Sunday, November 11, 2007
I often get questions about what can be done, in addition to medical therapies, to help with depression. Here are a couple of recommendations. First and foremost, regular and full sleep is perhaps the most important factor in preventing manic episodes and it has been shown to contribute to preventing depressive relapses. Another excellent tool is exercise, particularly exercise that promotes overall wellness and meditation, such as yoga. The fitness center website at McLean Hospital in Cambridge, Mass. has two good articles on the topic. In addition, adding omega-3 fatty acids -- found in fish and fish oil, as well as flax seed oil -- can be of great assistance. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry has a nice piece on omega-3s.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Good news -- I'm taking my life coaching work to one of the area's fastest growing psychological and psychiatric practices, Ashburn Psychological Services, a team of psychological and psychiatric professionals in Ashburn, Va. The team is run by Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D, a well-regarded clinical psychologist, his wife, Liz, a financial wunderkind. The other clinician-contractors are: Mehul V. Mankad, M.D., a adult and forensic psychiatrist who was the former chief resident at Duke University, is considered one of the two top area psychiatrists by members of the bipolar support groups (he blends medication management and psychotherapy in a manner that is rare these days; and his ; Susan Hamilton, PhD., a psychologist who is well-regarded by members of the group who have been treated by her and a former mental health chief at the American Red Cross; Margaret Wong, PhD., a very funny and nice child psychologist that I had met several months before when Michael helped the Depression Bipolar Support Alliance-Northern Virginia sponsor a free depression screening day and several soon-to-be-colleagues I have yet to meet, Michelle Moody, Eds., a school psychologist, David Angelich, Psy.D, a psychologist, Christopher Clark, LCSW, a therapist, William Ling, PhD. and one of the ares's only neuropsychologists and Jay Lucker, Ed.D a noted speech-language pathologist and audiologist. I'm the one and only life coach, and the idea is a bit of an experiment -- the idea is to supplement the mental health services that the masters' and PhD, licensed clinicians offer with one-on-one peer support. I've got to give Michael a lot of credit for giving it a try.
Update (1/5/09): Things are going really well at the practice. Michael's idea that we could add peer support as a complimentary service as been proven spot-on as I've expanded from working just with those with bipolar, depression and their families, and have taken on a number of clients with career problems, substance abuse problems, attention deficit disorder, pervasive developmental disorders (autism and aspergers), motivation and other areas. Most of my clients are also seeing either a psychiatrist or therapist (sometimes both) in and outside the practice, and teaming up with these professionals has been rewarding for me and my clients.
I've been able to work on a number of cases with Dr. Oberschneider, Dr. Mankad and Ms. Moody. The practice has also added a number of additional clinicians, several of whom I've begun to work with on client cases, including Margirita Avedisian, PhD., an adult and adolescent psychologist with a nice theraputic touch and an eye for sending people with substance abuse problems and attention deficit disorder to me; Dr. Sabah M. Hadi, who has connected me with a number of substance abuse, depressed, bipolar, motivation and people with developmental disorders; Dr. Amy Gordon, a bright nueropsychologist who has joined the terms and whose testing and reports have been extremely helpful roadmaps for change to my clients who have seen her. I've also been referring 100 percent of my non-career clients who need psychological or psychiatric help, and its nice to have such a big team -- individuals whose exterprise you know well and who you can answer questions about -- to refer them to. A full list of the APS cliniicans can be found here. Onward!