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 […]

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 […]

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.  […]

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 […]

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 […]

COVID-19: Tales of the “Good, the Bad and the Ugly”

May 14, 2020. Dr. Dimitriu was published in Psychology Today about COVID-19: Tales of the “Good, the Bad and the Ugly” Awaking without an alarm. Working from home — in pajamas, no less. Connecting with colleagues, friends and relatives — frequently and virtually — through an app and click of a mouse. Long commutes in rush-hour […]

Home Office Syndrome

Apr 13, 2020. Dr. Dimitriu was published in Psychology Today about “Home Office Syndrome.” “There’s no place like home.” Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz certainly believed it, but many of the millions now required to work from home for seemingly endless weeks because of the COVID-19 pandemic might disagree.  In fact, those unable to cope with the […]

Sleep ‘Sweeps’ Mind of ‘Monsters;’ Helps Fight Dementia

March 25, 2020. Dr. Dimitriu was published in Psychology Today about the connection between sleep and dementia “I’ve always envied people who sleep easily. Their brains must be cleaner, the floorboards of the skull well swept; All the little monsters closed up in a steamer trunk at the foot of the bed.” This simple quote from […]

The Erosive Power of ADHD: Tips for Adults

February 19, 2020 Dr. Dimitriu was published in Psychology Today on the topic of ADHD in adults. ADHD isn’t just for kids. While attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder is now well recognized and commonly diagnosed in children, less attention has been focused on the fact that about half of these children carry some of the symptoms of ADHD into […]

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 […]

Is It Postpartum Depression or the “Baby Blues”?

November 14, 2019. Dr. Dimitriu was published in Psychology Today about Postpartum Depression. Giving birth is one of the most joyous experiences of a woman’s life. Everybody says so. Family, friends, books, magazine articles. Everything she knows has prepared her for the elation that will accompany the arrival of her baby. And yet, within days […]

Is It Bipolar Disorder or Borderline Personality Disorder?

10/22/19. Dr. Dimitriu was published in Psychology on the topic of bipolar vs borderline personality disorder. Diagnosing psychiatric illness isn’t easy. There’s usually no lab test, physical indication, or quantitative measurement that can distinguish one illness from another and often no magic bullet that can ensure effective treatment. Clinicians are dependent on a description of […]

Is “Ego Fatigue” Sabotaging Your Willpower?

9/24/19. Dr. Dimitriu was published in Psychology on the topic of Sleep and Memory: How They Work Together. For many people, just getting through the day is a monumental struggle. Those suffering from anxiety, depression, and ADHD must fight to control their impulses simply to function and stay on task through a day of work […]

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 […]

Sleep and Memory: How They Work Together

Dr. Dimitriu was published in Psychology Today on the topic of Sleep and Memory: How They Work Together. Medieval philosopher Thomas Aquinas once wrote that “sorrow can be alleviated by good sleep.” Now, scientists are learning he was not far from the truth.  A study published in July 2019 in the journal Current Biology indicates a […]

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 […]

Fixing Sleep, Greatly Improves Depression Outcomes

CPAP therapy reduces symptoms of depression in adults with sleep apnea DARIEN, IL – A new study shows that depressive symptoms are extremely common in people who have obstructive sleep apnea, and these symptoms improve significantly when sleep apnea is treated with continuous positive airway pressure therapy. Results show that nearly 73 percent of sleep […]

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 […]

Pachamama – Celebrating Earth Day 2018

In a time of rapid change, and the decline of things sacred, our quiet time, our families, the nature around us, it is no surprise that anxiety and depression are as prevalent as they are. Indeed these conditions emerge, as we get further and further from our natural selves. We are indeed blessed to be […]

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. […]

The Connection Between Memory And Sleep

Through much of my training at Stanford, we often saw young patients come in complaining “doctor I think I have early Alzheimer’s.” They would forget entire movies or important events, forget why they walked into rooms, and at minimum had tremendous trouble remembering names and paying attention in conversations. A lot of times, these patients […]

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 […]

Finally, A Truly New Sleep Medication…

The FDA has recently approved a new sleep medication – Suvorexant – which works as a orexin receptor blocker. What is orexin? This is a key switch that keeps us awake, and is low in people with narcolepsy – so temporarily blocking it will put you to sleep. Because orexin is “the master switch” for […]

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 […]