Can’t Remember What You Discussed in Therapy?

July 26, 2021. Dr. Dimitriu was published in Psychology Today in an article titled:

Can’t Remember What You Discussed in Therapy?

Have you had the experience where you can’t remember what you discussed in your recent therapy session? Blame it on sleep deprivation, increasing cases of depression and anxiety disorders, or the past social isolation forced on us by the COVID-19 pandemic. Blame it on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or the general sameness of our lives and on what psychologists refer to as “Groundhog Day” syndrome. Something seems to be affecting our memories—individually and collectively. We are a people increasingly struggling with problems of concentration, inattention, lack of focus, forgetfulness.

Click HERE for the full article.

Does Nature or Nurture Determine Your Personality?

June 10, 2021. Dr. Dimitriu was published in Psychology Today in an article titled:

Does Nature or Nurture Determine Your Personality?

Blame it on your parents (nature). Blame it on your friends (nurture). But, in truth, you can probably blame your personality on both. Is the development of human personalities the result of inherited genetic traits from parents or the layering of years of experiences through interaction with the surrounding environment (including friends) — nature versus nurture? Scientists have been arguing about this question for centuries. In fact, as far back as 400 BC, Hippocrates emphasized the commanding role of nature, when he identified four biological fluids – yellow bile, black bile, phlegm, and blood – as underlying the various classifications of all human behavior. That aside, thanks to 21st-century science and technology, the truer answer to personality may well be found in a seminal study published December 2017 in Nature Neuroscience.

Click HERE for the full article.

How Sleep Deprivation Impairs your Mind, Moods & Memory

May 11, 2021. Dr. Dimitriu was published in Psychology Today in an article titled: “How Sleep Deprivation Impairs your Mind, Moods & Memory

Pioneering sleep scientist William Dement once called sleep deprivation “the most common brain impairment.” The research is proving him right.

Authors of the latest sleep study, just published (April 2021) in the journal Nature Communications, find that “persistent” sleep deprivation during the midlife years – 50s, 60s, up to age 70 – is associated with a 30 percent greater chance for developing dementia.  And this increase is independent of other sociodemographic, physical, behavioral, and mental health variables, according to the researchers.

Click HERE for the full article.

The SSRI Experience: Part 1 of 30 days on psychiatric medications

April 5, 2021. Dr. Dimitriu was published in Psychology Today in an article titled: “The SSRI Experience: Part 1 of 30 days on psychiatric medications”

Depression will affect up to 20% of people at some point in their lives. That number is tremendous! So few people seek help, and so many more suffer quietly, either not recognizing something is wrong, or not doing anything about it. The brain is a far more complex organ than the eye, and even the eye needs help. Seventy-five percent of adults use some sort of vision correction. According to a World Health Organization study, one-half of anxiety disorders are actually recognized, and then, only one-third of the people are offered treatment. That’s 1 in 6 people with anxiety who are actually treated. Taking psych meds can unfortunately still carry unnecessary stigma these days, and some doubt whether they work altogether.

Click HERE for the full article.

 

 

A Little Bit of Anxiety Can Do a Whole Lot of Good

March 17, 2021. Dr. Dimitriu was published in Psychology Today in an article titled: “A Little Bit of Anxiety Can Do a Whole Lot of Good”

Anxious?  Well, that may be a good thing – in moderation.

Experts say anxiety increases a person’s arousal to the point where motivation, performance, and the ability to complete difficult tasks or activities are significantly enhanced. Too much of it, though, leads to neurological, psychological, and even physical disorders; too little of it might encourage an “It-don’t-matter-that-much” attitude, causing distractedness, disorganization underachievement, and lack of ardor to do a job well.

Click HERE for the full article.

The Essential Role of Sleep in Immunity

February 18, 2021. Dr. Dimitriu was published in Psychology Today in an article titled: “The Essential Role of Sleep in Immunity”.

Want to ensure your vaccination offers the greatest protection against COVID-19? Sleep—and sleep well—before and after your vaccine appointment, because natural sleep boosts the immune system significantly.

Click HERE for the full article.

Is It Just the COVID-19 Blues or Is It Depression?

January 27, 2021. Dr. Dimitriu was published in Psychology Today in an article titled: “Is It Just the COVID-19 Blues or Is It Depression?”

“Don’t wish it away. Don’t look at it like it’s forever. Between you and me, I could honestly say that things can only get better.”

These words from Elton John’s song “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues” may be good advice for many of us who have become a bit stir crazy after being cooped up at home for months, compliments of the unrelenting COVID-19 viral pandemic. But what exactly are “the blues?” Do they constitute a mental health disease – like anxiety disorder or clinical depression — requiring professional therapy? Or do those feelings of sadness, loneliness, anxiousness, pessimism, and melancholy ascribed to “the blues” represent simply a transitory “psychological state of mind,” in this case, one effected by the confinement, social isolation, and repetitive daily sameness wrought by the virus?

Click HERE for the full article.

