2008 Lecture Archive


Recordings of prior lectures are available by mail. Click on a year above to access the lectures of that year. The recordings are on audio CDs (lectures before April 2005 are on audio cassette).

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Tape Number Date Presenter Subject  
79 December 9, 2008 James C.-Y. Chou, M.D. Redefining "Mood Stabilizer"
78 Tuesday, November 11, 2008 Richard O?Connor, PhD What Do Happiness Research and Positive Psychology Have to Say About Depression?
77 Tuesday, October 7, 2008 David Hellerstein, MD Help! My Medication's Not Working
75 June 3, 2008 Steven E. Hyler, MD, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Columbia University Mood Disorders at the Movies
73 April 1, 2008 Richard A. Friedman, M.D. Personalized Psychopharmacology
72 March 4, 2008 Igor Galynker, MD, PhD. Director of Beth Israel?s Family Center for Bipolar Disorder Care for the Patient, Care for the Family: Family Inclusive Treatment for Mood Disorders
70 January 8, 2008 David Brody, M.D. A Psychopharmacologist Talks About Talk Therapy
68 Tuesday November 6, 2007 Sanjay Mathew, M.D. Exciting New Therapies for Treatment-Resistant Depression
67 Monday October 1, 2007 Eric Kandel, M.D. In Search of Memory: Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis and the New Biology of Mind
66 May 1, 2007 Ronald Fieve, MD Bipolar II: What I've Learned From Treating 800 Cases Over Many Decades
63 February 6, 2007 Maria Oquendo, MD Antidepressants for Bipolar Disorder? Are They Helpful? Are They Safe?


2008 Lectures

Redefining "Mood Stabilizer"

December 9, 2008
James C.-Y. Chou, M.D.

The growing role of anti-psychotics in treating mood disorders. Do they work? An insightful summary of the latest studies on the use and effectiveness of these medications.

The great mood disorder puzzle: what should be dealt with first when a patient is suffering from a mania hidden inside a depression strapped to a see-saw? Brain chemistry gone awry is the main culprit behind these perilous bipolar ups and downs. Thankfully there are many psychiatric medications available to help restore some balance, mainly those from the category known as Mood Stabilizers.

Not too long ago there were only a few of these unique drugs. But recently, so many new ones have come out that now the very term Mood Stabilizer is in question. Patients are confused. And there’s also a robust debate within the medical community itself.

Simply put, here's the dilemma: If a medication from a totally different class of pharmaceuticals, like the atypical antipsychotics, stops manic episodes should it also be called a Mood Stabilizer? And are these newcomers as effective as the traditional medications?

It takes an expert to make sense out of this medication muddle. Dr. Chou will carefully explain what all the newest research says about what's important in the ever-changing world of Mood Stabilizers. Knowledge is a powerful pill!

James C.-Y. Chou, M.D.
  -Attending Psychiatrist at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center, Bronx, NY
  -Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine

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What Do Happiness Research and Positive Psychology Have to Say About Depression?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Richard O?Connor, PhD

Ah, happiness! Throughout history, great thinkers, from philosophers to poets to scientists to songwriters, have searched for the key to finding it. But recently, some psychologists have tried to quantify what makes people happy using clinical research. Does this latest quest for answers, known as positive psychology, have any bearing on clinical depression? “When you at look this movement from the perspective of mood disorders, some of it is naïve, but some of it is quite relevant,” says Richard O’Connor, acclaimed author and psychologist and our November lecturer. “When people are treated for depression,” he says, often they get to where they’re just short of being able to find real pleasure in life, but it’s possible to aim a little higher than that.” Don’t miss his take on this fascinating topic.

Dr. O'Connor is the author of "Happy at Last" and "Undoing Depression".

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Help! My Medication's Not Working

Tuesday, October 7, 2008
David Hellerstein, MD

Antidepressants, mood stabilizers and other drugs are crucial for treating depression and bipolar disorder. But sometimes they stop working; others times they never even start. This lack of response is called treatment resistance and it can be one of the most frustrating stumbling blocks someone with a mood disorder will ever encounter.

But the desire to get better doesn’t have to stop there. “There are approaches that can help people gain or regain a good response,” says psychiatrist and author David Hellerstein, MD, our October lecturer. From rethinking the diagnosis, to trying new regimens, to exploring options like exercise and meditation, Dr. Hellerstein will discuss options for overcoming this troubling situation.

