of anxiety and later, depression. Other situations like a serious illness, an accident, divorce, separation or drug abuse can also lead someone to experience anxiety and depression.

Clinical depression can be expressed in anxiety attacks. Continuous anxiety can also lead to depression. This has led some psychiatrists to view the two conditions as different sides of the same coin. With anxiety, one will live in fear of bad occurrences happening in the future; whether in an hour or year to come. Depression, in some cases, can manifest itself as a feeling of giving up because you do not think you can cope. This can sometimes lead to self-destructive behavior whose consequence could turn out tragic as in the case of suicide.


What Is Comorbidity?

Comorbidity refers to a situation where a person has both anxiety and depression. An example is persons suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) whose anxiety attacks could develop into depression.


Signs And Symptoms Of Anxiety And Depression

  • Unrelenting, irrational fear and worry
  • Insomnia
  • Erratic eating habits that could include bingeing and self-starvation
  • Memory difficulties, erratic decision-making, difficulties with attention
  • Feeling tense
  • Panic attacks
  • Constant fatigue and irritability
  • Loss of interest in social activity and hobbies
  • Sadness and feeling of loss of worth
  • Physical symptoms include headaches, rapid heartbeat, sweating, abdominal pain, and labored breathing


Because depression and anxiety are related conditions, the two conditions require a treatment regimen that addresses both. A suggested treatment often entails a combination of medication, exercise, therapy, relaxation techniques, and support groups.



A good number of people who come to see me have already tried a number of the non-medication alternatives and have not received enough relief from symptoms. Medication can be used to manage the symptoms of anxiety or depression. Often, the same drugs are used for both conditions. The main effect of the medication is to help you to relax and not feel so sad or anxious.

An experienced psychiatrist will prescribe the best pharmacological treatment in addition to the lifestyle changes recommended. Ruling out biological causes of the presentation, such as thyroid disorders, vitamin deficiencies, or inflammation should be part of an initial evaluation so they can be addressed as part of a comprehensive treatment. The pharmacological treatment requires frequent visits at least initially to determine what are the best options since there are different classes of agents that can be used in addressing anxiety and depressive symptoms. Some of the medications used to treat anxiety could be addictive and need consistent monitoring to detect early signs of developing tolerance. In that case, the psychiatrist will discuss further options for treatment.

Medication for both depression and anxiety symptoms include SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) and SNRI (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor). Your psychiatrist can review with you the advantages and possible side effects of various medications to come up with a treatment that is best for you.


Therapy For Anxiety And Depression

There are a number of treatments for these conditions. Interpersonal therapy improves your ability to relate to other people through developing your communication and other social skills. Problem-solving aims to give you the skills needed to handle your symptoms. Exposure therapy aims to have a person confront their fears by being exposed to the situations or people that trigger their anxiety attacks. This is done gradually so that you can develop coping mechanisms.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) involves the therapist helping you to change your thoughts and actions. By taking charge of your emotions, you are empowered to control your fears and anxieties since you learn to identify what causes them. The CBT approach is one of the best treatment options if performed well and in accordance with a set of procedures. People who get treated using this method are also less likely to relapse because of the sense of responsibility it develops.



It is well known that exercise leads to a change in your mood. It can also bolster your self-esteem and confidence, which in turn can have a positive impact on how you relate to others. Endorphins, the feel-good chemicals in the brain can be released by exercise. For this reason, mild to moderate depression can be impacted by the use of workouts. The best approach is to have a regular high energy exercise program. Joining a group or friends for exercise can also be beneficial in offering support and motivation.


Relaxation Techniques

Meditation is a good way to cope with anxiety attacks. Learning yoga and deep breathing can help one keep anxiety under control. Meditation can also help you to replace the images that cause your anxiety with more calming and self-soothing alternatives. Other people find repeating mantras (usually any repeated word or phrase) helpful in gaining more control of their response to anxiety. Mantras are sacred statements, sounds or group of words in Sanskrit that practitioners believe to bear spiritual and psychological powers.


Diet And Mental Illness

A healthy diet and a regular meal plan are important for your physical and mental health. Anxiety or depression can manifest in seeking comfort from eating. Eating any foods you like can activate the release of endorphins in the brain, and can lead to compulsive eating so it is important to be on a regular schedule and maintain a healthy diet. The other extreme is where depression makes you think that you look overweight and unattractive. If you have feelings of worthlessness, shame, and sadness directly coming before or after binges you may want to seek help and be evaluated for an eating disorder.


Get Support

Family and friends can be helpful in facing the challenges stemming from anxiety or depression. It can sometimes help to inform them of your condition if you feel they can offer support and encouragement. Some people also opt for support from the community, such as church groups, clubs. If your depression is linked to drug or alcohol addiction, groups such as the Alcoholics Anonymous can also provide support.

