For my Anxiety or Depression, Should I Use Medication or Therapy?

For my Anxiety or Depression, Should I Use Medication or Therapy?

Dr Gross was recently involved (along with Dr David A Rosen) in presenting an educational webinar on the topic of Anxiety and Depression. Presented by Neil Sideman, the co-chair of the public education committee for ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America). Topic of the webinar was For my Anxiety or Depression, Should I Use Medication or Therapy? Click on the video below to view this very informative webinar. For more information about ADAA – check out their website at www.adaa.org.

Media-Related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Media-Related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Veterans of the Vietnam War have sadly raised our awareness of the existence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).   PTSD is a chronic, sometimes lifelone condition resulting in pathological changes in mood, thinking and behavior  It can be incapacitating and lead to job loss, family turmoil and dissolution, poor quality of life and often suicide.  We now understand that the development of PTSD has its basis in enduring alterations of brain function that helps to explain the chronic and…

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“Turn on, tune out” – America’s Infatuation With Marijuana

“Turn on, tune out” – America’s Infatuation With Marijuana

Having witnessed first hand the extreme societal turbulence of the 1960s and 1970 I am struck by the striking similarities present in our current national scene. More specifically, I have been absolutely dumbfounded by the support that the “medical” marijuana movement has garnered across much of this nation. As a level headed physician whose medical belief systems are based on scientific knowledge and the credo “do no harm,” I find the groundswell of support for marijuana most troubling. In addition to the carefully studied health…

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How to better understand anxiety

How to better understand anxiety

It is safe to say that anxiety is ubiquitous. No one escapes the experience. That being said, anxiety is not necessarily pathological or an indication of a psychiatric disorder. Believe it or not, anxiety can be a necessary experience. Many of us need a certain level of anxiety to succeed because it does have a motivational value. Consider the athlete or performer who acknowledges significant anxiety before their event only to succeed admirably at their task. This is where the…

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When Can I Stop My Medication?

When Can I Stop My Medication?

Despite being a very reasonable and simple request from my patients, I find this one of the more difficult questions to answer adequately. Why is this so? The answer lies in the reality that Psychiatry remains a relatively “soft”  science. As I have previously discussed, my discipline is not as clearly defined as found in specialties like endocrinology, cardiology, etc. I will do my best in providing some basic guidelines. More detailed information may be found at the American Psychiatric Association’s “Practice Guidelines.” If one suffers…

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When To Choose Medication and When To Choose Psychotherapy?

When To Choose Medication and When To Choose Psychotherapy?

Congratulations! You have finally decided to reach out and seek help for your emotional difficulties. I know that this was not an easy decision. Despite all of our 21stcentury know-how many of us still believe that psychiatric disorders reflect personal weakness and a failure of free will. As discussed in past discussions, the first step in treatment is obtaining the proper diagnosis. You are then faced with a most important decision; should you pursue psychiatric medication or embark on a…

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Dealing With Adversity

Dealing With Adversity

We all deal with adversity. No one is spared. But one of the central challenges in a person’s transition from childhood to adulthood is learning how to cope with tough times. In this brief article I hope to highlight some of the wisdom I have learned from years of practicing my profession and living my life. Locus of control is a psychological concept that describes a core aspect of the human psyche, simply speaking, being in control. Anything that deprives…

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Medical Marijuana: A Psycho-Historical Perspective

Medical Marijuana: A Psycho-Historical Perspective

As a practicing psychiatrist on the front line of treating patients with drug abuse problems I find myself totally befuddled by the current nationwide movement to make the “prescription” of the marijuana plant legal for a variety of medical ailments. To make matters worse, it appears that the medical marijuana movement is a veiled attempt at eventually legalizing the use of marijuana. Please don’t get me wrong, I am not opposed to the development of the active ingredients of the…

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Psychiatry and Psychotherapy Working Together

Psychiatry and Psychotherapy Working Together

Of all the medical specialties, Psychiatry may be the most unique. For the most part, the science base of other medical specialties has been well established for decades. Sure, there are ongoing advances and sophistication in diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities in these specialties but the core science has remained essentially unchanged. For example, if I was a practicing endocrinologist, the clinical history and physical examination that I would pursue is rather straightforward and easily quantifiable. To add further scientific credence…

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You’re Not Crazy, You’re Sick

You’re Not Crazy, You’re Sick

Psychiatry is a unique and challenging medical specialty. If I was a cardiologist and a patient presented with chest pain, I would have a number of objective tests at my disposal to evaluate this complaint. A patient presenting to a pulmonologist complaining of shortness of breath and exercise intolerance can be sent for a chest x-ray, pulmonary function tests or a finger oximetry reading. Currently, when a patient comes to a psychiatrist’s office complaining of “depression” there are no definitive…

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