812, 2020

High Functioning vs. Low Functioning Anxiety

December 8th, 2020|Categories: Mental Health|

Anxiety is a mood disorder that affects 18.1% of Americans each year according to ADAA. Though the holidays are an extremely hectic time that can cause elevated stress, what about the almost ¼ of Americans that suffer year long? As prevalent as anxiety is, there are many individuals that go undiagnosed and untreated due to the phenomenon of “high-functioning” versus “low functioning” anxiety. The symptoms of both types are the same: extreme worry and fear that can lead to a myriad of physical symptoms such as increased heart rate, gastrointestinal issues, and sleep issues. The difference lies in the ability to [...]

311, 2020

Gratefulness During COVID-19

November 3rd, 2020|Categories: COVID-19, Depression, Mental Health|

The month of November ushers in the holiday season- usually a time of intense productivity and togetherness. These things bring stressors and COVID-19 adds layers of emotion to this already stressful period. We are all dealing with some sort of loss as we wrap up the year and it is fitting that the holidays are a culmination of these losses. The holidays provide a sense of structure for many of us.  We expect the permanency of Thanksgiving feasts, presents under the tree, and the lighting of the menorah or kinara. COVID-19 has adjusted these innate schemas and we can’t rely on [...]

810, 2020

Mood Cycles

October 8th, 2020|Categories: COVID-19, Mental Health|

As we approach the fall and winter seasons, some people will experience mood changes. Seasonal change can trigger depression, anxiety, and irritability for some individuals. In the fall, the days are shorter and darker, which can lead to mood shifts. As the weather gets colder, we tend to hibernate and be less active. This can sometimes cause vitamin deficiencies and inflammation. Many of my patients will come to me concerned that they have bipolar disorder due to seasonal mood shifts. Sometimes, they will fall down the Google rabbit hole. Bipolar disorder requires a psychiatric work up and is not only associated [...]

1109, 2020

Feeling Overwhelmed

September 11th, 2020|Categories: COVID-19, Depression, Mental Health|

It is September and many of us (including myself) are feeling overwhelmed.  For those with kids, schools have started, which normally would be a huge relief, but for so many parents during Covid, its additional stress since kids are now homeschooled.  For those without kids, you might feel overwhelmed by your work during Covid.  Several companies are on a hiring freeze and some of you may be doing the work of two or more people.  Also, if you are working from home, it may be challenging to know when to stop answering work emails, now that the line of professional and [...]

1108, 2020

Grief and Guilt During A Pandemic

August 11th, 2020|Categories: COVID-19, Grief|

As we enter our sixth month of quarantine, the most common phrase I hear is “I miss my old life” quickly followed by “I feel guilty for saying that since I’m lucky to be alive”. During times of crisis and change, it is natural to feel grief. Most people associate grief with death, but grief can be defined as any type of loss that is difficult to process or accept. We don’t tend to process grief very easily in our society. Sometimes we put those feelings on the back burner and focus on distracting ourselves with tasks or work. It feels [...]

207, 2020

Your Self Worth Is Not Tied to Your Job

July 2nd, 2020|Categories: Self Worth|

Now more than ever, people are being laid off or furloughed from their jobs.  For many of you, this can feel like a punch in the gut.  Not only because of the overwhelming financial worries, but also because you may feel like your job defines you.  For some a job is simply a “job that pays the bills” but for lots of you, it is your career.  Something you have dedicated lots of time and energy towards.  Sometimes it is your whole purpose for getting out bed- So, in this time of Covid 19, when your job is uncertain, now what? [...]

106, 2020

The 6 Cs of Development During COVID-19

June 1st, 2020|Categories: COVID-19, Mental Health|

I’m excited to share this blog with you.  Dr. Audrey Prus is an expert in child development, particularly for middle school aged children (please see her bio at the end of the blog).  She also happens to be my mom.  She created an important tool for character development and self-reflection for my middle school aged kids and I thought it needed to be shared.  Especially, since most kids and parents will be stuck at home this summer and have downtime to focus on themselves.  My son, Jake (age 13), described it as “a way to honestly reflect on yourself and see [...]

105, 2020

How to Understand and Overcome Low Self Confidence

May 1st, 2020|Categories: Mental Health|

Diane scheduled her first psychiatric appointment because she “was tired of struggling with low self-confidence”.  She reports that she had been missing out on work opportunities and feeling “overlooked” for promotions.  At first, she thought it was because her boss was “friends” with some of her co-workers but as she began to analyze the situation, she realized this had happened in other jobs with different bosses.  It became apparent that something was “missing within myself”.  She felt she was as equally skilled and qualified as her fellow co-workers, but “lacked self-confidence”.  She often clammed up in meetings and dismissed her hard [...]

304, 2020

Medications for Depression -The Good, the Bad, the Nitty Gritty

April 3rd, 2020|Categories: Depression|

I’m positive that most of my patients don’t want to be on medication. In fact, that’s what most of them tell me the first time that we meet. Honestly, I appreciate their candor. As humans, it doesn’t feel natural or authentic to take a medication every day of our lives. This goes for blood pressure, cholesterol, thyroid, and many other medications that are taken daily to control various areas of the body. Yet, when I ask my patients if they would hesitate to take a blood pressure pill every day, most of them say “no”. So, why is it so difficult [...]

203, 2020

CBD Oil – Is It Ok for Psychiatric Problems?

March 2nd, 2020|Categories: Depression, Mental Health|

In recent months, many of my patients are wondering if CBD oil is a viable medical alternative for anxiety and depression.  Prior to six months ago, I rarely thought about it.  However, it seems that the marketing has picked up and there are signs, flyers, and numerous products touting the major benefits of CBD.  Whether its topical, oral, or vapor, it appears to be jumping in popularity. CBD is cannabidiol.  It comes from the hemp plant. It does not contain THC, so there is no risk of “getting high”. It is the second most active ingredient in the marijuana plant. As [...]

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