KIMBERLY ARLINGHAUS MD
DIPLOMATE AMERICAN BOARD OF PSYCHIATRY & NEUROLOGY
CEDAR PARK PSYCHIATRY IS NO LONGER ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS
Welcome to Cedar Park Psychiatry. I hope you find this website informative with regard to questions you may have about me or my practice. Compassion, knowledge, honesty, excellence, respect and listening without judgment are cornerstones of my professional practice. I am proud to share with you the clinical experience I gained at the largest medical center in the world (Texas Medical Center in Houston) where I trained at Baylor College of Medicine (ranked among the top 20 medical schools by U.S. News and World Report) and worked for for 21 years until returning to the home of my Alma mater, The University of Texas at Austin, in 2011.
I would be pleased to offer you specialized care tailored precisely to your needs with the goal of optimizing not just your mental health but all of who you are - mind, body and soul.
Are you having problems with relationships but don’t know why? For example, do you recognize patterns like choosing unhealthy partners, ending relationships when things start to get serious, engaging in frequent conflict, having problems with trust, intimacy, or sex?
Sorting out the cause(s) of relationship problems with psychiatric help can lead to a more satisfying and healthier life.
For many Americans, more time is spent at work than in any other part of life. If work is filled with stress and anxiety, for example, or becomes a breeding ground for insecurity and a need for approval, seeking help to address such issues can lead to greater peace of mind and success as well as improved physical and mental health.
Perhaps one of the most common reasons for one to seek psychiatric help, depression can masquerade as many things, such as losing interest in things one usually finds pleasurable, developing severe fatigue with lack of energy and excessive need for sleep, becoming irritable and pessimistic, or experiencing aches and pains, stomach problems, or headaches. It is important to seek help for depression since it is a known risk factor for illnesses like heart disease and diabetes; even more important, if left untreated, it can be lethal due to an increased risk for suicide.
Panic disorder involves discrete attacks of extreme terror which usually last minutes and present “out of the blue” with physical symptoms such as shortness of breath, palpitations, chest pain, dizziness, numbness and tingling, and a feeling like something terrible is about to happen. Sometimes it is associated with agoraphobia, or a fear of being in certain environments where one feels uncomfortable or in danger, which can progress to an inability to leave the “safe haven” of one’s home.
Social phobia is a strong fear of being judged by others or being embarrassed in social situations. It can become quite crippling without treatment and interfere with one’s ability to work or function in society.
OCD-is an anxiety disorder characterized by the presence of obsessions and compulsions that interfere with one’s ability to function. For example, one may fear contamination by germs (obsession) and go to great lengths to avoid touching doorknobs or using public restrooms, often washing their hands multiple times per day (compulsion). The individual with OCD is often embarrassed by their compulsions which sometimes take the form of rituals such as turning around 10 times before leaving a room or counting to 100 before leaving the house. They know such behavior is “silly” but they have to do it to avoid feeling severe anxiety. OCD is often quite responsive to certain medications and therapy.
Diagnosis of bipolar disorder (AKA “manic depression) can be quite complex due to symptoms like mood swings, irritability, distractibility, and racing thoughts that overlap with other mental illnesses. Careful psychiatric assessment can achieve the right diagnosis and proper treatment plan.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in America with approximately 40 million adults experiencing an anxiety disorder in any given year. Anxiety disorders often occur alongside depression and frequently are associated with substance use. “Anxiety” is a general term and may be part of one or more formal anxiety disorders including generalized anxiety disorder in which anxiety is “free floating” with excessive worries whereas anxiety about a specific situation constitutes a phobia.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD is an anxiety disorder that develops after a terrifying experience in which one experiences physical harm (or the threat of physical harm), or witnesses harm (or the threat of harm) to others. Many people have heard of PTSD in soldiers due to combat trauma but PTSD can occur after many types of traumatic experience including rape, assault, abuse, car wrecks, bombings, fires, natural disasters, etc. Symptoms often include reexperiencing the trauma through nightmares or intrusive thoughts, avoiding reminders of the trauma, and having problems with anger and being in crowds.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
ADHD is a common problem beginning in childhood, sometimes extending into adulthood. Accurate diagnosis requires careful examination since many disorders (such as depression and anxiety) can cause difficulties with focus as well as hyperactivity and behavioral problems. It is especially important to arrive at the proper diagnosis since many of the medications used to treat ADD/ADHD are addictive and potentially dangerous for the heart.
Addictions-One of the most challenging problems for individuals to address is addiction to a substance or behavior. With each passing year, it seems that more addictions emerge as our world becomes increasingly complex, fast-paced, and geared to immediate gratification. Whether it be alcohol, drugs, food, sex, exercise, the internet, gambling, shopping, work, or other behavior or substance with which one is preoccupied and unable to control, getting help is important in order to reclaim one’s autonomy and avert potentially life-threatening consequences.
Personality disorders are characterized by rigid, unhealthy patterns of thinking and behaving which are longstanding (usually starting in the late teens) and involve deeply ingrained ways of dealing with the world. The individual with a personality disorder may not recognize his/her difficulties in relating to people or situations and often blames others for their problems. Some personality disorders can be quite severe, such as borderline personality disorder, and involve self-destructive behaviors such as cutting or burning one’s skin, multiple suicide attempts, inability to deal with anger, and confusion about one’s identity.