Helping You

Helping You

Mental illness, whether it’s depression, anxiety, bipolar, or a psychotic disorder, can be painful and disabling. These are serious illnesses that can cause excruciating pain to patients and their loved ones. Yet mental illness remains tremendously underdiagnosed and under-treated. Many people go months or years without proper diagnosis or treatment. So much of the pain and suffering from psychiatric disorders are unnecessary. As a Harvard-trained, Board-certified psychiatrist in practice for over twenty years, I can say confidently that there are many effective treatment options available today.

Psychiatry has advanced significantly as a result of rigorous scientific research. Today we have many effective diagnostic tools and treatment methods. New FDA-approved medicines have been introduced. We have more data on how to use these medicines and which patients benefit the most from different types of medicines. Psychiatrists and psychologists have also developed new evidence-based forms of talk therapy for several mental illnesses. But these treatment approaches must be customized for each individual based on their unique personalities and preferences.

The greatest challenge in psychiatry is to balance evidence-based science and the unique needs of each individual patient. Facing this challenge has been the core commitment of my clinical and academic career. In my book Healing Psychiatry: Bridging the Science/Humanism Divide, I described a pragmatic method that integrates respect for neuroscience and for each patient. The method incorporates what I call the 4 p’s of psychiatry: a practical treatment approach with active participation of the patient, a pluralistic set of tools (which may include medication and psychotherapy), and a provisional mindset with openness to changes or adjustments.

If you think that you or a family member may be suffering from a mental illness, you can get in touch or schedule an appointment on ZocDoc. My initial approach is to schedule a 1-hour consultation to establish a working diagnosis and treatment plan, which may include medication and talk therapy. I mainly see patients from the Boston area and New England, but people from throughout the U.S. and around the world also visit my practice.

"Dr. Brendel is kind, smart and understanding. He is very knowledgeable about all of the medicines and treatment options. He has been a big help to me."

 J.B., Patient of Dr. Brendel


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