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Doctor Z

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“Doctors are men who prescribe medicines of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less, in human beings of whom they know nothing."                            Voltaire

Welcome! My name is Scott Zentner, aka "Doctor Z" to my patients. I'm a board-certified psychiatrist in Monroe, Louisiana, which also happens to be my hometown.

Why am I here? Quite frankly, to offer a little common sense and balance to what are largely philosophical debates over the causes and cures of various mental health problems. It's my view that these unresolved squabbles have divided the psychiatric profession into polarized camps, with historically a psychoanalytical or neurobiological bias dominating in alternating fashion. Though Psychiatry has made valuable contributions to society, it's also endured a number of embarrassments--perhaps influenced by the unsound practice patterns that have arisen from its internal disputes. To make mention of one notable example, we have yet to overcome our infamy from past inappropriate usage of shock therapy. One of the more worrisome recent trends is the tendency of some of my colleagues to quickly label their patients with dubious mental illnesses and limit their treatment interventions to a 5 second prescription (a far cry from the "50 minute hour"). Many factors are responsible for this practice shift, namely pseudoscientific dogma and the almighty dollar!

Before pontificating any further, I suppose some type of disclaimer is in order: While this site is primarily intended for consumption (or emesis) by fellow brethren, some aspects may be appealing to the lay reader. However, if you're in the latter category and seeking help, I suggest that you first contact a reputable professional in your community for consultation in lieu of relying on this site for personal guidance.

Now then, what can you expect from me? Periodically, I'll write a column about a particularly controversial psychiatric diagnosis, with my insights regarding evaluation and treatment issues. Occasionally, I may also offer commentary about a subject peripherally related to psychiatry, or throw in a mind teaser or two for boredom relief.  Finally, I've added some of my favorite mental health links, which I think you'll find both informative and humorous. 

In closing, my goal is that this venue will allow us an opportunity to share clinical experiences and ideas, through candid discussion, that will serve to lessen rather than enhance the contentiousness that exists in psychiatry today.  I welcome your questions and comments.


Scott Zentner

The Extraction of the Stone of Madness
Artist: Hieronymus Bosch


Carlat Blog

David Allen Blog

Dr. Bob

Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders

Great Ideas In Personality

Internet Mental Health



-- written by Max Ehrmann in the 1920s --

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

To laugh often and much;
to win the respect of intelligent people
    and the affection of children;
to earn the appreciation of honest critics
    and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others;
to leave the world a bit better,
    whether by a healthy child,
    a garden patch
    or a redeemed social condition;
to know even one life has breathed easier
    because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.
                                                                    Author Unknown (often incorrectly attributed to Emerson)

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