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Dr. Sanjaya Saxena, M.D.

Psychiatrist

Sanjaya Saxena, MD is a psychiatrist practicing in San Diego, CA. He is Director of the UC San Diego Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders Program and Professor in the UCSD Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Saxena is a medical doctor specializing in the care of mental health patients. As a psychiatrist, Dr. Saxena diagnoses and treats mental illnesses. Dr. Saxena may treat patients through a variety of methods including medications, behavioral therapy, psychotherapy or talk therapy, psychosocial interventions and more, depending on each individual case. Different medications that a psychiatrist might prescribe include antidepressants, antipsychotic mediations, mood stabilizers, stimulants, sedatives and hypnotics. Dr. Saxena treats conditions like OCD, Hoarding, anxiety disorders, depression, eating disorders, bipolar disorders, insomnia, Tourette Syndrome, ADHD, and other mental illnesses. He also does research on the neurobiology and treatment of OCD and Hoarding Disorder.
Dr. Sanjaya Saxena, M.D.
  • San Diego, CA
  • University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN
  • Accepting new patients

My daughter is starting to tell me she is hearing voices. What is causing this?

Voices that someone hears when no one is around, that occur when someone is fully awake, and that seem to be inside one's head or coming from an invisible source, are called auditory READ MORE
Voices that someone hears when no one is around, that occur when someone is fully awake, and that seem to be inside one's head or coming from an invisible source, are called auditory hallucinations. It is important to distinguish these hallucinations from just imagining or remembering someone speaking, replaying a conversation in your mind, or having a flashback of a traumatic event you experienced. True auditory hallucinations can be caused by a number of different conditions, including schizophrenia, psychotic depression, severe manic episodes, and by certain drugs, including amphetamines (like Meth), cocaine, PCP, psychedelics, LSD, mushrooms, and others. Less commonly, they can be caused by neurological disorders, such as epilepsy (seizure disorders), severe brain infections, or degenerative brain diseases. The first important step is to get your daughter evaluated by a physician, preferably a psychiatrist, as soon as possible, to diagnose the problem and start treatment. Auditory hallucinations usually respond very well to medication treatment.

Difference in treatment between a psychiatrist and psychologist?

Psychiatry and clinical psychology are two separate professions, with different training, knowledge, and skills. Both can diagnose and treat mental disorders, but in different READ MORE
Psychiatry and clinical psychology are two separate professions, with different training, knowledge, and skills. Both can diagnose and treat mental disorders, but in different ways. Psychiatrists are medical doctors (with an MD degree) who specialize in mental health and psychiatric disorders. Psychiatrists have broad medical training, so they can test for common medical causes of depression and anxiety, including endocrine disorders, brain diseases, medications, etc. They are licensed to prescribe medications and specialize in medication treatment of depression, anxiety, and many other mental disorders. They are also trained to do psychotherapy, although many do not do much psychotherapy in their practice settings. Clinical psychologists have Ph.D. or Psy.D. degrees in psychology, but are not medical doctors, don't have training in pharmacology, and cannot prescribe medication. However, they often have more training and experience in doing psychotherapy than many psychiatrists. They also have expertise in doing psychological testing and assessment.

How does psychotherapy work in treating OCD?

One specific type of psychotherapy is very effective for treatment of OCD. It is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) called exposure and response prevention (ERP). It READ MORE
One specific type of psychotherapy is very effective for treatment of OCD. It is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) called exposure and response prevention (ERP). It has been the gold standard treatment for OCD for over 30 years. Other types of psychotherapy that don't include ERP do not work for OCD. Medications can also be quite effective for OCD. The combination of medications and ERP is the most effective treatment, especially when someone has not only OCD but also other disorders, such as depression or other anxiety disorders.