Roman Tritz

World War II bomber pilot Roman Tritz died earlier this year at the age of 97. He was the last known survivor of a U.S. government program that lobotomized combat veterans who suffered from treatment-resistant forms of mental illness, including profound depression, anxiety and psychosis. As we honor our veterans

With Our Young and With Our Old

The eight days of Passover begin next Wednesday evening. Depending on family traditions, the Seder can take hours and hours or be quite brief. But in all cases, it is essential to recount the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt as if we were experiencing it ourselves. As the story

Health and Aging & Mental Health

Most of us have a love-hate relationship with aging. We want to grow older, but we don’t want to grow old. The good news is that we are living longer. The bad news is that many individuals and families and societies are not ready for what this means. That is

Grazie, Gaby

This week I write from Bologna, one of the places that I call home. It is almost 40 years ago that I arrived as a university student. Gabriella Conti was in search of an English tutor for her young sons in exchange for room and board. It was a match

What’s On Our Mind: Dementia

This week, we launched a new series called “What’s On Our Mind” to provide a space where we can talk with experts from around the world about current mental health issues. Hosted on Facebook Live (you don’t need a Facebook account to view), our aim is to provide an informative

Dementia Reimagined

Dr. Tia Powell directs the Center for Bioethics for Montefiore Health System and Albert Einstein College of Medicine.  She is a national expert on dementia, and for full disclosure, she is a dear friend. So, it is with enormous joy that I share with you a conversation I had with

Grow Old with Me…

… the best is yet to be. A beautiful notion about the journey of increasing years. We are social creatures and relationships play a key role in protecting and promoting our mental health throughout our lives. So it is ironic that our advances in technology are creating a modern way

Putting our Heads Together

The news comes at us rapid fire these days. And this week, I am sure I am not alone in my struggle to make sense of the tragedy of another school shooting, the embattled state of immigration policy for “the Dreamers,” the high level plea bargains and payments to sex

Happy 103rd Birthday, Lucy Ozarin!

Lucy Ozarin – one of the first women psychiatrists to serve in the Navy and one of only seven women psychiatrists to serve during World War II – turns 103 today! I had heard all kinds of superlatives about Lucy from my mother-in-law, but when I had the honor of

Restaurant of Order Mistakes & other ideas with Dementia in mind

Today is my dad’s 85th birthday. Of course, he wishes his golf game were better, and we wish he would wear his hearing aids more regularly, but all in all, life is good for this kid from the Bronx, and we will celebrate with extended family in Italy this summer.

Have You Had “The Conversation?”

My mother turned 85 last month. Sitting at lunch to celebrate, we had a conversation about how she wants to live this last chapter of her life, how she wants to die, and even what music she wants when people come together to say goodbye. Sound morbid? Actually, my mom

One Year Old

My great nephew, Ethan, turned one yesterday and we are celebrating at Disney World. Yes: Disney World. For months, friends and colleagues have said that this was a crazy idea. “He’s too young!” “He’ll never remember anything!” I demurred and abdicated responsibility. You see, it wasn’t my idea – it was