Mental Health

Conditions We Treat

Anxiety & Agoraphobia

Anxiety is a normal emotion that everyone experiences from time to time. It can serve a protective purpose, alerting us to dangerous situations, motivating us to complete tasks, or pushing us towards success. However, for some individuals, anxiety can become overwhelming and paralyzing. Persistent worry can consume their every thought, leading to physical fatigue, stomach aches, headaches, muscle aches, and other physical manifestations.

When anxiety begins to interfere with daily functioning, seeking a mental health  evaluation becomes necessary. As psychiatric nurse practitioners, we are skilled at determining if treatment is needed for anxiety. We engage in a discussion with you about appropriate treatment options.

There are several types of anxiety disorders, each with different symptoms. These disorders can affect individuals of all ages, although how the symptoms are experienced may vary depending on age.

  • Social Anxiety Disorder is characterized by fear or anxiety about social situations where the individual feels exposed to possible scrutiny. This fear can occur in both children and adults, impacting interactions with peers or adults. Social anxiety can make it difficult to form new friendships, advance in a career, or maintain existing friendships. Excessive rumination about social situations, even if nothing negative occurred, is common.
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder involves excessive anxiety and worry occurring more days than not about a variety of events or activities. It can be challenging to control this excessive worry, and it is often associated with restlessness, fatigue, poor concentration, irritability, muscle tension, and sleep disturbance. Generalized anxiety disorder can cause distress and impairment in daily functioning.
  • Panic Disorder is characterized by recurring panic attacks, which can be triggered by specific stimuli or occur seemingly out of nowhere. Panic attacks are intense and may include symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, trembling, numbness or tingling, and sweating. The fear of experiencing additional panic attacks or their consequences often leads to a change in behavior and avoidance of unfamiliar places or anxiety-provoking situations.
  • Specific Phobias involve an excessive and persistent fear or anxiety about a specific object or situation. The fear is almost always triggered when faced with the feared object or situation. This fear leads to active avoidance and can cause impairment in various areas of life. Common examples of specific phobias include fear of spiders, flying, or snakes.
  • Agoraphobia is an intense fear of being in situations where escape might be difficult or embarrassing, such as public transportation, open spaces, or crowded areas. The fear of not being able to receive help or escape can create panic-like symptoms. Avoidance of these triggering situations is common, and the fear or anxiety experienced is out of proportion to any actual danger.
  • Separation Anxiety Disorder is characterized by excessive distress when experiencing or anticipating separation from home or major attachment figures. There is persistent worry about losing or harm coming to the attachment figures. Refusal to go out, away from home, or to work or school due to fear of separation may occur. Physical symptoms, nightmares, or refusal to sleep alone without the major attachment figure are also common.

In children, anxiety may be expressed differently, such as through crying, tantrums, freezing, clinging, shrinking, or failing to speak in social situations.

Attention Deficit Disorders

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder that can occur in both children and adults. It is characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity/impulsivity that significantly interferes with functioning and development. Symptoms of ADHD can impact various areas of life, including work, school, and home.

Common symptoms of ADHD include:

  • Lack of attention to detail
  • Difficulty sustaining attention to tasks
  • Difficulty listening when spoken to directly
  • Difficulty finishing tasks before starting new ones
  • Avoidance of tasks that require significant mental effort
  • Frequent misplacement of items
  • Easy distractibility
  • Forgetfulness
  • Difficulty sitting still or feeling restless
  • Difficulty remaining seated
  • Feeling as though one is driven by a motor
  • Difficulty waiting for their turn
  • Interrupting others or finishing their sentences

Struggling with attention or hyperactivity at any age can warrant an evaluation for ADHD. It is important to recognize that ADHD is a valid medical condition and not simply a result of laziness or a lack of discipline.

Balance Psychiatric Services offers treatment options for ADHD and will vary depending on the individual and their specific symptoms. These may include medication management, educational interventions, and lifestyle modifications. A comprehensive evaluation by one our qualified healthcare professionals is crucial in determining the most appropriate treatment approach for everyone.


