zoloft side effects women

Zoloft Side Effects in Women: What You Need to Know

By Dr. Alex Dimitriu Sertraline, also called Zoloft, is a drug known mainly as a treatment for depression. First approved in the U.S. in 1991, recently it has been prescribed nearly 40 million times per year. Although Zoloft can cause side effects in anyone, it can affect women in specific ways. Knowing about the possible side effects […]

Chess is best played calm

“Chess Is Best Played Calm.” Relaxing Stress and Anxiety to Win

By Dr. Alex Dimitriu “We suffer more in imagination than in reality.” These were the words of an ancient Roman stoic philosopher, Seneca. While he died in 65 AD, his words could not be more true now, two thousand years later. Am I Stressed or Anxious? Knowing the difference between stress and anxiety can help […]

Daymares – How to Stop Negative Thoughts (and what to do if you can’t)

By Dr. Alex Dimitriu You get an email from your boss asking you to meet later that day, and you immediately think you’ve done something wrong, and might get fired, then lose your home, then your marriage. A lab result comes back slightly off, and you immediately think you might have some serious life-threatening malady, “what […]

5 Essential Steps Towards Joy in the New Year

By Dr. Alex Dimitriu The power of positivity is a skill to be developed. Certain simple behaviors and mindsets have the power to improve your mood almost immediately. I know change takes time, and no one expects you to change completely overnight. However, as I tell my patients, it’s good to have some direction and […]

Finally… A Sleep Apnea Pill

By Alex Dimitriu MD Finding an effective pharmacologic approach to alleviating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) could revolutionize treatment of this complex, underdiagnosed, and life-threatening sleep disorder. Results of a study – the MARIPOSA trial — published in the October 2023 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine indicate a combination of two […]

Bingeing on Negative Emotions – How ADHD and Anxiety Impulsively Feed on Drama

By Dr. Alex Dimitriu Checking your phone for the 10th time this hour? You can learn a lot about yourself through observing this simple habit. People with ADHD and anxiety share the common element of impulse control. They can both be “bingey,” – and check their phones or do other things repeatedly. Shiny! Understanding the […]

Aromatherapy May Lead to a 226% Boost in Cognition

Aug 22, 2023 Dr. Dimitriu was published in Psychology Today in an article titled: Aromatherapy May Lead to a 226% Boost in Cognition You know those small vials of fragrant oils sometimes placed on a hotel pillow to calm a guest and improve sleep? Well, science says they work, even suggesting certain aromas can help […]

Better Deep Sleep May Delay or Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

June 22, 2023 Dr. Dimitriu was published in Psychology Today in an article titled: Better Deep Sleep May Delay or Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease Quality deep sleep may compensate for the cognitive dysfunction and memory impairment of Alzheimer’s disease and could become the target of future therapies, especially in early and mild cases of the disorder. That is […]

Winning The “Prior Authorization” Medication Game

By Dr. Alex Dimitriu, Mar 17, 2022 Top tips for consumers about managing medication costs Consider generic medication if possible to lower costs Check on to find the best prices and pharmacies for meds When a generic request is denied due to prior authorization, ask about the cash price Pay cash over using insurance when […]

ADHD: All About Power, Paradox, and Yes Pain, Too

January 13, 2022 Dr. Dimitriu was published in Psychology Today in an article titled: ADHD: All About Power, Paradox, and Yes Pain, Too Despite all its complexities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a neuropsychological condition characterized by disorganization, procrastination, time impairment, impulsive decision-making, “wandering attention,” and problems with self-management, might be best described in three […]

How Sleep Deprivation Impairs your Mind, Moods, Memory and Impulses

by Dr. Alex Dimitriu 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 […]

New Research Shows How Sleep Clears Toxins from the Brain

January 14, 2020. Dr. Dimitriu was published in Psychology Today about how sleep clears toxins from the brain. We’ve long known that sleep is as important to our health as good nutrition and regular exercise. Not getting enough sleep is detrimental to daytime functioning – to our mood, energy, concentration and reaction time and over […]

Agitated Depression and the High Functioning Bipolar Rockstar (of Silicon Valley)

Everyone reads the words “bipolar disorder,” and immediately thinks this cannot possibly be a “disorder” that they have. And indeed, this terminology is a bit clinical for most high functioning people who let nothing slow them down and have moved mountains to get to where they are today. Think of bipolar disorder, and one immediately […]

how much sleep do teens need?

How Much Sleep Do Teens Need?

When you look at your teenager, try to soften the lens and view him/her as an oversized toddler. We say this because the developmental changes taking place in a teen’s brain and body as the result of puberty are equivalent to the changes that take place as infants transition into toddlerhood. With that perspective, it’s […]

Night and Day: The Essential Role of Sleep Medicine

Dr. Dimitriu was published in Psychology Today on the topic of The Essential Role of Sleep Medicine. Sleep is truly the other half of our waking lives, as well as an essential half of modern psychiatry. During sleep, our brains recharge the neurotransmitters that are so important to our mood and thinking—dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, to […]

Shocking Sleep Statistics

Sleep is truly the other half of our waking lives as well as an essential half of modern psychiatry. During sleep, our brains re-charge the neurotransmitters that are so important to our mood and thinking – dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin to name a few. “If there is no gas in the tank, you can’t push […]

When Sleep Won’t Come…Do You Need Help?

