• anxiety-disorder-treatment-maryland

    To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom

    - Bertrand Russell

  • Anxiety Disorders

    Anxiety disorders

    • Do you feel trapped by your own relentless thoughts and ritualistic behaviors?
    • Is your own anxiety getting in the way of going to social events and parties?
    • Does your anxiety prevent you from spending time with friends and loved ones?

    If you answered yes to any of the above questions please call 301.984.9791 to contact us and schedule your first consultation.


    Anxiety disorders are the most common of all mental health problems. It is estimated that they affect approximately 1 in 10 people. They are more prevalent among women than among men, and they affect children as well as adults. Anxiety disorders are illnesses. They can be readily diagnosed and effectively treated.

    But all too often, they are mistaken for mental weakness or instability, and the resulting social stigma can discourage people with anxiety disorders from seeking help. Realizing that they are medical disorders which can be treated will help to remove the stigma, and encourage people with anxiety disorders to explore the treatments available.

    Signs of Anxiety

    Panic Disorder

    As the name suggests, panic disorder is expressed in panic attacks which occur without warning, accompanied by sudden feelings of terror, dread or doom.


    Phobias are divided into two categories: social phobia, which involves fear of social situations, and specific phobias, such as fear of flying, blood and heights.

    Social Phobia

    People with social phobia feel a paralyzing, irrational self-consciousness about social situations. They have an intense fear of being observed or of doing something horribly wrong in front of other people.

    Specific Phobias

    Fear of flying, fear of heights and fear of open spaces are some typical specific phobias. People suffering from a specific phobia are overwhelmed by unreasonable fears, which they are unable to control.


    An emotional response to a terrible event or repeating events such as an accident, violent act, physically abuse, sexual assault, war or even a natural disaster. Learn more about Post-Trauma.

    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

    An emotional illness that can develop after exposure to a terrible event or living through a terrifying experience that results in psychological trauma. Learn more about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

    Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

    This is a condition in which people suffer from persistent unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and / or rituals (compulsions) which they find impossible to control.

    Generalized Anxiety Disorder

    Characterized by repeated, exaggerated worry about routine life events and activities, this disorder lasts at least six months, during which time the person is affected by extreme worry more days than not.


    Proper diagnosis is the first step to creating a proper treatment plan. Through the employment of the “Biopsychosocial Model” of diagnosis and treatment, your treatment team here at Potomac Psychiatry can: determine what biological factors  are contributing to your anxiety and stress problems such as health status, medications used, genetic predispositions, alcohol and drug use, nutrition, and exercise patterns; explore psychological factors such as unconscious influences, childhood traumas, “emotional sticking points” from the past; analyze social and environmental forces such as work-related stressors, and marital and family conflict;and probe for existential and spiritual factors related to emotional conflict, such as “Do I have sufficient meaning and purpose in my life?” Once the effects on your life of these contributing factors are understood, a personalized, mutually agreed-upon treatment plan can be established; and where appropriate your family members may be brought into the treatment planning development.

    Meet Marlena Wu, Psy.D.

    Marlena M. Wu, LCP

    Dr. Marlena Wu is a warm, caring, and empathetic clinical psychologist who has had extensive experience working with anxiety-related conditions. She has successfully worked with adults of all ages, and is especially experienced working with anxiety arising from academic and social settings. She is passionate about providing talk therapy attuned to the individual patient’s needs, which integrates techniques and concepts from CBT, emotion-based therapy and mindfulness skills, and interpersonal process therapy. Dr. Wu also works collaboratively with other healthcare professionals in order to ensure that the patient is making optimal progress in their treatment. As a highly compassionate psychotherapist, she understands how difficult it can be to tolerate high levels of anxiety. She will take time to fully understand your anxiety symptoms and to work in partnership with you in figuring out what works best to alleviate your suffering.

    View complete curriculum vitae for Marlena M. Wu, Psy.D.

    Schedule an appointment

    Proper diagnosis is the key to putting a person with an anxiety disorder on the right treatment path. At Potomac Psychiatry our psychiatrists and therapists specialize in treating all types of anxiety disorders. Call 301.984.9791 to contact us, discuss your needs and schedule an appointment. Our experienced professionals look forward to meeting you.

    Our offices are conveniently accessible from the following communities:

    Maryland (MD):
    Bethesda 20814 - Bethesda 20816 - Bethesda 20817 - Chevy Chase 20815 - Colesville 20904 - Cabin John 20815 - Glen Echo 20812 - Gaithersburg 20855 - Gaithersburg 20877- Gaithersburg 20878 - Gaithersburg 20879 - Garrett Park 20896 - Kensington 20895 - Montgomery Village 20886 - Olney 20830 - Olney 20832 - Potomac 20854 - Potomac 20859 - Rockville 20850 - Rockville 20852 - Rockville 20853 - Silver Spring 20903 - Silver Spring 20905 - Silver Spring 20906 - Silver Spring 20910 - Takoma Park 20912 - Wheaton 20902

    Washington DC:
    Crestwood 20011- North Capitol Hill 20002 - Cathedral Heights 20016 - American University Park 20016 - Columbia Heights 20010 - Mount Pleasant 20010 - Downtown 20036 - Dupont Circle 20009 - Logan Circle 20005- Adams Morgan 20009 - Chevy Chase 20015 - Georgetown 20007 - Cleveland Park 20008 - Foggy Bottom 20037 - Rock Creek Park - Woodley Park 20008 - Tenleytown 20016

    Northern Virginia:
    McLean 22101- McLean 22102 - McLean 22106 - Great Falls 22066 - Arlington 22201 - Arlington 22202 - Arlington 22203 - Arlington 22205 - Falls Church 22041 - Vienna 22181 - Alexandria 22314