Mental Health & Wellness Clinic located in Woodbridge, VA


When anxiety becomes all-consuming, interfering with your daily life, call board-certified psychiatric nurse practitioners Nola Ayoola-Yussuf, PMHNP-BC, Akua Amponsah-Adjei, PMHNP-BC, and Lesley Grzybowski, PMHNP. Their team treats anxiety disorders and phobias at Potomac Shores Mental Health and Wellness in Woodbridge, Virginia. Anxiety disorders and phobias can cause distressing panic attacks and severely affect your well-being. Nola offers in-person and telehealth consultations to help you embrace the uncertainties of life. Call Potomac Shores Mental Health and Wellness today or book an appointment online for expert anxiety diagnosis and treatment.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is worry, stress, and fear. It’s a normal response to stressful experiences like getting to an appointment on time or delivering a presentation at school or work.

When you feel anxious, your body releases hormones that help you cope with what’s scaring you. These hormones make you stronger, faster, and quick-thinking, which can be helpful during a stressful experience.

If you have an anxiety disorder, you release these hormones continually or in excessive amounts. It’s a widespread problem, with over 40 million American adults suffering from an anxiety disorder.

What symptoms does anxiety cause?

An anxiety disorder causes symptoms like:

  • Constant nervousness or uneasiness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Muscle tension
  • Headaches
  • Sweating and trembling
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Low energy levels
  • Physical weakness
  • Difficulties sleeping
  • Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea

These symptoms sometimes get much worse, triggering a panic attack. You might have chest pain and difficulty breathing during a panic attack.

Are there different anxiety disorders?

Anxiety causes several distinct disorders, including:

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)

GAD causes long-term, intense worry about most things in life. This constant worry and distress take up many hours of your day every day and leave you exhausted.


Unlike GAD, phobias have specific triggers that can be anything that causes intense fear, disgust, and/or panic. Common phobias include snakes, spiders, confined spaces, and heights.

Social anxiety disorder

Social anxiety disorder is a phobia that revolves around social interactions. It’s far more severe than shyness, causing you to avoid speaking in front of people or mixing socially. It often leads to social isolation.

Panic disorder

Panic disorder causes frequent panic attacks that happen without warning.

How is anxiety treated?

Nola Ayoola-Yussuf at Potomac Shores Mental Health and Wellness has extensive experience helping people overcome their anxiety. Primary treatments are:


Talking about your anxiety can relieve the distress and help you understand what’s causing these feelings. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) provides you with practical ways to address your anxiety. One choice for treating phobias is exposure therapy, where you take small, progressive steps to reduce your fear reaction.


Many patients do well with counseling and need no other treatment. But anti-anxiety medication can be invaluable, especially for more severe disorders.

Call Potomac Shores Mental Health and Wellness today or book an appointment online to find an anxiety treatment that works for you.