For over a year, many of us within the medical community have been sounding the alarm about how the COVID-19 pandemic will impact the mental health of individuals across the United States in the long term. The percentage of adults who have reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorders throughout the past year has remained consistently high, with the latest data from the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey showing that over 40 percent of the adults surveyed in January 2021 were still experiencing symptoms of these disorders. …


As seen on Psychology Today.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurological disease that destroys the neurons that control voluntary muscle movements. The first symptoms of ALS are typically weakness in the limbs and muscle twitches, but the illness eventually disrupts patients’ abilities to move, speak, and even breathe. Treatments exist to extend patient quality of life, but only for a matter of months. There is currently no cure for ALS, and those who develop the disease typically die from respiratory failure within 2–5 years following the emergence of symptoms.

Researchers have yet to determine a full etiology for…


As seen in Psychology Today.

Misinformation is endemic in our society, but it is not a new problem. There has never been a shortage of either false or inaccurate information in this world, nor has there ever been a want of misguided beliefs based on misinformation. In most cases, we tend to become more adept at recognizing false or inaccurate information. We come to understand that individuals, without ill intent, can be wrong when they relay information to us, and that corrections and amendments to previous statements or beliefs typically give us a more accurate picture of the world. We…


As seen in Psychology Today.

Few would disagree that preventing extremism is a laudable goal, but even discussing extremism and radicalization may seem problematic within the field of psychiatry. Psychiatry’s legitimacy is largely based on its impartiality and independence from power structures associated with political regimes and religious organizations. Without this independence, there is clear worry that it could become merely another tool of oppression used by the in-group in power to define behaviors, opinions, and beliefs that characterize the out-group as being in some way deviant from what is considered normal or even a form of sickness to be…


Tomorrow, September 9, 2020, Dr. Kevin Hill of Harvard University and I will be publishing the book Medical Marijuana: A Clinical Handbook.

This may seem unconventional to some within the medical community. Marijuana, defined by the federal government as plants of the species Cannabis sativa that contain more than 0.3% of the intoxicant tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is a Schedule I drug and can only be legally obtained in states with medical or recreational programs. Meanwhile, cannabidiol (CBD), a compound found in high concentrations in mature hemp (which is defined as C. sativa plants that contain less than 0.3% …


This article was also published on KevinMD and Psychology Today.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably stressed. Whether it’s related to work, household chores, parenting, school, politics, or, yes, COVID, stress is a normal part of life.

Because stress is a normal part of life, our bodies have adapted to react to stress through a series of neurophysiological responses. Once the stressor or threat has been resolved, we settle back into a state of repose. This ability to maintain a sense of balance or homeostasis over time and while dealing with change has been described as allostasis. When the body…


This article was also published on KevinMD and Psychology Today.

Throughout 2020, the United States has been playing catch-up against the coronavirus. As several well-researched articles have noted, lack of appropriate and timely response has been at the forefront and can be attributed to numerous factors including the highly contagious nature of the virus and simultaneously a delay in formulating an adequate medical management and containment strategy.

Unfortunately, this catch-up game has led to one of the greatest losses of human life during a pandemic in recent years. While there are few, if any, silver linings with respect to eradicating…


Magic Mushrooms and the Future of Psychology: A Conversation with Stephen Ross About the Frontiers of Psychedelic Research

Stephen Ross, MD

As seen in Psychology Today.

The following is an abridged version of Dr. Ahmad’s recent interview with Stephen Ross, MD. Dr. Ross is the Director of Addictive Disorders and Experimental Therapeutics Research Laboratory at NYU and an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine.

Dr. Ross has conducted extensive research into the effects of psychedelics like psilocybin on addiction and cancer-related existential distress.

The full interview was published on Dr. Ahmad’s site, samoonmd.com. …


As seen in Psychology Today.

Medical researchers have mobilized like never before to combat the novel coronavirus. The efforts have focused mostly on developing vaccines or looking for new and better treatments for complications associated with COVID-19, but others have sought to design innovative methods of testing for the virus. As we wait for a safe vaccine, these new testing techniques will be vital to curtailing its spread and bringing the effective reproduction number well below 1.

One of the more ingenious approaches to testing has come out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory, where a group of…


This article was published on KevinMD and Psychology Today.

Work is a necessary part of life. More than simply a means to a paycheck, work gives individuals a sense of dignity and accomplishment. Feeling as though one is participating in meaningful work, whether it is contributing to a massive project or an individual artistic pursuit, allows one to feel as though they have a purpose.

While this urge to create or work appears to be a universal human trait, the conditions in which individuals work are constantly changing. This is particularly the case during or following major technological “revolutions.” Neolithic…

Samoon Ahmad, MD

Professor of Psychiatry, NYU Grossman School of Medicine; Inpatient Unit Chief Bellevue Hospital, and co-author of “Medical Marijuana: A Clinical Handbook”.

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