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Pleased to meet you

          United States

I am an academic psychiatrist working at University of California Irvine, where I see patients, teach and do clinical and brain imaging research. I completed my medical studies in Romania and my residency training at Yale University. I have the following conflict of interest: I spend quite a bit of time studying new psychiatric medications and while I am not paid directly by any drug company I might be unconsciously biased (either pro or against) psychotropic drugs I might have directly studied.

I believe that modern psychiatry should be informed by a bio-psycho-socio-cultural model. Biology is a necessary but not sufficient ingredient in understanding what makes a human being tick. The fact that mind is not separated from the body goes both ways.  On one hand, biology informs psychology. Thus we need to continue to work on improving our biological interventions, especially when it comes to the treatment of severe mental illness. At the same time, psychology equally informs biology. There is a wealth of data substantiating both the ravaging effects of stress as well as the beneficial effects of psychotherapy or contemplative techniques not only on the brain but also on our metabolic, respiratory, cardio-vascular and immune systems. Further, no individual is an island. Humans are first and foremost social beings. It is no surprise then that social isolation, competitiveness, and stress mitigate psycho-pathology in ways that are an important as biological risk.

As a result, I believe that we should be equally invested in understanding not only the biological, but also the psychological and sociocultural substrate of mental distress. In addition to searching for better medications, we should also look at measures supporting psychological health through educational, political and social reform. Which is this blog's agenda.

My goal is to present a balanced perspective on the complex issues that arise from my daily practice of psychiatry.

This blog is dedicated to my patients who are on the forefront of our war on mental illness.

Disclaimer: While I am a professor of psychiatry at UC Irvine the views expressed here are my own and do not in anyway represent  UC Irvine. This blog is not intended to be used as a source for medical advice or recommendations. 

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