At the lecture, Dr. Hellerstein recommended The Peace of Mind Prescription: An Authoritative Guide to Finding the Most Effective Treatment for Anxiety and Depression by Charney, Nemeroff and Braun, especially the chapter on resilence.

Dr. David Hellerstein is a cutting edge researcher and top psychopharmacologist. He is an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University. His web site is depressionny.com. He is also associated with the Depression Evaluation Service.

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Mood Disorders at the Movies

June 3, 2008
Steven E. Hyler, MD, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Columbia University

Hollywood filmmakers have always been irresistibly drawn to disorders of the brain as sensational subject matter for the movies. And who can blame them? When it comes to dramatic themes, depression, mania and the other mental illnesses have it all: the exhilarating highs, the gloomy lows, the internal struggles, the intense personal relationships torn asunder. And don’t forget those scary asylums. But does Hollywood get it right? "Most cinema depictions of mood disorders are dreadful—inaccurate, overly dramatic and worst of all, stigmatizing," says Steven E. Hyler, M.D., our June lecturer.

Still, there is much to learn by looking at the way pop culture portrays mood disorders and psychiatry. Dr. Hyler, a renowned psychiatrist, professor, and film buff, is an expert on using film as a tool for teaching medical students about mental illness. Despite the generally dismal state of things cinematic, he says, there have been surprisingly accurate, and respectful portrayals: Timothy Hutton’s performance in Ordinary People and Jimmy Stewart’s in Vertigo are two high points for major depression; Richard Gere in Mr. Jones and Kevin Kline in Sophie’s Choice are two for mania.

At the other end of the spectrum are the exploitive movies in the horror genre, from Psycho to the Halloween series. But perhaps most troubling of all are those that are somewhere in between. "Movies that just get some of it right can be worse," says Dr. Hyler. A Beautiful Mind, for example, offers a sympathetic but inaccurate view of mental illness as well as a potentially dangerous anti-psychiatry theme. "When directors create characters like Russell Crowe’s, that people really sympathize or identify with, along with a strong, anti-medication bias, it could have disastrous effects."

Come hear Dr. Hyler’s entertaining, controversial analysis of mood disorders on the silver screen. It’s sure to be one of our most memorable lectures and box office boffo.

Dr. Hyler is also an Instructor for the American Psychiatric Association course "Teaching Psychiatry: Let Hollywood Help."
NOTE: Recordings of this lecture are not available

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Personalized Psychopharmacology

April 1, 2008
Richard A. Friedman, M.D.

Imagine a future where a simple blood test could tell doctors which psychiatric medication is most likely to work on an individual patient. The agonizing trial-and-error process that so many sufferers of mood disorders must endure before finding the right medication might be completely avoided. The truth is, such a blood test is only a few years from being ready to use in clinical practice. “Soon a simple genetic test will be able to help psychiatrists biologically personalize treatment,” says Richard Friedman, a leading psychopharmacology researcher. Don’t miss the chance to hear him explain the exciting possibilities of this cutting edge area of research.

Richard A. Friedman, MD, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Director of the Psychopharmacology Clinic, Weill Medical College, Cornell University. Dr. Friedman also writes on Behavioral Science for the New York Times science section. See his articles.

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Care for the Patient, Care for the Family: Family Inclusive Treatment for Mood Disorders

March 4, 2008
Igor Galynker, MD, PhD. Director of Beth Israel?s Family Center for Bipolar Disorder

A new wave is sweeping the psychiatric community: the idea of involving families closely in the treatment of mood disorders early on. Many doctors feel that it’s the key component to successful outcomes that’s been missing for too long. Input from the family helps psychiatrists more accurately gauge the depth and intensity of symptoms, and the general quality of the person’s life, explains psychiatrist Igor Galynker, one of the leaders in this approach and our March lecturer. “As a result, doctors have a more complete picture to work from when prescribing medication,” he says.

Anyone who wants the best treatment for themselves or a loved one will want to come hear the latest thinking on family-based treatment from one of the leading experts on the subject. Be sure to attend this important lecture.

The Family Center for Bipolar Disorder at Beth Israel

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A Psychopharmacologist Talks About Talk Therapy

January 8, 2008
David Brody, M.D.

CBT, DBT, RET, interpersonal, group - there seems to be plenty of options when it comes to talk therapy, but sometimes it’s hard to choose the right approach. Which ones are the most effective at treating mood disorders? What does the research say? Should you see separate clinicians for medications and therapy or take an integrative approach? "There’s a lot to consider," says David Brody, our January lecturer. Dr. Brody will give the lay of the land on therapy from his perspective as both a top psychopharmacologist and therapist. Be sure to attend this important lecture.