By Dr. Alex Dimitriu, July 11, 2019 We all have occasional trouble sleeping. Anxiety, jet lag, something we ate, or any number of other things can have us tossing and turning restlessly now and then. Most of the time, these episodes of sleeplessness are of brief duration and with resolution of the root cause we […]

smiling depression

Smiling Depression: Masking the Pain

Smiling depression isn’t an oxymoron. It’s a serious atypical manifestation of depression in which the sufferer masks typical depressive symptoms like sadness and lethargy with the outward appearance of a happy, successful, productive life. While approximately 10 percent of the U.S. population suffers from depression, not all sufferers experience it in the same way. Typically, […]

Overcoming Insomnia Without Drugs

By Dr. Alex Dimitriu, March 12, 2019 Sleep isn’t optional. It is one of our most basic physiological needs, right up there with air, water, food, and shelter. It isn’t heroic to go without sleep and it isn’t true that many people need only four or five hours a night. Most of us need seven […]

Sleep Restriction Therapy

Sleep Restriction Therapy for Insomnia: Can Spending Less Time in Bed Help You Sleep More?

By Dr. Alex Dimitriu, March 12, 2019 Insomniacs know all about good sleep hygiene. They’ve lowered the temperature in the bedroom, hung room-darkening shades, eliminated nicotine, caffeine, and liquids before bedtime, taken warm baths, and banished electronic devices from the bedroom. Many have tried prescription sleeping pills but were groggy the next day. Natural relaxation […]

Natural Sleep Remedies

Natural Sleep Remedies: Do They Work?

By Dr. Alex Dimitriu, February 21, 2019 We all have occasional trouble sleeping. Stress, anxiety, a change in routine, something we ate, …any number of things might be responsible for a night of restless tossing and turning. For most of us, bouts of insomnia are of short duration. But for many millions of people, sleepless […]

agitated depression

Coping with Agitated Depression and “Rockstar” Histories

Millions of people experience episodes of depression every year, making it one of our most common mental disorders. Although its symptoms may look similar, clinical depression differs in its intensity and duration from the ordinary sadness that we all experience from time to time. Sadness triggered by a loss, disappointment, or a major life change […]

reducing anti-anxiety medications

Reducing Anti-Anxiety Medications : Risks and Rewards

By Alex Dimitriu, MD, January 22, 2019 With anxiety disorders ranking as the most common mental illness in the United States – affecting 18% of the adult population every year – perhaps it’s not surprising that more than 1 in 10 Americans take antidepressants, the class of medications used most often to combat anxiety.

Is There a Place for CBD in Treating Insomnia?

By: Alex Dimitriu, MD, January 6, 2019 With the rise in states legalizing the use of both medicinal and recreational marijuana, more attention is now being given to a component of the cannabis plant that’s been scrutinized for decades – CBD, or cannabidiol. But far from seeking a “high,” many of those giving fresh consideration […]

Overcoming the Stigma of Psychiatric Medication

By Dr. Alex Dimitriu, 12/20/18 Even as the stigma associated with mental illness has – thankfully – dissipated over the last decade, millions of people still fail to get the help they need because the stigma around the medication that can alleviate their suffering endures. Fueled in part by celebrities talking about their struggles with […]

Anxiety Disorders: When to Worry about Anxiety

By Dr. Alex Dimitriu, 12/13/18 We all worry. Occasional anxiety is part of everyday life –- an upcoming test, a job interview, a troubled relationship –- and anxiety may have a beneficial effect, helping us focus and problem-solve by studying for the test, preparing for the interview, or working on the relationship. But for millions […]

Combining Insomnia, Depression Treatment May Improve Outcome By Lynne Lamberg

In people with both depression and insomnia, determining which disorder surfaced first may be key to improving clinical care. Studying the timing of emergence of symptoms in people with both depression and insomnia may help identify differences in patients’ clinical presentation and aid treatment decisions, according to experts at the joint meeting of the American Academy of […]

Seasonal Affective Disorder and the Risk of Addiction

By Laura Baker: Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that occurs only during certain times of the year. Most people will experience SAD during the winter due to lack of sunlight and the consequential lack of vitamin D, though spring and summer SAD also can occur. As with most mental illnesses, SAD creates […]

Less Stressful Holiday Hosting

The holiday season is upon us. Along with the season, come many friends, family, trips, and social gatherings. The holidays can certainly be a spirited, nostalgic time that many look forward to. But the holidays can also be trying times for many people, especially those who deal with overwhelming stress and anxiety during this time of year. […]

L-Methylfolate For Depression

In an ongoing search to find increasingly effective treatments for depression, nutritional supplements often come up as a relatively benign, and possibly effective option. One supplement that has received significant attention is folic acid – readily available over the counter, and Deplin (L-methylfolate). Folic acid is converted to L-methylfolate, which is believed to play a […]

Weight Loss And Happiness – Serotonin And The Carbohydrate Connection

The bread rolls at restaurants may actually help you eat less… Serotonin is an essential neurotransmitter – and acted upon by many commonly known anti-depressants which boost its levels. It has a myriad of effects- ranging from creating a feeling of satiety, sleep, mood, anxiety,  pain, blood pressure, and sense of overall calm. The highest […]

A Concise Review Of Behavioral Approaches To Insomnia

From the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Below is the current recommendations for behavioral treatment of insomnia. Common Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies for Chronic Insomnia Stimulus control (Standard) is designed to extinguish the negative association between the bed and undesirable outcomes such as wakefulness, frustration, and worry. These negative states are frequently conditioned in response […]

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