Insomnia May Be Hiding Depression

The National Institute of Mental Health is evaluating research data on insomnia and depression from major U.S. schools such as Stanford, Duke, the University of Pittsburgh, as well as Ryerson University in Toronto. The research from all schools conclude that while it has been long held belief that depression causes insomnia, insomnia can actually precede and directly contribute to causing depression. The link between depression and insomnia works in both directions, however treating both can make a huge difference in curing both depression and insomnia.

Common Signs of Insomnia with Undiagnosed Depression

Some of the most common signs reported for an insomnia diagnosis include:

  • Fatigue during the daytime with loss of energy
  • Irritability with others
  • Difficulty concentrating and focusing
  • Feeling like you never get “enough” sleep
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Difficulty going back to sleep after waking up during the night
  • Waking up at all hours of the night
  • Waking up before the alarm clock goes off

Common signs of Major Depression

Some of the most common symptoms of major depression also include signs that point to insomnia:

  • Change in sleep patterns
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Impaired concentration with complaints of poor memory
  • Insomnia or its reverse hypersomnia (excessive sleeping)
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Problems staying asleep all night

While there is cross-over of symptoms between insomnia and depression it does not mean you have one or both of these two diagnoses. Only an experienced psychiatrist can correctly diagnosis and successfully treat either insomnia, depression, or a combination of the two discovering if it was insomnia that preceded the depression or vise-versa.

Combination Treatment Effective

Depression and insomnia do respond to use of one or a combination of medication and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). While pharmacological and CBT can be used to treat both depression and insomnia, treatment of insomnia or sleep problems are typically an integral component used in the treatment of depression.

Getting Help

Self-diagnosis or incorrect diagnosis and treatment may cause more harm than good, delay proper treatment, and risk developing other physical, medical or mental health issues.

Call Dr. Hege for a confidential day, evening or weekend appointment.




Evening and Weekend Psychiatric Care a Winning Plan

In a national survey of counseling centers, the Journal NASPA reports that the demand for psychiatric or mental health counseling has increased along with the severity of mental health issues and disorders being diagnosed. To add an additional stressor — in this fast paced world we live in there is often little available extra time where personal mental health issues can be effectively treated or managed.

Social and Cultural Factors Related to Rising Numbers of Mental Health Issues

While many psychological disorders may manifest themselves in early adulthood, social and cultural factors may be directly related to the rising numbers of severe mental health concerns being diagnosed and reported across the country. Social and cultural factors that may heighten or allow the development of mental health disorders include:

  • Stress and emotional factors related to divorce or relationships ending
  • Trying to cope within a dysfunctional family
  • Poor parenting skills that lead to feeling overwhelmed, angry, guilty, or to beliefs of worthlessness, incompetence, or of being a bad parent
  • Poor frustration tolerance with little to no coping strategies
  • Exposure to violence in the family or within group dynamics
  • Difficulty dealing with instability in life that includes no job security, a poor financial situation, failing relationships, a change in personal support systems, or developing a fear of what the future holds
  • Experimentation with drugs, alcohol or sex that turns into an addiction
  • Poor interpersonal attachments or relationships related to increased use of technology and decreased person to person social interaction time
  • Development of multiple mental health issues or disorders that require professional evaluation and treatment planning to cover all areas of concern
  • Need to juggle multiple part-time jobs to “make ends meet”
  • Loss of energy related to poor sleep patterns, being “stretched too thin,” constant worry or emotional overload
  • Scheduling mental health care around an already over-stressed lifestyle

Evening and Weekend Psychiatric Care is an Alternative that Works

While there are numerous life stressors and rough patches that can trigger a psychological or physiological response requiring psychiatric evaluation and care, scheduling an appointment should not be another obstacle to face. When your life is under pressure, having the option to schedule an appointment that does not require a change to your daily routine gives you one less stressor to worry about.

