Anxiety Specialist

Michael Messina,  Psy.D. -  - Clinical Psychologist

Michael Messina, Psy.D.

Clinical Psychologist located in Southlake, TX

It’s normal to experience anxiety every so often, but persistent and excessive fear or worry about nonthreatening situations may be a sign of an anxiety disorder. Clinical psychologist Michael Messina, PsyD, treats children, adolescents, and adults with anxiety disorders at his practice in Southlake, Texas. If anxiety interferes with your daily activities, call or book an appointment online today.

Anxiety Q & A

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a feeling of fear or distress about a real or perceived threat. Everyone experiences occasional anxiety. 

A person’s brain contains a built-in response to danger called the fight-or-flight mechanism. This response can save your life when faced with a threatening situation, like a fire, but intense and uncontrollable worry about everyday activities can negatively affect your health and well-being. 

Dr. Messina treats all types of anxiety disorders, including:

  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Specific phobias
  • Separation anxiety disorder

If anxiety affects performance at school or work or interferes with relationships, Dr. Messina can help. 

How do I know if I have anxiety?

Signs and symptoms of anxiety vary in type and severity, but may include:

  • Feeling nervous or fearful
  • Difficulty controlling fear or worry
  • Sense of impending doom
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Rapid breathing
  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability

You may also go out of your way to avoid situations or events that trigger anxiety, like flying on an airplane or speaking in public. 

What causes anxiety?

Anxiety is a complex condition with many possible causes. Common causes of anxiety include:

  • Genetics
  • Biological factors like brain chemistry
  • Environmental factors like living with anxious people
  • Illnesses such as diabetes
  • Medications or drugs such as amphetamines
  • Normal life events like public speaking or running late
  • Traumatic or significant events like divorce or losing a job
  • Irrational beliefs or faulty thinking

Avoiding places, people, or situations that trigger anxiety can also worsen your anxiety symptoms.

How is anxiety treated?

Common treatments for anxiety include medications and psychotherapy. Many people benefit from a combination of both. You can discuss medication options with your psychiatrist or primary care physician. 

Dr. Messina uses cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help children, adolescents, and adults manage their anxiety. 

CBT is a research-based approach that focuses on changing unhealthy thoughts and behaviors. When you learn to change your thoughts, the result is an improvement in mood and daily functioning.  

To learn how you or your child can control anxiety and lead a happy, meaningful life, call the office of Dr. Michael Messina or book an appointment online today.