Lexi's 6th birthday. Dogs are the best medicine for anxiety.

Animals will always make you smile!

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Based on patient reviews, Dr. Pence is the highest rated psychologist in Michigan and the fourth highest rated psychologist nationwide. We thank you for your kind words, loyalty and support. We are blessed to have the best patients in the world.……

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While my primary specialty is going to remain treating OCD and anxiety disorders using evidenced-based methods, I am adding an additional service. Increasingly, I am seeing patients who either in their academic environments or at work are experiencing reverse discrimination and are victims of identity politics, which creates a hostile work/academic environment for them. My patients are having to choose between maintaining their convictions or writing a paper that is in sync with their professors or risk getting a bad grade and, in some instances, being labeled a racist. I want to provide a safe environment for anyone of any race, religion, cultural background, sexual orientation or political persuasion to get the help they need to navigate the increasing polarization of every aspect of our society from cable news to NFL football. Having treated many veterans who have PTSD and are permanently disabled, my conscious dictates that I boycott the NFL. Only in the postmodern era with a zeitgeist that promotes a mentality of victimhood would multimillionaires (the most privileged in our society) be considered victims of oppression. The combined contracts of the players who protested by not standing for the national anthem is $448,373,425.00. This is greater than the GDP of some countries.

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Today I escaped anxiety. Or no, I discarded it, because it was within me, in my own perceptions-not outside. -Marcus Aurelius

Today the lead singer of Linkin Park Chester Bennington took his own life on the birthday of his dear friend Chris Cornell who committed suicide after his last concert in Detroit in May of this year. They both struggled with addiction. Addiction, depression and anxiety can affect anyone regardless of status or wealth. It is not uncommon for people to commit suicide on anniversaries. Chester was very open about his addiction to drugs and alcohol, his history of suicidal and the abuse he suffered as a child by an older male. Linkin Park's music got me through many difficult times and for that I am forever indebted. He leaves behind a wife and 6 children. If you have a moment, please join me in sending his family as much love and light as you can. If you or someone you know are in crisis and contemplating suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
The lyrics from the title track from their latest album One More Light are both profound and prophetic. "If they say who cares if one more light goes out in the sky of a million stars....who cares when someone's time runs out if a moment is all we are....who cares if one more light goes out. Well I do." Today we lost a bright light and I care that his time ran out. Below is a video to this beautiful song. I lost a friend this past year to addiction and suicide. As his friend, his light shined the brightest of all and my love for him only grows with time. I miss you brother. Alcohol and other habit forming drugs are the devil in disguise. May all beings who are suffering be free from suffering. May those who feel hopeless, see the impermanent nature of suffering and realize that there are resources available to get help.

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We wanted to send our thoughts and prayers to the victims of today's tragic shooting in DC at the baseball field. Regardless of one's political persuasion all human life has inherent value. We need to unite as a country and recognize that good people can have political differences, but violence is not the answer.

As humans we tend to run from obstacles, pain and challenges, but you need to understand that it is the difficulties in life that prepare us to go to the next level.

fear does not stop death, it stops life

The show 13 Reasons Why has gotten a lot of buzz. Below are 13 Reasons Why Not.
1. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
2. Good psychological help is available and treatments for depression and related conditions work very well.
3. Families often do not ever fully recover from suicide.
4. Suicide can have negative multi-generational impacts on families....
5. Many suicide attempts fail and people end up with permanent medical problems in addition to the psychological problems they are already struggling with.
6. You are not a burden. People are willing to and want to help. They can't read your mind though, so you need to be willing to open up to family, friends or a psychologist if you are having these thoughts.
7. While suffering is part of life, there is also much joy and many wonderful people and experiences that you will miss out on.
8. It is often an impulsive act. Research shows that survivors of suicide attempts generally report having the immediate thought, "What have I done?"
9. Most problems have solutions. When we are depressed, we filter things through a negative lens and we are not seeing things objectively (i.e., things often appear worse than they are).
10. It not only negatively impact families, but friends as well.
11. It is possible that your suicide might inspire somebody else to give up and model your behavior.
12. You are stronger and more resilient than you think you are and you do not have to let other peoples' opinions define or influence how you feel about yourself.
13. Seeking help is not only compassionate for the people that love and care about you and, there are people that love you, but it is also an expression of love and caring for yourself.

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New research sheds light on the significant increase in child and adolescent hospitalizations due to suicidal ideation, attempts or threats. Based on my clinical observations, my patients who are seeking treatment for OCD and anxiety are reporting to me that they are not getting evidenced-based care. They are simply getting talk therapy, which has numerous benefits, but if we really want to tackle anxiety (the problem of our time), we need to start training providers to use interventions that have empirical support. You can best protect yourself and save yourself a lot of aggravation by being an informed consumer of psychological services and advocating for the treatment that you need.

Many mental health providers claim to treat OCD, but they lack the training, expertise and educational background to properly treat this disorder. I encourage you to be an informed consumer and verify that they actually use evidenced-based methods such exposure and response prevention (ERP). If they are not familiar with ERP and/or are unable to discuss it with a great deal of proficiency, keep looking to find a provider who can truly help you manage this debilitating condition.

"The difference between a champion and someone who is forgotten is that a champion shows up. That is the only thing. Every day shows up. Gives him [or herself] a chance to make a difference. Because success doesn't know these things about cold or early or tired. It just knows if you showed up or not." -Greg Plitt

Lexi's 6th birthday. Dogs are the best medicine for anxiety.

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