David Brody, MD. Chief, Psychiatric Outpatient Service, Beth Israel Medical Center

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Exciting New Therapies for Treatment-Resistant Depression

Tuesday November 6, 2007
Sanjay Mathew, M.D.

Dealing with depression is never easy, but when multiple medication regimens fail to do the job, or side effects are so debilitating that certain treatments are not options, it’s easy to lose hope. Don’t. Researchers have been making exciting breakthroughs for treating these tough cases - what's known as treatment-resistant depression.

"We actually prefer the term ‘difficult to treat’ instead of treatment resistant. We’re finding novel ways to successfully treat this type of depression all the time," says Sanjay Mathew, MD, assistant professor at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. New drugs, new combinations, alternative treatments, and new approaches involving electroconvulsive therapy and other brain stimulation techniques are all making it possible for more people to find relief, says Dr. Mathew. "Making yourself aware of all the latest advances is a good way to work toward a better outcome."

Dr. Mathew is an award-winning researcher and expert on "difficult-to-treat" depression at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. Come hear him speak about how the latest advances are poised to help some of the toughest cases.

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In Search of Memory: Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis and the New Biology of Mind

Monday October 1, 2007
Eric Kandel, M.D.

realized that our thoughts, mental processes and moods had real physical components. Eric Kandel’s work in locating the specific area in the brain responsible for memory changed the way that scientists think about the human mind, and his years of neuroscience research have shed even more light onto the way our brains work.

Now, Dr. Kandel turns his attention to the biological components of depression and psychotherapy, arguing that therapy, particularly psychoanalysis, has suffered from a lack of scientific rigor. "To what degree can psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, and biology come together? That should be the new focus in the discussion of depression," says Dr. Kandel, who posits that advances in brain imaging technology will help enable a long-needed objective look at therapy.

Dr. Kandel is a Nobel Prize-winner and Luminary in the Field of Neuroscience. Not only a brilliant scientist, he is also an eloquent writer and speaker on the interplay between biology, thought, and mood. His recent book, In Search of Memory, has earned rave reviews of both its scientific and literary brilliance. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to hear a luminary in the field of neuroscience speak about mood disorders.

NOTE: Admission for this Fundraiser Lecture is $10 for nonmembers and $6 for members.
NOTE: This will be our first lecture the new Podell Auditorium in the Bernstein Pavilion.

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Bipolar II: What I've Learned From Treating 800 Cases Over Many Decades

May 1, 2007
Ronald Fieve, MD

When it comes to treating bipolar disorder, Ronald Fieve is one of the giants in the field. He was among the pioneers in using lithium as a mood stabilizer and his best-selling book Moodswing introduced the concept of bipolar disorder into the mainstream.

He was also instrumental in helping to establish this very organization, twenty-five years ago. Now he turns his attention to bipolar II, the frequently misunderstood subtype of the disease. His recent book explores the concept of “beneficial highs,” and raises the question, “Is it possible to take advantage of these highly productive, positive states and still adequately treat the devastating depressive ones?” Don’t miss this important lecture. 

Dr. Ronald R. Fieve, a psychopharmacologist, is a leading world expert in diagnostic evaluation and biological treatment of Bipolar I, Bipolar II, manic depression, depression, panic, anxiety disorders and ADHD. Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University. Chief of Psychiatric Research, Lithium Studies and Manic Depression Research, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York City.

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Antidepressants for Bipolar Disorder? Are They Helpful? Are They Safe?

February 6, 2007
Maria Oquendo, MD

When it comes to treating bipolar disorder, antidepressants can be a double-edged sword. In many cases, they can trigger mood instability and more frequent episodes, although without them patients are often doomed to suffer through particularly acute depressive episodes. "Most bipolar patients do receive some kind of antidepressant, but there is much debate about whether they might actually make them worse," says Maria Oquendo, our February lecturer. Finding the exact medication balance is difficult, but the evidence now emerging can bring about better outcomes. Are antidepressants for bipolars making a comeback? Come hear the latest thinking on this controversial issue. Dr. Oquendo is a leading expert on this subject and she'll speak as both a researcher and a clinician.

Dr. Oquendo is a professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University, a researcher and practicing psychiatrist.

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