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Vomit Phobia – Fear of Vomiting (Emetophobia)

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Flu season will be quickly upon us and with it comes an unfortunate increase in the likelihood of experiencing fevers, coughs, runny noses, vomiting, and the like. Although no one enjoys being sick, this time of year poses particular challenges for individuals suffering from “vomit phobia”, or emetophobia, the fear of throwing up. The fear of vomiting can affect individuals of all ages. It sometimes emerges in childhood and, if untreated, may follow a relatively chronic course. However, it can also develop well into adulthood, sometimes taking root after a negative health experience (e.g., after getting food poisoning or after experiencing an episode of severe or uncontrolled vomiting). Vomit Phobia in Children and Teens Consequences associated with the fear of throwing up can be extreme. In children, vomit phobia can lead to school refusal and avoidance. Academic performance may...

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Health-Related Anxiety: Symptoms, Disorders, & Treatment

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Think about the most significant health scare you have ever experienced. Then multiply this experience by a factor of about 10. Unfortunately, this is a daily reality for many individuals suffering from health-related anxiety, a debilitating condition that can have devastating effects on one’s mood, relationships, and ability to function in academic and professional settings. What is health anxiety? Health-related anxiety is a general term that refers to intense fear or worry about one’s physical health. Fear about illness (or potential illness) might develop in situations in which an individual has a diagnosed medical illness. These health conditions might include: a diagnosed, progressive medical condition (e.g., worry about advancing symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease). a diagnosed medical condition that requires management and/or health behavior changes (e.g., anxiety following a diagnosis of diabetes or after experiencing a heart attack). a diagnosed...

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Symptoms of Depression / Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)

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Signs of depression can be obvious or subtle, but regardless, they often severely impact your quality of life.  For help in addressing your symptoms of depression, seek the assistance of a therapist or psychologist trained in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which is an evidence-based treatment for depression. This will help reduce your symptoms and make you less prone to future relapse. I am available for consultation and treatment in the Palm Beach (Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter, West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, Boca Raton), Fort Lauderdale, and Miami communities.  I also welcome you to read my previous post on how depression can be easily overlooked in yourself or others. Here is a list of common symptoms of depression, also known as major depressive disorder (MDD): Symptoms of Depression Emotional Symptoms Feelings of sadness, emptiness, loneliness, or pointlessness. Feelings of worthlessness,...

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Depression / Major Depressive Disorder (MDD): The (Sometimes) Hidden Ailment

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For some individuals with major depressive disorder, signs of depression can be pretty obvious. Depressive symptoms can be utterly disabling and leave you with very little hope that things will ever get better. Depression can make you feel like giving up or actually cause you to give up. But in other cases, depression can be nearly invisible to both the sufferer and his/her family, friends, and colleagues. In fact, some people who are depressed don’t even realize it. They entertain this distorted fantasy that all depressed people look the same. They imagine that people with major depressive disorder cry all day, can’t hold down jobs, and aren’t doing anything particularly “meaningful” or “worthwhile.” However, depression affects CEOs, bank presidents, actors, politicians, doctors, and lawyers just as easily as anyone else.  It’s an equal opportunity ailment. Some depressed people walk around...

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School Refusal Causes (Social & Anxiety-Related Factors)

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With the summer quickly fading to black and the academic year looming largely, we will soon be entering the season of school refusal. When I use the term “school refusal,” I’m not talking about that once-in-a-blue-moon occasion when a child forgets about an important test or project and decides it’s easier to feign illness than face the music. That’s pretty typical for nearly all kids, and it doesn’t necessarily establish a pattern of problematic behavior. What I’m talking about is school refusal that is pattern-based, recurrent, and results in academic or social impairment. For assessment or treatment of school refusal, feel free to contact me at my private practice, which services Palm Beach (Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach), Fort Lauderdale, and Miami. What causes school refusal? Why do kids refuse to go to...

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