Become a Patient                         Dr Hedaya’s Recent Publication

Rich K.

My new Primary Care Physician has received the results of the blood work you had prescribed, and he had drawn in early April. He wants to review the results with me, mainly due to HIGH CHOLESTEROL. But the blood work shows a new total of 288… down quite a bit from the 354 that was reported from my initial evaluation in February!! That’s good news. The work we’re doing is already starting to payoff.

Dick and Mary

Dear Dr. Hedaya,

Mary and I know that she would not be here today if you had not accepted her for treatment in October 1998. As you know, we had been to Menninger’s, Mayo, and Johns Hopkins and, as far as I know, your “Whole Psychiatry” approach was “one of a kind” at that time. Since moving to Arizona, we are fortunate to have found Dr. Parrish, who admires your expertise and has worked with you to advance Mary’s recovery.

Our original Psychiatrist advised me that Mary, then 71 years of age, was afflicted with early stages of dementia that probably was not reversible. During our many months of searching for a cure this diagnosis was often suggested. If these doctors would see her at 75 years of age, I know they would be amazed. Mary now works with a trainer for an hour three days a week–weights and machines on Mondays and aerobics Wednesdays and Fridays. She has regained her self-confidence and looks and feels years younger than her age.

We therefore believe in what you propose to do in your ability to provide years of “life worth living” to people who otherwise are facing living hell.

HL in Pennsylvania

Dr. Hedaya,

I was thinking about our conversation today, and when you asked me to what I attributed my improvement, I said that it was first critical that the medical piece was straightened out. I realized later that I have never thanked you or given you the credit you deserve for figuring out those medical pieces. I was in bad shape when I came to you and had been to my family doctor and a psychopharmacologist but I was getting worse. All they did was keep throwing different anti-depressants at me. Nobody took the time or perhaps had the knowledge to run the extensive tests to find out what was really going on medically to cause my depression. When I was first referred to you, a doctor hours away in another state, it felt like my worst fears were being confirmed and that I was probably beyond help.

You were kind and understanding from the minute we met, and actually gave me hope that things would get better. Your staff at the time was excellent as well, and because I couldn’t remember what was said five minutes ago let alone which test to do when, they were a tremendous help to me.

I received quite an education about how my body works and I always appreciated being treated as an intelligent adult instead of patronizingly, as many doctors are inclined to do. As the tests came back you found the various medical issues that needed to be addressed, and slowly I started to come back to life. I started to think more clearly and string along enough decent days to return to school, a decision I knew would be difficult, but also important to my emotional well-being. As you know, it turned out to be great decision, and as I like to say, it woke my brain up. It is not hard for me to think back to what it was like for me five years ago, when I felt hopeless and the world appeared as if in a fog, but I try not to go there. My life now is so full and I am working to help others, which is truly important to me. I have come so far and could not have done so without your help, so I wanted to say thank you.


Dear Dr. Hedaya –

First, I want to let you know that in just a few short weeks, Margaret is feeling dramatically better. I don’t understand how this could be . . . But clearly what you have prescribed along with diet modifications, are starting to make a real difference.

Margaret – the skeptic – said to me on Saturday that she hated to admit it, but she has much more energy during the day. She feels much happier and healthier. I also just got word from her teachers, and she currently has raised her grades – with not much extra effort – to almost all A’s. She is performing better on tests and her written work has really improved.

Whatever is happening is really powerful. She has always been compliant at home, but admittedly grumpy and irritable. But I tell you what, she can be found joking around the house, hanging with the family, no teenage drama w/friends, and seems at ease. Happy.

I just wanted you to know this: That you are making a difference. And I am so incredibly grateful.

Margaret is now careful to check yeast content in foods and has almost deleted all chocolate and caffeine from her diet. We’ve actually all changed our eating habits to incorporate some of her requirements.

You have made a difference to Margaret. You called her smart on our last visit. She was so proud and honored that you saw that in her. She talked about it on the way home. She believes in you and trusts you. She may have entered your office a bit unwilling– she is now taking ownership of her health and following your advice.

Ann P.

