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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. He is now also writing a regular column on mental health for US News & World Report.

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

Better Living Through Psychedelic Chemistry? LSD, Psilocybin and Ketamine in the Headlines

(30) Comments | Posted February 10, 2016 | 3:33 PM


"Taking LSD was a profound experience, one of the most important things in my life. LSD shows you that there's another side to the coin, and you can't remember it when it wears off, but you know it. It reinforced...

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The Young Men and the Sea -- The Finest Hours

(0) Comments | Posted January 28, 2016 | 5:49 PM


On February 18, 1952, a massive winter storm, a fierce nor'easter, struck New England. At sea, the SS Pendleton, an oil tanker bound for Boston, was ripped in half, trapping more than 30 crew as it began its inescapable descent into the black,...

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The Moral Entropy of Institutions

(0) Comments | Posted January 18, 2016 | 2:13 PM

The Moral Entropy of Institutions
A Film Review of Spotlight

Lloyd I. Sederer, MD


It is a mistake to equate an institution with its mission. Pharma companies seek to provide us with healing and curing drugs but some have put profit...

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Reporting Always: Writings From The New Yorker by Lillian Ross

(0) Comments | Posted January 5, 2016 | 4:20 PM


Is there a writer who has not aspired to contribute to The New Yorker? Merely even one piece? That would be a prize. But to have written for this celebrated magazine for 60 years under its famed and awesome editors, and...

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Steve Jobs: A Film Review By Dr. Lloyd Sederer

(2) Comments | Posted November 9, 2015 | 9:03 AM

STEVE JOBS: A Film Review by Dr. Lloyd Sederer


In the closing scene of what must be one of the more underrated films in a long time Steve Jobs steps onto the stage of the Flint Center in famed Cupertino,...

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Bridge of Spies Film Review

(2) Comments | Posted October 16, 2015 | 11:14 AM


Rodgers & Hammerstein. Ginger Rodgers and Fred Astaire. George Burns and Gracie Allen. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Scorsese and DiNiro.

Some duos just work. In Bridge of Spies it is Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg. Consider their previous actor/director partnerships: Saving...

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Please Like Me: A TV Series Review

(1) Comments | Posted October 13, 2015 | 10:49 AM

A TV Series Review by Lloyd I Sederer, MD


What made Seinfeld (the TV show, not the comedian) so popular? There was no real plot. It was not an epic or adventure or romance. The setting...

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The Five Signs, FLOTUS, POTUS, Rock & Roll and Brian Wilson

(0) Comments | Posted October 5, 2015 | 12:07 PM



"Not feeling like u?"
"Feeling agitated?"
"r u withdrawn?"
"Caring for yourself?"
"Feeling hopeless?"

These are Five Signs that may indicate that someone you know is suffering emotionally and...

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'Limitless' -- The TV Show

(1) Comments | Posted September 23, 2015 | 2:06 PM

One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small
And the one that mother gives you
Don't do anything at all
Go ask Alice
When she's ten feet tall

--From "The White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane

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Men Are Different

(2) Comments | Posted September 10, 2015 | 9:30 AM

I was visiting friends with two young children when Ruthie, their 7 year old daughter, asked if I wanted a tour of their home. Honored, I followed her lead. Soon she brought me to her brother's (who was 4) room, "...this is Jack's room, don't be scared, there are a...

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The Business of Recovery: A Documentary Film

(1) Comments | Posted August 31, 2015 | 11:36 AM


Results guaranteed! 92 percent recover! Pool, personal chef, and equine therapy included!

A promotion for snake oil? For a destination resort? Not exactly. That's what families often read when they go online, frightened and desperate that a loved one with an addiction may...

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Not So Good Vibrations: 'Love and Mercy' -- The Brian Wilson/Beach Boy Movie

(20) Comments | Posted August 24, 2015 | 11:13 AM


Do you need to have been a Beach Boys fan to go on the ride this film offers? It helps, but it's not at all necessary. Hardly anyone will not be familiar with the melody or lyrics of some of...

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Amy: A Film Review By Lloyd I. Sederer, MD

(0) Comments | Posted August 11, 2015 | 11:35 AM


Amy Winehouse died of an alcohol overdose on July 23, 2011, at the age of 27. Like a comet she ascended brightly in the night sky and then rocketed into a rapid and terminal descent.

Her extraordinary songwriting, vocals and jazzy-blues style...

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How Doctors Think: Suicide Prevention

(0) Comments | Posted August 4, 2015 | 1:20 PM

How Doctors Think: Suicide Prevention
Second in a Series about "How Doctors Think"*

By Lloyd I. Sederer, MD and Jay Carruthers, MD**

About 10 years ago, one of us (LIS), as mental health commissioner of NYC, was providing budget testimony before a committee of the City Council. One of...

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Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

(0) Comments | Posted July 27, 2015 | 12:12 PM

On Nov. 1, 1986, Ronda Morrison, an 18-year-old white woman and college student from a respected Monroeville, Alabama, family was found dead at Monroe Cleaners, where she had worked. She had been shot three times in the back.

Monroeville was famous for Harper Lee, author of To Kill A Mockingbird,...

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How Doctors Think: Addiction, Neuroscience and Your Treatment Plan

(0) Comments | Posted June 29, 2015 | 7:03 PM

Ever wonder how a (good) doctor comes up with her/his recommendations for treatment? What the critical thinking underlying the suggestions might be?

As an example, we can look at a comprehensive treatment plan for drug and alcohol addiction (forthcoming posts will look at other conditions, like depression, bipolar disorder and...

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Refusing to Accept the Way Things Are: Making a Difference With Schizophrenia

(1) Comments | Posted June 22, 2015 | 11:58 AM


As many as half of those ill with schizophrenia do not receive any treatment, at all (1,2). Yet schizophrenia is a serious and persistent mental illness affecting millions of Americans, and impairing their functioning, diminishing their quality of life and -- if untreated...

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7 Things to Know About Mental Health After a Disaster

(1) Comments | Posted June 9, 2015 | 6:08 PM

Are disasters becoming part of the new normal? Or have disasters become our new (ab)normal?

Disasters are extraordinarily varied in their nature, ranging from accidents (from local motor vehicle accidents to major train or plane crashes); natural catastrophes (like the recent floods in Oklahoma and Texas, hurricanes like Katrina and...

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A Writer's Writer and Teacher Is Gone

(1) Comments | Posted May 15, 2015 | 5:41 PM


New York Times 5.12.2015

On May 11, 2015, at the age of 92, Bill Zinnser died in his home on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Many will wonder, who was he? A sports star? A celebrity? An inventor? A...

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A Prescription for Mental Health in America

(16) Comments | Posted May 13, 2015 | 10:16 AM

The future for the next 10 years of mental health in America will not derive from sudden breakthroughs in decoding our DNA or fashioning designer drugs that are categorically different from what we have now -- though either or both would of course be welcome. A sanguine future is possible...

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