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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Get over it!



This last month President Obama stated that we Americans need to get over the stigma of mental illness. Since then, there has been a shooting here in Santa Monica, right down the street from my office at Santa Monica College.

As a psychiatrist, I’m with the Pres on this. Life is hard but it shouldn't be that hard. If it is, there might be a mental issue that is affecting you and is easy to treat.

Often I see patients with a constellation of symptoms like poor sleep or nervousness or feeling stuck in some ground hog day mode. People think it's crazy;  no matter what they do, they are not performing at work or school or meeting realistic goals. I do very little of CRAZY. Seriously.

If your heart was skipping a beat you might notice headache, light headiness and feeling out of breath. Your doctor might tell to you to start an anti-arrhythmic drug to restore a normal heart beat. Your brain is no different. The medications I use restore normal brain functions, which are normal thoughts, emotions and behaviors. There are no artificial states. All medications work, it’s a matter of finding something that works and has no side effects for you.

Medications just alleviate symptoms. Once you can sleep, think and stop crying, I then get you involved in psychotherapy whether it’s with me or a therapist to learn better coping skills. The skills you learned 10 years ago might not be working now. So we get new skills. It’s always about the skills, not the meds.

So get real, get a grip and get WELL.



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