Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Meditation for Panic Disorder

Psychiatrist Susan Turner

Through her private practice in New York City, psychiatrist Dr. Susan Turner routinely treats patients who struggle with panic disorder. Dr. Susan Turner often incorporates meditation and mindfulness into her treatment plans for these individuals.

Characterized by intense feelings of fear and co-occurring physical distress, panic attacks can be both frightening and debilitating. The sensations of breathlessness, chest pain, and heart palpitations often make the patient feel as though he or she is having a heart attack or another serious medical condition. An attack can last for 10 minutes or more, and many people experience recurring attacks that leave them fearful of the next.

Once diagnosed, panic disorder can be extremely responsive to such conventional treatments as medication or cognitive behavioral therapy. Many patients also benefit from such supplemental lifestyle therapies as meditation, which can help to prevent as well as treat a panic attack.

In giving an individual a point of focus and a directive, meditation is effective in teaching the person to be more aware of fearful thoughts. This in turn can help the person learn to control those thoughts instead of being controlled by them, and this difference can in some patients help to stave off a panic attack.

Similarly, patients who are already in the grip of a panic attack may find that meditation helps to redirect a racing mind, while also reducing physical tension. In time, the breath and heart rate slow down, and blood pressure decreases. This helps to reduce some of the physical symptoms of panic attacks, just as the mental focus helps the person to feel more in command of his or her own mind and body.

Dr. Susan Turner of New York

Dr. Susan Turner of New York from Dr. Susan Turner on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Complex Interactions between Bipolar Disorder and Diabetes

Dr. Susan Turner

Dr. Susan Turner is a respected psychiatrist who sees individuals at her office in New York’s Flatiron District and undertakes home visits for patients with limited mobility. Dr. Susan Turner has extensive experience treating individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder, particularly in tandem with diabetes.

As reported in the Psychiatric Times in 2015, neuro-imaging studies of bipolar disorder do not generate consistent brain-change data. This may be due in part to the existence of a number of co-morbidities, with diabetes or pre-diabetes affecting more than half of bipolar patients. Not coincidentally, the leading cause of mortality associated with bipolar disorder is cardiovascular disease.

Complicating the issue of bipolar disorder and diabetes is that those with this pairing typically experience a more severe form of mental illness than those without, and often do not respond to standard bipolar treatment. Research findings suggest that hippocampal atrophy, associated with diabetes, may additionally contribute to bipolar disorder’s neuro-progressive nature.

Dr. Turner understands the complex ways in which these two disorders interact and has extensive knowledge of the medications and treatments options for addressing a challenging bipolar-diabetes combination.

Friday, March 10, 2017

An Overview of Panic Disorder

Susan Turner

Dr. Susan Turner practices as an independent psychiatrist in New York City, where she sees patients both in her Fifth Avenue office and in private homes. Dr. Susan Turner comes to her work with diverse experience in developing individualized treatment plans for panic disorder.

Categorized as an anxiety disorder, the condition known as panic disorder occurs when intense feelings of fear arise suddenly and for no externally appreciable reason. With little to no warning, the patient experiences a combination of physical sensations that are both unnerving and debilitating. The heart can pound, the patient may feel as though he or she cannot breathe, and the body may begin to shake.

Many patients with panic disorder also report that during an attack, their fingers and toes become numb and they begin to sweat. The intensity of this experience often makes patients feel as though they are experiencing a medical emergency or an emotional breakdown. 

Because these attacks are so debilitating, patients begin to fear having another episode. They often respond by avoiding situations and places that have prompted an attack in the past, and this avoidance can significantly interfere with their ability to function. Patients often find that a combination of medication and psychotherapy can improve symptoms and reduce the negative effect on their daily living, particularly when combined with a healthy sleep and exercise regimen.

Brain Activity During a Panic Attack

Panic Attacks on Stage Photo by  Victor Rodvang  on  Unsplash An alumnus of Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, Dr. Susan Turne...