“After reading your philosophy and approach to treating your patients, you are exactly what I’ve been looking for in a long time.”

John S.

“I just wanted to update you on Jonathan. You may remember that we came down last June to have you help us with his anxiety. He has been anxiety-free for the entire year and also had a huge spiritual awakening this last semester at school which has changed him greatly. Thank you so much for the great work that you do And I do believe he is a success but only time will tell.”

Jan M.

Excerpts from a Copy of Personal Statement for Admission with Advanced Standing in Medical School sent to Dr. Hedaya

“For the past two and a half years my mother has suffered from a severe and possibly life-threatening depression. Her condition was life-threatening not only because of a desire for death but until recently she literally did not sleep and ate only when coerced. During my first year of medical school, she deteriorated and her weight plummeted from 170 to 95 pounds. At that point, I knew that I needed to take time off to help her or she could die. Over the last couple of months, my mother has undergone a metamorphosis and has nearly reached complete remission. For this remarkable turnaround, I credit the skill and expertise of her psychiatrist and family support.

“During this past year, I have been the full-time caretaker of my mother. Playing this role has been challenging for me, but it has taught me many things, both about myself and about the art and science of medicine. In certain ways, I feel that this time has been a continuation of my journey towards becoming a doctor, which has been the most fulfilling stage of my life.

“While the path ahead is daunting, I am excited about the possibility of continuing my medical education at Georgetown. The Jesuit tradition of cura personalis reflects my own philosophy concerning health and disease. Dr. Robert Hedaya, my mother’s psychiatrist and a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown, truly embodies this principle. He has been a superb role model to me in how to deliver comprehensive patient-centered care. Whereas her previous psychiatrist had evaluated her mood, cognition, and behavior and then prescribed medication unsuccessfully; Dr. Hedaya used a wide lens to determine other variables that affected her health. He found a tryptophan deficiency, a low thyroid level, low B12, low iron, an exhausted adrenal gland, bacterial and fungal infections and dehydration. Before prescribing any medication, he ordered nutritional supplements and fluids to correct the ravages of her starvation. His expertise and skill did not arise in a vacuum. He has become a great doctor by continuing his medical education in fields such as psychopharmacology, endocrinology, nutrition, and biological psychiatry and applying these studies to his practice. He has gone beyond what a typical psychiatrist is expected to know and he sees each patient as a unique individual with unique needs. It is my hope that with the marvelous and comprehensive training at Georgetown, I can one day become a superlative physician like Dr. Hedaya.
I am a college student in Illinois and am in the middle of constructing a research paper on medicating depression. I chose the topic because one of my best friends was diagnosed depressive a few years back, and took SSRIs to combat it until recently. He was complaining that the drugs made him feel very emotionally numb, and decided to take himself off them just a year ago. However, he’s been having a very difficult time coping with stress since then, so I wanted to see what I could discover to help him make an educated decision on whether to restart treatment or not.

“I checked your book, The Antidepressant Survival Guide, out of my local library, and I was astonished by what I read. At the time my friend was on Paxil, he wasn’t receiving any other care or advice- no therapy, dietary advice- no nothing. It never occurred to him or me that there might be a way to combat the problems that came with his medication; we were thinking of them as a necessary evil.”

Daniel P.

“Someday I would love to share with you my experience with psychiatry while I was on active duty. It was a stunning education for me, and based on that experience I vowed that if I ever had a loved one who needed psychiatric assistance, I would never, ever trust them to that system. You have restored my faith in psychiatry, and that feels like a great relief.”

Shirley M.

‘We really appreciate the nuanced way that you approach everything. Also, you provide a wonderful clinic for patient interaction every time we interact.’

Jeremy F.

“Again, your attention to her needs is greatly appreciated. We were lucky to find you. It is astonishing that she saw so many providers, and not a single person was able to pull everything together the way you have. She has been told so many times that there is nothing wrong (labs are normal, you should have no trouble running now, it’s characterological, etc.), so even if you had not devised a treatment plan, just having validation of her pain and difficulty has been therapeutic. You really are a medical detective!”