Appropriate Use of Benzodiazepines 5/24/2018

Millions of prescriptions are written every year for benzodiazepines which can be important therapeutic agents. In a large percentage of these cases, the provider is uncomfortable with the prescription. For this reason and many others, it is important to have a good understanding of when it might be appropriate to prescribe a benzodiazepine for a […]

Oppositional Defiant Disorder Part 1: The Nuts and Bolts 5/10/2018

In Part 1 of this 2 part series, we will discuss what Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is and how to diagnosis and treat it. The second part of this series will discuss in more detail the differential diagnosis for ODD and begin the discussion about if the diagnosis is over used in clinical practice. Oppositional […]

Is This Bipolar Disorder? 5/3/2018

Is this Bipolar Disorder? Case Presentation: 24 year old female who meets criteria for a major depressive episode is started on fluoxetine and titrated to 20mg per day. Depressive symptoms include: sad mood, hypersomnia, fatigue, poor concentration, hopelessness, and crying spells for 1 month, and the symptoms are impacting her functioning at work. She tolerated […]

Cigarette Smoking and Mental Health 4/26/2018

Rates of cigarette use are higher in persons with mental illness compared with those without mental illness, according to a federal survey conducted by the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). According to the report, about 1/3 of those with mental illness were current smokers compared […]

Mental Health Risks for LGBTQ Youth 4/19/2018

LGBTQ youth have a lot of hurdles to overcome, with the pressures of coming out, dealing with harassment and bullying, and trying to find acceptance in the world surrounding them. In part because of these stressors, they may be at higher risk for a variety of mental health concerns. So when working with an LGBTQ […]

Motivational Interviewing 4/12/2018

Motivational interviewing (MI) is a technique that can be applicable to all clinical settings including primary care. MI is defined as “a person-centered, goal-oriented approach for facilitating change by exploring and resolving ambivalence” (Miller 2006). It can be useful in situations when a patient’s behavioral choices negatively impact his health condition – examples include smoking, […]

CBD Oil: What Do We Know? 4/5/2018

Particularly with legalization of marijuana and increasing use of medical marijuana, a buzz has developed about CBD oil and many patients are asking their primary care providers about using it for various medical conditions. It can be challenging to know how to answer many of the questions, but it helps to be as up-to-date as […]

Guidelines for tapering benzodiazepines 3/29/2018

Psychological and physiological dependence on benzodiazepines can occur in as little as two weeks of daily moderate use. It can occur in the most benign of clinical situations, and it is important for providers to be aware of the risk for dependence when prescribing this class of medications. If a patient has been on a […]