Real vs. imagined fears

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Real vs. imagined fears

When it comes to treating anxiety -- Anxiety can be caused by real fears and by imagined fears. The treatment for either of those can be very different. When it comes to fears about real stimuli, for example, a bully who is harassing your child every day at school, it's important to take into account what the stressor is, having a meeting with school officials and making sure you can minimize the extent to which the real stressor is impacting your child's life. It's critical. You can't necessarily do that for an imagined fear. If it's a fear that,every time I go outside, a spider is going to bite me. That doesn't really lend itself to parental involvement and eliminating all the spiders in the world, right? We can't do that. What is important to do is to change your child's response to that fear. By doing that and exposing them to different types of circumstances where they can encounter that fear and feel safe, they can conquer that fear of spiders, or anything else.

Watch Preetpal Sandhu, MD's video on Real vs. imagined fears...


Expert Bio

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Preetpal Sandhu, MD

Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist

Dr. Sandhu is a UCLA-trained, Board Certified Psychiatrist who has practiced Psychiatry at UCLA and in Beverly Hills for several years. He did his undergraduate work at UCLA where he was named to Phi Beta Kappa. He then completed medical school at the University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine and was named a Dean's scholar. He also received a master’s degree in Business Administration from University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business where he was named to the Dean's list.

Dr. Sandhu then pursued training in Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychiatry at the University of California at Los Angeles, Neuropsychiatric Institute (now named the Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior). While at UCLA completing his residency and fellowship he was named the Chief Fellow of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry training program. He then proceeded to work at UCLA as part of the Attending Staff on the Child and Adolescent Inpatient unit. He is a member in good standing of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists (AACAP) and has served as the Southern California Regional Organization’s President.

His areas of interest include attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and the roles coordinated psychiatry and psychotherapy can have in jointly improving outcomes.

Dr. Sandhu lives in the Los Angeles area with his family and is actively involved in teaching medical students, residents, and fellows at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. In his free time, he enjoys surfing, snowboarding, basketball, golf, video games, and travel.

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