Bipolar disorder is a complex mental health condition characterized by significant and recurrent shifts in mood, energy levels, and activity patterns. Individuals with bipolar disorder experience extreme mood swings that can range from manic or hypomanic episodes (elevated mood) to depressive episodes (low mood). These mood shifts often occur in cycles, and the intensity and duration can vary from person to person.
Treatment for bipolar disorder typically involves a combination of medication and psychotherapy to help manage symptoms and promote stability. Medications such as mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and antipsychotics may be prescribed to regulate mood and prevent episodes. Psychotherapy, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and psychoeducation, can provide valuable support in understanding the condition, developing coping strategies, and improving overall functioning.
The Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners at Balanced Psychiatric Services specialize in the treatment of bipolar disorder and are dedicated to helping individuals achieve successful and fulfilling lives. We provide comprehensive assessments, personalized treatment plans, and ongoing support to address the unique needs of each individual.

Types of Bipolar Disorder:

Bipolar I Disorder:
  • Characterized by the presence of at least one manic or mixed episode, often followed by depressive episodes.
  • Manic episodes include symptoms such as an abnormally elevated or irritable mood, increased energy levels, decreased need for sleep, racing thoughts, excessive talking, inflated self-esteem, increased goal-directed activity, and engaging in risky behaviors.
  • Depressive episodes are marked by persistent feelings of sadness, loss of interest in activities, changes in appetite and sleep patterns, low energy levels, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, difficulty concentrating, and recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.
Bipolar II Disorder:
  • Involves episodes of hypomania (less severe than full mania) and depressive episodes.
  • Hypomanic episodes exhibit similar symptoms to manic episodes but are generally shorter in duration and less severe.
  • Depressive episodes in bipolar II disorder share similarities with those experienced in bipolar I disorder, including persistent sadness, loss of interest, changes in sleep and appetite, low energy levels, feelings of worthlessness, difficulty concentrating, and thoughts of death or suicide.

Depressive Disorders

Depression is a complex mental health condition that can be present in various ways. It can be triggered by challenging life events or occur without a clear cause. Depression does not always manifest as the stereotypical inability to get out of bed in the morning. Its severity can differ, and when it starts to significantly impact daily life, seeking professional help is crucial. Our team of experienced mental health professionals is dedicated to helping individuals effectively manage their depression and regain a fulfilling life.

Types of Depressive Disorders:

Major Depressive Disorder
  • Symptoms persisting for at least two weeks.
  • Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day.
  • Diminished interest or pleasure in activities.
  • Changes in weight, appetite, or sleep patterns.
  • Low energy levels.
  • Feelings of worthlessness, helplessness, or hopelessness.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.
Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia):
  • Symptoms persisting for two years.
  • Depressed mood for most days, for more days than not.
  • Additional symptoms include poor appetite or overeating, excessive or inadequate sleep, low energy, low self-esteem, poor concentration, and feelings of hopelessness.
  • The symptoms should not subside for more than two months at a time.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder:
  • Symptoms occurring in the majority of menstrual cycles.
  • Present during the final week before menses and improving within the first several days of menses.
  • Symptoms may include mood swings, sudden sadness or tearfulness, irritability, anger, increased interpersonal conflict, depressed mood, feelings of hopelessness, increased anxiety, tension, or feeling keyed up.

It is important to note that depression can affect individuals of all ages. The experience of depressive symptoms may vary depending on age. If you or someone you know is struggling with depressive symptoms that interfere with daily life, seeking professional evaluation and support is highly recommended. Our team is committed to providing comprehensive assessments, evidence-based treatments, and ongoing support to help individuals effectively manage depression and enhance their overall well-being.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorders

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders OCD is a mental health condition characterized by persistent and intrusive thoughts (obsessions) that lead to repetitive behaviors (compulsions) aimed at alleviating anxiety or preventing perceived harm. The team of professionals at Balance Psychiatric Services is dedicated to helping children and adolescents effectively manage their OCD symptoms and regain control over their lives.

Types of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders:

