|HARISH KAVIRAJAN, M.D., F.A.P.A
Adult and Geriatric Psychiatry
Dr. Kavirajan is a Board Certified psychiatrist specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of adult and geriatric patients.
He is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, with board certification in both general adult
psychiatry and geriatric psychiatry.
Dr. Kavirajan graduated magna cum laude with highest honors in the Comparative Study of Religion from Harvard
University. He received his medical degree from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He
completed internship at Stanford, then residency in adult psychiatry and fellowship in geriatric psychiatry at the UCLA
Dr. Kavirajan has been practicing in Orange County since 2003, but has remained involved in teaching as voluntary
faculty. He has taught in the UCLA Anxiety Disorder Clinic (specialty clinic for treatment of OCD; panic disorder; social
anxiety disorder; trichotillomania); the UCLA Mood Disorder Clinic; and the Greater Los Angeles VA Medical Center
Geriatric Psychiatry and Memory Disorders Clinics. In addition, he has served as a member of the Orange County
Alzheimer's Association scientific/medical advisory panel and the American Psychiatric Association's Council on Geriatric
Since 2014, Dr. Kavirajan has served as an Associate Editor for psychiatric topics for Cochrane Clinical Answers, a
web-based resource that provides brief, clinically focused summaries of evidence-based reviews on management of
various medical conditions.
Particular areas of expertise are OCD and related disorders (trichotillomania, skin picking, hoarding), anxiety disorders
(panic, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety), mood disorders (bipolar, unipolar depression, pre-menstrual mood
disorder), psychotic disorders (schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder), ADHD, insomnia, anger management. In
addition, as a geriatric psychiatrist, Dr. Kavirajan has expertise in diagnosis and treatment of late-life mood, anxiety and
psychotic disorders and dementia (Alzheimer's, vascular, Lewy body/Parkinson's, frontotemporal).
Psychiatric disorders result from a complex interaction between biological (e.g., genetics), psychological (i.e., patterns of
thinking; life experiences), and social (e.g., relationships, work) factors resulting in altered brain function. Fortunately,
however, since the brain is highly plastic, as a growing body of scientific evidence has demonstrated, psychiatric disorders
are readily treatable. The goal of psychiatric treatment is to modify brain function, or rewire the brain, using a
combination of specific psychological and biological methods.
Effective treatment begins with a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation, investigating current symptoms and reviewing
past treatment history, medical history and recent test results, and family history. In addition, a careful exploration of
thoughts, behaviors and life factors contributing to maintenance of the symptoms will be undertaken.
Each patient's treatment plan must be highly individualized treatment plan based on the diagnostic assessment.
Depending on the case, the plan may include ordering additional diagnostic tests (blood tests, brain scans) and
evidence-based psychotherapy (e.g., ERP for OCD; other specialized CBT approaches for depression, panic, ADHD)
and/or medication therapy.
Treatment is most effective when there is a collaborative relationship between patient and doctor/therapist.
6 VENTURE, SUITE 125
IRVINE, CA 92618