What You Can Do

Other than the assistance you receive from professionals, you can also carry out some activities to lessen your depression or anxiety. These could include:

    • De-cluttering your life and physical surroundings. This will help keep the feeling of being overwhelmed to a minimum.
    • Get involved in a purposeful activity. A purpose helps you focus your energies and can remove the hopelessness.
    • Set new achievable goals to keep your mind away from thoughts of failure. Create a plan that can be broken down into achievable steps.
    • Creative activity such as painting, writing, crafts, or even reading is also constructive and can improve your self-worth.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above we recommend you speak to your primary care doctor to rule out a medical condition and get a referral to a trained mental health professional. If you live in the Houston area and need any assistance, feel free to contact us at 713-426-3100.



How Anxiety and/or Depression Comes With ADHD

Comorbidity of ADHD and Anxiety or Depression

ADHD Depression

People often picture a person with ADHD as someone who is extremely hyperactive. They rarely picture someone who is anxious or depressed. However, a person who suffers from ADHD and anxiety and/or depression is a common scenario. Anxiety and depression are often comorbid with ADHD, which means they often occur in conjunction with ADHD. Adults with ADHD are mostly the ones who suffer from anxiety and/or depression simultaneously. The symptoms of ADHD in adults include:

• Impulsiveness
• Trouble listening and focusing
• Interrupting other people’s conversations or activities
• Excessive talking
• Restlessness
• Getting easily distracted
• Fidgeting
• Forgetfulness of important information
• Losing essential items
• Has a strong disdain of work, school, driving, or other activities that require extensive focus and sitting.

Diagnosing Anxiety and/or Depression with ADHD

Diagnosing someone who has ADHD with anxiety and/or depression can be complicated because anxiety and ADHD share many symptoms. When mental health professionals are questioning whether an ADHD patient is suffering from anxiety and/or depression in conjunction with ADHD, they need to consider two factors:
• Whether or not the patient’s symptoms are severe enough to be indicative of a coexisting disorder.
• Whether or not the patient’s symptoms will improve if treated for anxiety and depression.

Why Anxiety and Depression Tend to Be Comorbid with ADHD

The distress caused by ADHD symptoms can often lead to anxiety and depression. Though hyperactivity tends to cease once an ADHD sufferer reaches adulthood, many of the symptoms such as impulsiveness and trouble focusing linger if the ADHD is untreated or improperly treated, which will cause an ADHD sufferer to struggle with everyday life. An example of ADHD symptoms causing anxiety is a college-aged ADHD sufferer being anxious about their academic performance because he or she has trouble focusing on studying and has trouble remembering important details. An example of ADHD symptoms causing depression is an ADHD sufferer being depressed because he or she does not have any friends due to struggling with interrupting others and talking a mile a minute.

People can easily be misdiagnosed with ADHD when they actually have anxiety and/or depression because ADHD, anxiety, and, depression because of the similarity of the symptoms. In addition, anxiety and/or depression can give the illusion of a more severe form of ADHD. Once it is established that a patient has anxiety and/or depression that is comorbid with ADHD, it is possible that it will be discovered that his or her case of ADHD is not as severe as previously thought.

The Best Treatment for Anxiety and/or Depression that is Comorbid with ADHD

A mental health professional will take one of two approaches to treating anxiety and/or depression that is comorbid with ADHD, depending on the patient’s unique case:

• If the anxiety and/or depression is caused by ADHD symptoms, the mental health professional will focus on managing the ADHD before addressing the anxiety and/or depression.

• If the person was misdiagnosed with ADHD or the anxiety and/or depression significantly worsens the case of ADHD, the mental health professional will focus on managing the anxiety and/or depression first. If the person still has ADHD, the mental health professional will address the ADHD after the anxiety and/or depression is under control.
ADHD and anxiety treatment or ADHD and depression treatment can consist of a medication and other methods of treatment. The best treatment for comorbid ADHD and anxiety and/or depression is an integrative approach that combines medication and non-medication methods. Medication is helpful in the short-term while the person is learning non-medication methods to managing their ADHD, anxiety, and/or depression for the long-term. The different treatments for comorbid ADHD and anxiety and/or depression consist of:

• Medication (benzodiazepines, anti-depressants, serotonin, beta blockers, stimulants)
• Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
• TMS Therapy
• Relaxation techniques (deep breathing, yoga, meditation, etc.)
• Hypnosis
• Journaling
• Identifying triggers
• Lifestyle changes (getting enough sleep, adhering to a schedule, diet, and exercise).

