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Photo by Vimal Vora, courtesy of Harper Collins.

Dr. Ellen Vora is board-certified in psychiatry and integrative holistic medicine.

Anxiety affects more than 40 million Americans—a number that continues to climb in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. While conventional medicine tends to view anxiety as a “neck-up” problem—that is, one of brain chemistry and psychology—acclaimed psychiatrist Dr. Ellen Vora believes the origins of anxiety are rooted in the body. She is a holistic psychiatrist who takes a functional medicine approach to mental health, considering the whole person and addressing the problem at the root, rather than reflexively prescribing medication to suppress symptoms.

In her practice, Dr. Vora says she uses a holistic process, focusing on everything from physical health, sleep, nutrition, digestion, thought patterns, relationships and community, to our connection with nature, creativity and purpose. In her book The Anatomy of Anxiety: Understanding and Overcoming the Body's Fear Response she offers a groundbreaking understanding of how anxiety manifests in the body and mind—and what we can do to overcome it.

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In her clinical work, Dr. Vora has found that symptoms of anxiety can often be traced to imbalances in the body. The emotional and physical discomfort we experience—sleeplessness, brain fog, stomach pain, jitters—is a result of the body’s stress response. In this episode of Watching America, Dr. Vora discusses her book with host Dr. Alan Campell and shares ways to identify and overcome sources of stress and anxiety, methods to sleep better and the role Vitamin D plays in our mental and physical health. 

Dr. Vora received her B.A. from Yale University and her M.D. from Columbia University, and she is board-certified in psychiatry and integrative holistic medicine. You can learn more about her work on her website. You can also find her on Instagram and YouTube.

Listen to the full conversation.