Entries by Tomer Levin

What Are The Best Antidepressants

Choosing the right antidepressant is important because antidepressants can differ greatly. There are a vast array of antidepressants and knowing where to start can be confusing.

Here are five ways that I, as a psychiatrist, think about choosing an antidepressant:

Five Ways a Psychiatrist Can Make You Richer

Emotional problems such as depression and anxiety often cause financial disarray.

Surprisingly, psychotherapy can not only make you happier but also richer. As people grow in therapy, their self-esteem, confidence and rational thinking improve.

The logical next step is to see more potential for wealth.

Here are five ways that therapy can make your richer:

Should Psychiatrists Make You Exercise?

Psychiatrists are trained to focus on emotions and medications, not physical fitness but, according to the latest research, this approach is problematic.

There are five reasons why psychiatrists should put exercise on their patients’ agenda:

Anxiety About Getting a COVID-19 Infection

With the worsening COVID-19 pandemic, people are faced with illness anxiety in the context of social isolation, economic pressure and political instability.
Given that anxiety can be adaptive or maladaptive, let’s first look at how anxiety can be helpful for coping with COVID-19 and why we have anxiety.

Should Psychiatrists Do Genetic Testing Before Prescribing?

Psychiatrists often start antidepressants based on best guesses. Is there a way to prescribe more confidently to increase the likelihood of starting the right medication the first time?

Personalized medicine involves tailoring medications to the individual based on predictions from genetic testing. Psychopharmacogenomics is how a patient’s genome interacts with psychiatric medications.

“I feel that, although it is new, psychopharmacogenomic testing is a game changer for psychiatry.”

A Psychiatrist on a Yoga Ball ?

People are often surprised to see me sitting on a yoga ball. It’s not the conventional therapist’s armchair.

My job, perhaps similar to yours, involves sitting for eight hours a day in therapy sessions. I spend additional time sitting at my computer, making calls and, prior to COVID-19, on a long commute too.

Why You Should Never Skip Your Last Therapy Session

Even though you are now feeling great, think twice about skipping your last therapy session.

Typically CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) takes 12-20 sessions. It starts with weekly therapy. Once anxiety and depression scores drop, therapy moves to consolidation appointments every 2-4 weeks followed by maintenance sessions 2-3 months apart. This means that your last session could be 3 months after the previous. Should you just skip it?

Three COVID-19 Reasons to Stop Cannabis

Although smoking marijuana is increasingly socially acceptable, the equation is not that simple when viewed from a COVID-19 psychiatric perspective

Many of us are and will be dealing with severe sickness, critically ill friends and family, and even death. Frontline workers and remote employees have significant albeit different challenges: Savings are being eroded. Unemployment and poverty are worsening. Social isolation and loneliness will further impede well-being.

We will need every inch of our brain power to deal with COVID-19, our under-resourced health system, and confusing leadership messages.

How to De-Catastrophize Your Anxiety

If you are realistically worried about coronavirus and are problem-solving effectively, you are coping well. Keep going! Research shows that moderate amounts of anxiety helps us address potential threats such as illness.

If you are paralyzed by corona-anxiety, not sleeping, functioning poorly and perpetually worried, then you need assistance. Try adding the de-catastrophizing tool to your toolbox. It’s a way to manage medical uncertainty.”, read on to find more

Prehab vs Rehab Mindsets for People with Cancer

The rehab mindset whispers, “Finish your cancer treatment and then we will send you to rehab to strengthen your body.” The prehab mindset, by contrast, is proactive. It asks, “How can I adapt to my medical challenges and maximize recovery?”, read on to find more

Should Other Doctors Have Access to Your Psychiatry Note?

At Weill Cornell Medicine where I work, regular doctors were not able to access psychiatry notes in the electronic health record (EHR). This meant primary care practitioners (PCPs) could read cardiology and oncology notes but not psychiatry notes. The only way for the PCPs to figure out what was happening with…