Care and Treatment of Psychological Disorders

Psychiatrists at St. Mary’s Physician Associates treat a wide range of psychological disorders. Our board-certified psychiatrists provide evaluation, medication management and treatment planning for patients.

Our team manages and provides treatment for the following mental illnesses and behavioral health issues:

Panic Attacks

A panic attack is a period of overwhelming fear or discomfort that strikes suddenly with no obvious trigger. When the attack comes, it feels as if there is a real threat to the person and the body reacts accordingly. Physical symptoms can include a racing heart, sweating, trembling, difficulty breathing, dizziness and nausea. 

Panic attacks are associated with a range of mental disorders, but most commonly occur alongside generalized anxiety.


Anxiety disorders are a common emotional disorder and affect millions of Americans, according to the American Psychiatric Association. Many forms of anxiety disorders exist and have varying symptoms. 

Anxious symptoms can present differently from person to person. Common telltale signs of anxiety are:

  • Irritability
  • Restlessness, insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of concentration
  • Mood swings
  • Excessive worrying

Some common types of anxiety include agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder and many more.

Thoughts of Suicide

Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Therapy and medication can help people who have thoughts of suicide (suicidal ideation).

Suicide is not exclusive to those with depression. Other risk factors for suicidal thoughts include:

  • Substance use problems or addiction
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Physical health conditions (pain, illness, etc.)
  • Schizophrenia
  • Prolonged external stress from life changes (unemployment, bullying, etc.)
  • Access to lethal substances or weapons

Warning signs:

  • If a person talks about harming themselves, feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Increased substance use
  • Withdrawing from activities
  • Isolating themselves from family and friends
  • Aggression, anger
  • Depression
  • Lack of interest
  • Relief or sudden improvement in their behavior

Because the risk factors for suicide vary widely, taking care of your mental health includes taking care of your physical health. Physical and mental health go hand in hand.


Depression is a psychiatric disorder that negatively affects how you feel, think and act. Depression can set in at any age, but often first appears during the late teens to mid-20s. Constant, severe depression can interfere with everyday life.

There are different kinds of depression, including:

  • Major depression
    • Depressed mood, lack of motivation and lack of interest that affects your ability to sleep, work and eat.
  • Persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia)
    • Longer lasting, but less severe symptoms of depression. This can last for at least two years at a time.
  • Perinatal depression
    • Occurs during pregnancy or postpartum.
  • Seasonal affective disorder
    • Malaise that seems to come and go with the change of seasons. Winter and fall typically trigger the onset of SAD (seasonal affective disorder), while it goes away in spring and summer.
  • Depression and psychosis
    • Severe depression in which someone experiences symptoms of psychosis (delusions, hallucinations, etc.)

Those with bipolar disorder may also experience depression in combination with manic episodes.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a condition that causes extreme emotional fluctuations. Bipolar disorder is characterized by high highs (mania) and low lows (depression). Manic and depressive episodes can last for weeks or months on end.

Mania typically looks like:

  • High energy, hyperactivity
  • Lost touch with reality (delusions of grandeur)
  • Lack of concentration
  • Racing thoughts
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Euphoria
  • Impulsivity 

Depression typically looks like:

  • Lack of interest
  • Hopelessness 
  • Discontentment 
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Fatigue, excess sleep
  • Crying

There are several different types of bipolar disorder: bipolar I, bipolar II, Cyclothymic disorder and unspecified bipolar disorder. Each form of bipolar disorder involves emotional mood swings to some degree. St. Mary’s physicians are able to diagnose bipolar disorder using proper evaluation techniques.

Bipolar disorder is relatively common in the United States, and there are effective forms of treatment for those who are diagnosed. Medications, supportive behavioral health care and support therapy is available to those who are struggling.