Proper Treatment is Key to Treating Comorbid ADHD and Anxiety and/or Depression

Mental health issues can be just as painful and serious as physical health issues. Living with ADHD by itself is a battle; therefore, living with comorbid ADHD and anxiety and/or depression is double the battle. Approximately eight million adults are living with ADHD in the United States of America. Sixty percent of those eight million adults have a comorbid condition, so sufferers of comorbid ADHD and anxiety and/or depression are not alone.

Proper ADHD and anxiety treatment or ADHD and depression treatment offer sufferers a chance of living a successful, fulfilling life. Effective treatment is the key to success, and effective treatment comes from an effective mental health professional. In addition, a strong support system of family and friends is helpful. Sufferers of comorbid ADHD and anxiety and/or depression are not different, less, or mentally ill; they simply have a struggle just like everyone else in the world. Recovery is possible for those struggling with comorbid ADHD and anxiety and/or depression.

Midtown Psychiatric and TMS center is a mental health clinic that is located in Houston, Texas. Our staff is a group of knowledgeable, caring individuals who are committed to using the best treatment for ADHD and other mental health disorders. Give us a call at 712-426-3100 or visit our website at if you think we can help you.



Social Anxiety and Dating

Damaging Effects of Social Anxiety


Last week, back-to-back, I saw two male patients discussing the same concerns: how damaging the social anxiety can be in the dating arena. Of course, this makes sense; someone with social anxiety may have difficulty in his dating life. However, the issue appeared so much more complex when I actually heard the pain and struggle through personal stories.

Social anxiety, or social phobia, is defined in DSM V(The diagnostic manual mental health professionals use to make diagnoses) as a marked fear or anxiety about one or more social situations in which the individual is exposed to possible scrutiny by others. The individual fears that he or she will act in a negative way or show anxiety symptoms that will be negatively interpreted. Typically the fear is out of proportion to the actual threat, and triggers avoidance of the social situations or interactions.

These male patients had a lot in common. Both were good looking, young professionals, one in his late twenties the other one in his early thirties. They both were looking for a committed relationship (eventually), but they both felt extremely inadequate approaching women in social situations. They had no problems at work, and they were both successful in negotiating the stress of working in the corporate world. They were able to interact with women in the work environment; however the situation was completely different at social gatherings, during happy hours, or company parties.

*Carlos, at 28 years old, described the reaction he had when facing women as an overwhelming wave of heat, associated with increased heart rate, which would make his mind go blank. He would find himself unable to speak, becoming painfully aware of the entire room scrutinizing his moves, appearance, posture, and demeanor. The only relief would be to find an excuse to leave the room. Once the event passed he was able to have a rational understanding of what went on and to try to prepare for the next encounter when, without failing, the chain of reaction would happen again. That left him feeling completely inadequate and hopeless about the whole dating scene.

*David, at 35 years old, described his experience with women differently. He would spot an interesting woman in the room, but also potential other men contenders. All of a sudden, his mind would run a series of reasons for which he would not be a good candidate for the woman in question. He began to doubt his appearance, his intellect, his ability to offer anything of value, and would eventually talk himself out of approaching her.

Both patients have tried therapy, and despite learning and practicing the necessary ‘social skills’ in the therapy sessions, when they were faced with the real situations, the same physiological response was triggered. They were referred for evaluation for possible medication treatments, and they looked to that as the last resort. Both hoped that having at least one positive experience would help them undo or reduce the anticipatory anxiety. They hoped to lessen the dread of something that other people would find entertaining, enjoyable and natural: dating.

Anxiety to social situations is common in both men and women, and as a psychiatrist I work with my patients to explore their options for treatment for their anxiety. Should my patients choose to use medication, my goal, usually shared with my patients, is to find a medication that works well for that individual without causing side effects.

In the case of Carlos and David, both individuals tried medication to relieve their anxiety and both are finding the medications helpful. It is not uncommon to try several medications and dosages to try and balance effectiveness and avoid or eliminate side effects. Typically, the duration of treatment can be up to 6 months, during which time my patients are encouraged to continue individual therapy and the exposure to the social situations that were anticipated as anxiety provoking. Luckily, with both Carlos and David- the medication worked well once we found the right ones that addressed the symptoms without causing side effects. Now both individuals will work on, and practice, learning the skills needed for developing and maintaining healthy and satisfying relationships.

*Please note that some of this client information such as age, sex, client details, and exact diagnosis was modified to protect the identity of my client(s), however, the impact, treatment, or effect of the treatment is the actual experience of the client.

Social anxiety and dating is common and anxiety can be managed with medication so that individuals can learn to manage the anxiety, learn new skills and the build confidence necessary for success.

If you like this article on social anxiety and dating, or have questions, schedule your first session by calling us at 713.426.3100.