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Lloyd I. Sederer, MD
LLOYD I. SEDERER, M.D., is Medical Director of the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH), the nation's largest state mental health system. As New York's “chief psychiatrist”, he provides medical leadership for a $3.6 billion per year mental health system which annually serves over 700,000 people and includes 24 hospitals, 90 clinics, two research institutes, and community services throughout a state of ~ 19 million people.

Dr. Sederer is an Adjunct Professor at the Columbia/Mailman School of Public Health.

Previously, Dr. Sederer served as the Executive Deputy Commissioner for Mental Hygiene Services in NYC, the City’s “chief psychiatrist”. He also has been Medical Director and Executive Vice President of McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA, a Harvard teaching hospital, and Director of the Division of Clinical Services for the American Psychiatric Association.

In 2013, Dr. Sederer was given the Irma Bland Award for Excellence in Teaching Residents by the American Psychiatric Association, which in 2009 recognized him as the Psychiatric Administrator of the Year. He also has been awarded a Scholar-in-Residence grant by the Rockefeller Foundation and an Exemplary Psychiatrist award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness. He has published seven books for professional audiences and two books for lay audiences, as well as ~ 400 articles in medical journals and non-medical publications like, The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Commonweal Magazine, and Psychology Today. He is Medical Editor for Mental Health for the Huffington Post/AOL, where ~200 of his posts and videos have appeared.

His new book, The Family Guide to Mental Health Care
(Foreword by Glenn Close), is for families of people with mental illness. His even newer book, co-authored with Jay Neugeboren and Michael Friedman, is The Diagnostic Manual of Mishegas (The DMOM), a parody on the DSM.

Dr. Sederer’s website is

Entries by Lloyd I. Sederer, MD

Fixing the Broken Mental Health System

(26) Comments | Posted October 13, 2014 | 10:54 AM

Fixing the Broken Mental Health System
Lloyd I. Sederer, MD, and Steven S. Sharfstein, MD


Martin was 20 years old when he was arrested for the second time. Responding to auditory hallucinations, his aggressive behaviors endangered people on the...

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Putting Education to Work: How Cristo Rey High Schools Are Transforming Urban Education

(0) Comments | Posted October 8, 2014 | 12:54 PM

It's hard to say which conundrum unleashes others, including poverty, family disruption, community violence, criminal conduct, educational failure, and social unrest.

As with all really tough problems, there is no one answer. When we throw about everything we have...

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Here One Day: A Documentary Film Review

(0) Comments | Posted September 23, 2014 | 10:51 AM

Here One Day
A Documentary Film by Kathy Leichter

Reviewed by Lloyd I. Sederer, MD


How can a person overcome the basic instinct we all possess to survive and take one's own life? The families, friends, coworkers, and many other intimates...

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Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

(24) Comments | Posted September 10, 2014 | 8:18 AM

Stronger Together for Suicide Prevention -- a partnership between the New York State Office of Mental Health and The Huffington Post

I know too many people who have taken their lives -- and not just because I am a psychiatrist.

These people...

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Thomas Szasz, M.D.: Radical and Transformative Psychiatrist

(3) Comments | Posted September 2, 2014 | 9:18 AM

Thomas Szasz, M.D.: Radical and transformative psychiatrist
A Profile by Dr. Lloyd Sederer


Far too few psychiatrists, psychologists, and mental health professionals today have been exposed to the work of Dr. Thomas Szasz. Many have a stereotyped view...

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Human Masks and Mental Illness

(9) Comments | Posted August 25, 2014 | 10:52 AM

Human Masks and Mental Illness
Lloyd I. Sederer, M.D.

We all wear masks. Ordinary life would not otherwise be possible. But these everyday masks are different from the masks that conceal what need not be hidden.

Performers are exemplars in wearing masks....

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Depression: The Everywhere and Everyone Illness

(44) Comments | Posted August 18, 2014 | 8:26 AM

Twenty-five hundred years ago, well before Christ, Hippocrates, the Greek father of medicine, identified melancholia as a common condition of dark mood and physical malaise. He even attributed melancholia, which today we think of as clinical depression, to a biological disturbance, namely an excess of a bodily fluid he called...

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The Hundred-Foot Journey

(0) Comments | Posted August 8, 2014 | 1:49 PM

La France aux Français (France for the French)? Mais non -- not in The Hundred-Foot Journey.

