Frequently Asked Questions

What if My Question Isn’t Answered Here?

Do you have a question that isn’t answered here? Please either call our office at (352) 365-2243 to speak with someone in our office or ask your question online here

What do psychologists do?

Psychologists learn the scientific basis of human behavior. This is then used by applied/practicing psychologists (those dealing with clients) and other professionals in almost every setting. Psychologists work all around you and there are different types of psychologists.

What is Psychology?

Psychology is the scientific study of people, the mind and behaviour. It is both a thriving academic discipline and a vital professional practice.

Psychology is both an applied and academic field that studies the human mind and behavior. Research in psychology seeks to understand and explain how we think, act and feel. As most people already realize, a large part of psychology is devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of mental health issues, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to applications for psychology.

In addition to mental health, psychology can be applied to a variety of issues that impact health and daily life including performance enhancement, self-help, ergonomics, motivation, productivity, and much more.

What is Autism?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors.

ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances.

What is a Personality Disorder?

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) describes a personality disorder as:

“An enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectations of the culture of the individual who exhibits it.”

A personality disorder is a mental illness. The patient can become distressed when having to perform everyday functions in the workplace, school or situations involving other people.

It is not uncommon for the person with a personality disorder to believe that their behaviors and interpretations of things around them are normal. However, their thought processes and behaviors may be self-destructive and self-denigrating. In a significant number of cases other people are blamed for any problems or difficulties that occur.

What is OCD?

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a disorder of the brain and behavior. OCD causes severe anxiety in those affected. OCD involves both obsessions and compulsions that take a lot of time and get in the way of important activities the person values.

Obsessions are involuntary, seemingly uncontrollable thoughts, images, or impulses that occur over and over again in your mind. You don’t want to have these ideas but you can’t stop them. Unfortunately, these obsessive thoughts are often disturbing and distracting.

Compulsions are behaviors or rituals that you feel driven to act out again and again. Usually, compulsions are performed in an attempt to make obsessions go away. For example, if you’re afraid of contamination, you might develop elaborate cleaning rituals. However, the relief never lasts. In fact, the obsessive thoughts usually come back stronger. And the compulsive behaviors often end up causing anxiety themselves as they become more demanding and time-consuming.

What are Eating Disorders?

An eating disorder is an illness that causes serious disturbances to your everyday diet, such as eating extremely small amounts of food or severely overeating. A person with an eating disorder may have started out just eating smaller or larger amounts of food, but at some point, the urge to eat less or more spiraled out of control.

Severe distress or concern about body weight or shape may also characterize an eating disorder.

What is ADHD?

ADHD is a common behavioral disorder that affects an estimated 8% to 10% of school-age children. Boys are about three times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with it, though it’s not yet understood why.

Kids with ADHD act without thinking, are hyperactive, and have trouble focusing. They may understand what’s expected of them but have trouble following through because they can’t sit still, pay attention, or attend to details.

What is Addiction?

An addiction must meet at least 3 of the following criteria. This is based on the criteria of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-IV) and World Health Organization (ICD-10).(1)

  1. Tolerance. Do you use more alcohol or drugs over time?
  2. Withdrawal. Have you experienced physical or emotional withdrawal when you have stopped using? Have you experienced anxiety, irritability, shakes, sweats, nausea, or vomiting? Emotional withdrawal is just as significant as physical withdrawal.
  3. Limited control. Do you sometimes drink or use drugs more than you would like? Do you sometimes drink to get drunk? Does one drink lead to more drinks sometimes?
  4. Negative consequences. Have you continued to use even though there have been negative consequences to your mood, self-esteem, health, job, or family?
  5. Neglected or postponed activities. Have you ever put off or reduced social, recreational, work, or household activities because of your use?
  6. Significant time or energy spent. Have you spent a significant amount of time obtaining, using, concealing, planning, or recovering from your use? Have you spend a lot of time thinking about using? Have you ever concealed or minimized your use? Have you ever thought of schemes to avoid getting caught?
  7. Desire to cut down. Have you sometimes thought about cutting down or controlling your use? Have you ever made unsuccessful attempts to cut down or control your use?
What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a normal human emotion that everyone experiences at times. Many people feel anxious, or nervous, when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test, or making an important decision. Anxiety disorders, however, are different. They can cause such distress that it interferes with a person’s ability to lead a normal life.

An anxiety disorder is a serious mental illness. For people with anxiety disorders, worry and fear are constant and overwhelming, and can be crippling.

What Is Depression?

Most people have felt sad or depressed at times. Feeling depressed can be a normal reaction to loss, life’s struggles, or an injured self-esteem.

But when feelings of intense sadness — including feeling helpless, hopeless, and worthless — last for many days to weeks and keep you from functioning normally, your depression may be something more than sadness. It may very well be clinical depression — a treatable medical condition.

How Do I Know If I Have Depression?

According to the DSM-IV, a manual used to diagnose mental disorders, depression occurs when you have at least five of the following symptoms at the same time:

  • A depressed mood during most of the day, particularly in the morning
  • Fatigue or loss of energy almost every day
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt almost every day
  • Impaired concentration, indecisiveness
  • Insomnia (an inability to sleep) or hypersomnia (excessive sleeping) almost every day
  • Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in almost all activities nearly every day
  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide (not just fearing death)
  • A sense of restlessness or being slowed down
  • Significant weight loss or weight gain