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD):
  • Presence of obsessions (unwanted thoughts, images, or urges) and compulsions (repetitive behaviors or mental acts).
  • Common obsessions include concerns about contamination, symmetry, forbidden or taboo thoughts, and fear of harm.
  • Compulsions often involve rituals or repetitive behaviors aimed at reducing anxiety or preventing perceived harm.
  • OCD significantly impacts daily life and can lead to distress and functional impairment.
Hoarding Disorder:
  • Persistent difficulty parting with possessions, regardless of their value.
  • Accumulation of a significant number of belongings causes clutter and severely impact living spaces.
  • Difficulty discarding items due to a perceived need to save them, or distress associated with discarding them.
  • Hoarding leads to significant distress and can affect daily functioning.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD):
  • Preoccupation with perceived flaws or defects in physical appearance that are not noticeable to others.
  • Engaging in repetitive behaviors such as excessive grooming, seeking reassurance, or comparing oneself to others.
  • BDD causes significant distress, affects daily functioning, and can lead to avoidance of social situations.
Trichotillomania (Hair-Pulling Disorder):
  • Recurrent pulling out of one’s hair, leading to noticeable hair loss.
  • Tension or urge preceding hair pulling and relief or gratification afterward.
  • Hair pulling causes significant distress, affects self-esteem, and may result in social or functional impairment.
Excoriation (Skin-Picking) Disorder:
  • Recurrent picking at one’s skin, resulting in skin lesions.
  • Urges or attempts to stop skin picking, followed by distress or guilt.
  • Skin picking leads to significant distress, affects appearance, and can cause medical complications.

Personality Disorders

Personality disorders encompass a range of mental health conditions characterized by a consistent pattern of disruptive thinking, behaviors, and mood that significantly impact interpersonal relationships. These disorders can arise from various factors, including genetic predispositions, environmental influences, and life experiences. Effective treatment for personality disorders typically involves psychotherapy, although medication management may be employed to alleviate specific symptoms. It is essential to recognize that personality disorders differ from other mental health conditions and may require specialized care to ensure optimal treatment outcomes.

Types of Personality Disorders:

Borderline Personality Disorder:
  • Instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image, and impulsivity, typically emerging in early adulthood.
  • Symptoms include frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment, unstable and intense relationships alternating between idealization and devaluation, unstable self-image, impulsive behaviors (e.g., reckless driving, binge eating), recurrent self-harm or suicidal behavior, chronic feelings of emptiness, inappropriate anger, and stress-related paranoia or dissociative symptoms.
Histrionic Personality Disorder:
  • Consistent pattern of excessive emotions and attention-seeking behaviors, typically starting in early adulthood and observed in various contexts.
  • Symptoms include discomfort in situations where one is not the center of attention, engaging in sexually seductive or provocative behaviors, rapidly shifting and shallow emotional expressions, using physical appearance to draw attention, using impressionistic speech lacking detail, exaggerated displays of emotion, susceptibility to influence by others, and perceiving relationships as more intimate than they truly are.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder:
  • Pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and lack of empathy, usually evident in early adulthood.
  • Symptoms include exaggerating achievements and expecting recognition as superior, preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success or power, belief in being special and unique, requiring excessive admiration, possessing a sense of entitlement, exploiting others to fulfill personal goals, lacking empathy or disregarding others’ feelings, experiencing envy or perceiving others as envious, and displaying arrogant behavior or attitudes.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorders

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can occur after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. It is important to address PTSD in children and adolescents, as it can significantly impact their emotional well-being and daily functioning. Our goal is to provide a professional and informative resource for parents, caregivers, and individuals seeking to understand PTSD better.

Types of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder:

Acute Stress Disorder:
  • Develops within one month of exposure to a traumatic event.
  • Symptoms may include intrusive memories, distressing dreams, flashbacks, avoidance of reminders, negative mood, heightened arousal, and dissociative symptoms.
Acute-Onset PTSD:
  • PTSD symptoms develop within three months after the traumatic event.
  • Symptoms may include intrusive thoughts, avoidance, negative changes in mood and cognition, and alterations in arousal and reactivity.
Delayed-Onset PTSD:
  • Symptoms emerge at least six months after the traumatic event.
  • Often associated with prolonged exposure to trauma or ongoing stressors.
  • Symptoms resemble acute-onset PTSD, including intrusive thoughts, avoidance, negative mood, and changes in arousal and reactivity.
Complex PTSD (C-PTSD):
  • Results from repeated or chronic trauma, such as ongoing abuse, neglect, or living in a war zone.
  • In addition to PTSD symptoms, individuals with C-PTSD may experience difficulties with self-perception, emotional regulation, interpersonal relationships, and somatic symptoms.

By understanding the different types of PTSD, parents, caregivers, and individuals can gain insight into the potential impact of traumatic experiences on the mental health of children and adolescents. Recognizing the signs and symptoms is crucial in seeking appropriate support and intervention.

Our Commitment to Support:

Balance Psychiatric Services provide valuable resources and information to help individuals and their families navigate the challenges associated with PTSD in children and adolescents. Our website serves as a professional and informative platform to educate, raise awareness, and promote understanding of PTSD.