La France is for tout le monde, or so we can feel -- though only after we also make a 100-foot journey into the community of mankind. That journey requires suspending a fair...

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Gahan Wilson: Born Dead, Still Weird

(0) Comments | Posted July 28, 2014 | 2:24 PM


Finally, a documentary that's fun to watch -- and has its share of wisdom embellished by moments of laugh out loud.

Gahan Wilson is one of the most unknown known (no reference to Errol Morris and Secretary McNamara!) people inhabiting modern culture. If...

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Remnants of a Life on Paper: A Mother and Daughter's Struggle With Borderline Personality Disorder

(3) Comments | Posted July 14, 2014 | 11:58 AM

Remnants of a Life on Paper: A Mother and Daughter's Struggle with Borderline Personality Disorder


By Bea Tusiani, Pamela Ann Tusiani & Paula Tusiani-Eng

A Book Review by Dr. Lloyd Sederer

If you are looking for reasons to believe in God,...

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'Ida': A Film Review by Dr. Lloyd Sederer

(0) Comments | Posted June 16, 2014 | 11:24 AM

A film review by Dr. Lloyd Sederer

This is a film about two paths to liberation. Both paths are exquisitely portrayed in Ida, a black-and-white film from Poland that runs a mere 80 minutes, yet depicts not just the lifetime of...
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'Locke': A Film Review

(0) Comments | Posted June 9, 2014 | 2:38 PM

A film written and directed by Steven Knight and starring Tom Hardy

Review by Lloyd I. Sederer, MD


Locke, Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) that is, has a moral quandary whose resolution is the centerpiece of this film. At what...

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'4 Funerals and a Wedding': A Book Review

(0) Comments | Posted June 2, 2014 | 4:09 PM

Four Funerals and a Wedding by Jill Smolowe
She Writes Press, 2014

Lloyd I. Sederer, MD


Towards the end of this heart breaking and heartening book the author, Jill Smolowe, writes that one of her friends says she has "a Ph.D. in...

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Privacy, Liberty and Another Mass Murder

(137) Comments | Posted May 27, 2014 | 10:36 AM

Privacy, Liberty and Another Mass Murder
Lloyd I. Sederer, M.D.


Privacy and liberty. These have become covenants in American law -- abiding agreements meant to protect individuals and communities from the intrusions of government. They also have become, as many a family...

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Mental Health First Aid for Veterans

(2) Comments | Posted May 20, 2014 | 11:58 AM


The latest scandal out of Washington -- revelations that VA hospitals may have suppressed information about long waiting lists -- serves as another reminder that much work remains when it comes to providing adequate care, including mental health...

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A Defining Moment for Mental Health in America

(28) Comments | Posted May 6, 2014 | 10:35 AM

By Lloyd I. Sederer, M.D.

Our country, every year, continues to grieve for the tens of thousands of lives lost to homicide and suicide by people in the throes of acute mental illness. Since the massacre in Newtown, CT, mental illness and the tattered fabric of services for people and...

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Thrive: Finding the Recipe for a Good Life

(5) Comments | Posted April 26, 2014 | 9:29 AM

Thrive: Finding the Recipe for a Good Life
Lloyd I. Sederer, M.D.

When I was a medical student, I went to a yoga center to learn to meditate. It was not the kind of tony center that celebrities and urban elite attend for recharging. IT was a...

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The Future of Mental Health Care

(1) Comments | Posted April 21, 2014 | 1:51 PM

On April 1, 1944, Mary began keeping a personal diary of her experience as a patient in a tuberculosis hospital, a sanatorium. She was a professional woman in her early 30s, married with a toddler of 15 months. She had been admitted to the hospital, according to the medical standards...

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Violence and Serious Mental Disorders: Do Something, Don't Just Wait for a Diagnosis

(41) Comments | Posted April 3, 2014 | 1:25 PM

The basics of responding to any illness (after prevention, when possible), including mental illnesses and addictions, are:

-- Detect it (by screening for it and with clinical examination).

-- Diagnose it (by using standardized diagnostic criteria and appropriate tests).

-- Intervene to prevent progression (to further illness, even death) and...

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How to Start a Movement: A Movie Review of 'Chavez'

(1) Comments | Posted March 31, 2014 | 11:12 AM

How To Start A Movement


A movie review of Chavez

Lloyd I. Sederer, MD

"Si se puede!" Yes we can! Cesar Chavez asserts to a restive crowd of California migrant workers whose hope has worn too thin. Chavez has to keep...

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