When Is It Too Much? Managing OCD During COVID

December 22, 2020. Dr. Dimitriu was published in Psychology Today in an article titled: “When Is It Too Much? Managing OCD During COVID”

Imagine trying to tell yourself not to think about the coronavirus. Impossible, right? But everyday virus prevention measures such as handwashing and physical distancing also happen to overlap tremendously with the type of circular thinking and repetitive behaviors known all too well by those with obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD.

Click HERE for the full article.

“I’m not anxious, I just don’t sleep well” Part 2: The spectrum of anxiety—jumpy people

November 05, 2020. Dr. Dimitriu was published in Psychology Today in an article titled: “I’m not anxious, I just don’t sleep well”.

The Spectrum of Anxiety: Jumpy People

Anxiety comes in many different flavors, and it helps to think of it as a natural spectrum that can range from functional to mild to severe. Let’s start with the scariest first.

Panic attacks are in my opinion the most severe form — these are brief periods of “impending doom,” palpitations, and the kind of fear that makes you think to go to the ER.

Click HERE for the full article.

“I’m Too Anxious to Get Better” Part 1: Anxious people are terrible at helping themselves.

Oct 27, 2020. Dr. Dimitriu was published in Psychology Today in an article titled: “I’m Too Anxious to Get Better”

Living with anxiety is like driving a car without shock absorbers: Everything is a big deal, always hurried, easily overwhelmed, and rarely happy. Some people don’t understand that life doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some useful tips I’ve gathered over years of working as a psychiatrist:

“I feel terrible, but also really good sometimes. Wine helps!”

Anxious people are terrible at helping themselves. An interesting part of my work is seeing people with anxiety who don’t think they have anxiety. The thought of “needing help” makes anxious people more anxious. They are often determined to not show weakness (even to themselves) and to just to push forward with business as usual.

Click HERE for the full article.

Perfectionism and Anxiety: When the Enemy of Good is Better

October 13, 2020. Dr. Dimitriu was published in Psychology Today in an article titled: “Perfectionism and Anxiety: When the Enemy of Good is Better”

Most people aim to do well at whatever they set out to accomplish – whether as parents, partners, professionals, students, volunteers, or friends. But there’s a group for whom doing well simply isn’t good enough. Perfectionists won’t stop until everything they touch is “flawless.” The definition of this may vary by person, but for perfectionists it means they relentlessly obsess over their efforts and results.

Click HERE for the full article.

Seven Hours of Sleep the New Gold Standard?

September 18, 2020. Dr. Dimitriu was published in Psychology Today in an article titled: Seven Hours of Sleep the New Gold Standard?

“The amount of sleep required by the average person is five minutes more.” Those words — from playwright Wilson Mizener — represent one answer to the conundrum: How much sleep is needed each day for maximum performance and overall good health? Although experts continue to debate the issue of what constitutes “healthy sleep,” increasing research indicates that seven hours or less – not eight hours – may be the new gold standard.

Click HERE for the full article.

Stressed! Is it them or is it me?

August 11, 2020. Dr. Dimitriu was published in Psychology Today in an article titled: Stressed! Is it them or is it me?

Ongoing problems with co-workers? Constant arguments with family members at home? Few friends because most people you meet are simply inferior, unintelligent idiots, who are usually to blame for the stressors in your life.  All the world seems full of jerks, and they are in your face. To quote Dark Helmet from the movie Spaceballs, “I am surrounded by a-holes.”Ever consider the real problem may be you?

Click HERE for the full article.

Existential Crisis: Grappling With the ‘Monster’ in All of Us

July 17, 2020. Dr. Dimitriu was published in Psychology Today in an article titled: Existential Crisis: Grappling With the ‘Monster’ in All of Us

Human rejection, a sense of worthlessness, and an introspective struggle with the central questions – Who am I? Why was I created? What is the meaning of life? – drove Frankenstein’s monster on a murderous rampage.  Though the monster may simply be a work of fiction, its same issues are helping foment increasing mental health crises in this country, crises that have no physiological basis but can lead to hopelessness, depression and, particularly among the young, even suicide.

Click HERE for the full article.

Groudhog Day – Burnout in the time of COVID

June 19, 2020. Dr. Dimitriu was published in Psychology Today in an article titled: Groudhog Day – Burnout in the time of COVID.

Too many people have brought up the term “Groundhog day,” to not mention it formally. You wake up each day tired. The day ahead seems like a multi-stage triathlon. You want to stay in bed, and yet you cannot just fall back asleep. You just want to be left alone. Every little thing seems like a big deal. Including, even planning for a vacation. You are not really excited for the weekend. It’s all a monotonous blur with maybe a brief silver lining as you sip from a glass of wine once the dishes are done. “Is this my life until I die?” you ask yourself. This is becoming an all too common story. Exacerbated by COVID, but also a part of daily life for many people before the pandemic ever happened. Some will call this an existential crisis… “what am I doing here? I can’t wait to retire… wait… what am I wishing for?!” 

Click HERE for the full article.