I have been in private practice psychiatry since 1984 in the same location in Berkeley, California. I grew up in the Bay Area. I am a graduate of UC Berkeley and University of California San Francisco School of Medicine. From 1984 to 1990, I was one of the main psychiatric consultants to Alta Bates Hospital (all medical units a cardiac unit, dialysis unit, bone marrow transplant unit, oncology unit, burn center, chemical dependency unit and respiratory care unit) in addition to having my regular outpatient psychiatric practice of medication and psychotherapy. I specialize in the treatment of adult ADD and have for the last 16 years. Currently, I am treating approximately 200 patients (many UC Berkeley students, but people of all ages) for adult ADD. An article I published is enclosed in the website. It is very easy to read. It summarizes the prevalence, symptoms, diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of adult ADD. I also specialize in mood disorders (depression, bipolar I and bipolar II) and anxiety disorders (PTSD, social anxiety, panic attacks, stress/panic and generalized anxiety disorder).
My purpose as a medical doctor in seeing patients is to help relieve their suffering and to give them an overall better sense of well-being. We work together to increase their sense of mastery in their life and to help them attain increased self esteem that comes from their improved ability to function in the world in all spheres school, work and relationships. I have been in practice 26 years. I have a tremendous amount of experience in diagnosing and treating all the conditions mentioned above. I am always focused on trying to treat the whole patient, a holistic approach. I always spend a generous hour and a half for the initial evaluation, which all good psychiatrists do. It takes an hour-and-a-half to really get to know someone, to trace their symptoms back to childhood “ whether it is depression, anxiety or ADD, to know the current stressors in their life ( job stressors, relationship stressors,etc) You also need to know family history in depth and all the medications the person has been on in the past including side effects and benefits. Finally, you need to rule in or rule out other psychiatric or medical diagnoses ( 80% of adults with ADD have a second diagnosis).
I try to get to know all aspects of the patients life, well enough to put together a comprehensive treatment plan. This plan usually includes a trial of medication and often includes a referral to a psychotherapist whom I know is familiar with the condition the patient suffers from (this could include ADD, bipolar, depression or a combination of several diagnosis). The treatment plan may also include lifestyle counseling in terms of diet, exercise and nutrition as well as counseling in meditation or yoga practice that can rest the mind and help the person get from the mind into the body.
As a specialist in psychopharmacology, I treat people with medication and with monitoring the medication (dosages,side effects and benefits). I am familiar with all the complex protocols for treatment of depression, major depression, bipolar I, bipolar II, anxiety disorders as well as ADD and I stay current on all the new medications out. I am continually doing research on new treatments and combinations of all the treatments to help my patients. I research patients questions as they may come up.
With Adult ADD, it is very common to treat more than one diagnosis-I see many patients with three to four diagnosis. 80% of adults with ADD have a second psychiatric diagnosis and 50% have two secondary psychiatric diagnosis. For example, ADD, bipolar disorder and social anxiety disorder is a very common triad I see in college age students in the Bay Area. This is ADD with a mood disorder and an anxiety disorder, which is quite common. The basic principle of treating multiple diagnosis is laid out in my article available on this website. I have a very high success rate in the treatment of patients in getting them good benefits and relief from the symptoms they are suffering from. My success rate has always been approximately 95% of patients I see, if they stay in treatment with me.
The initial evaluation session is always the most important one and generally takes an hour-and-a-half to complete (psychiatrists who are not rigorous about this often see people for 30 to 45 minutes and then prescribe medication; this is always an inadequate evaluation). In the hour-and-a-half period, I usually can make an accurate diagnosis. I then see patients every three to four weeks as we are usually adjusting the medication (starting at a low dose and adjusting medications up very gradually-this is true whether it be for ADD or a medication for depression or anxiety). These follow-up sessions are a half an hour in length and they cost $150. For the initial 90 minute session, my regular charge is $450, which is on the low-average side for psychiatrists of my experience in the Bay Area. I sometimes make adjustments to the initial fee if there is financial necessity.
I spend a lot of time on education with patients. I stay aware of other non-medication treatments for the conditions mentioned above. If a patient is fearful of medication, we will discuss those fears including other options for treatment. I never go ahead with the medication until the patient feels ready. I educate patients on all the side effects of medications I use. We generally start dosages very low and go up gradually. This is true with all medications I use, but especially with stimulants.
I enjoy working collaboratively with other therapists and physicians and I have always done this since I have been in practice.
I am looking forward to working with you.
Steve Baskin, M.D.