Atlanta Psychiatrist Appointments Meet Your Life’s Schedule

Atlanta evening and weekend psychiatry with Dr. Darvin Hege is a practical alternative to traditional mental health services in the area. When you need an appointment that works around your work, family situation, home or school schedule you will find Dr. Hege offers flexible days and times including evenings and weekends.

Call the office today to set up an appointment time that fits your life.

Opioid Dependence a Chronic Illness That Can be Successfully Managed

Columbia University research studies have documented that opioid addiction in the U.S. tripled during the ’90s. Statistics from 2009 indicate nearly 2 million Americans were either dependent on or abusing opioid prescription pain medication such as OxyContin/oxycodone, Vicodin/hydrocodone or Demerol/meperidine.

Atlanta Opioid Addiction Needs Long-Term Treatment

Opioid addiction is more common than the abuse or dependence on any other type of prescription medication and two-times greater than those addicted to cocaine. The World Health Organization presents opioid dependence as a complex health condition that typically requires long-term treatment.

Opioid addiction is viewed as a life-long chronic illness or disease, such as diabetes, asthma, or heart disease, which can be successfully managed but not “cured.” The development of a pharmacological treatment regime under the direct care of an opioid addiction psychiatrist has proven to be the most successful in overall management of opioid dependence.

Common Indicators of Georgia Opioid Dependence

While a thorough evaluation by an Atlanta opioid addiction psychiatrist provides the foundation for developing a comprehensive medical and medication treatment plan, the following list of behaviors may be the impetus that drives you to make an appointment with Darvin Hege, M.D.,  expert in opioid dependence with over two decades of experience in the field.

Generally, a person who exhibits three or more of the following behaviors may be considered opioid dependent:

  • Reports withdrawal symptoms when opioid medications are stopped or significantly reduced, often using other drugs to help diminish withdrawal symptoms
  • Increasing amounts of opiates taken, or taking them for longer periods of time
  • Needing to take more of the opioid medication in order to get the same effect that you once experienced
  • Wanting to quit, however are unsuccessful time and time again
  • Increased time is spent trying to obtain more of the medication
  • Finding the recovery period from taking opiates take longer and longer
  • Employment issues arise, such as missing work, being late for work, not being able to perform work properly, or being unable to find work if unemployed
  • Spending less time with friends and family who do not use opioids
  • Continuing to use opiates even when faced with negative consequences

Georgia Opioid Dependence Takes Control of Your Life

Opioid dependence slowly takes over and controls your life. Opiates are highly addictive and by their nature activate the brain’s pleasure and reward centers while making changes in the brain’s structure and function. The belief often forms that opioids are necessary for survival and attempts are made by any means to obtain opioid medications, either legally or illegally.

Atlanta Opioid Addiction Psychiatrist

By the time a person develops a dependence on opioids their brain no longer functions normally without these drugs in their system. Brain centers that involve judgment, perception and caution become impaired.

The Atlanta opioid addiction psychiatrist Dr. Darvin Hege has successfully helped patients regain the life they once had through an individually constructed, medically managed pharmacological treatment plan. Call the office and begin to live your life once again.

Reduce Narcotic Cravings and Withdrawal Symptoms with SUBOXONE Film

Prescription opioid pain reliever use has more than doubled in the past 5 years. The National Institute for Drug Abuse and the World Health Organization have defined that dependence on opioids, such as prescription pain medication and heroin, are now recognized as a long-term brain disease — a medical condition and narcotic addiction that can be successfully treated by experienced psychiatrists and other medical specialists.

Statistics on Opiate Addiction and Abuse

With over 7-million people in the U.S. addicted or dependent on an opiate drug or prescription pain medications, the cost is almost $500 billion dollars a year. Emergency room visits related to prescription drug abuse well exceeds 1 million visits a year; in almost 400,000 of these visits the patient received a prescription for opioid pain relievers. The Institute of Addiction Medicine states that opioid painkillers are chemically similar to heroin and can be just as addictive.

Break the Chains of Physiological Addiction with SUBOXONE Film

Developing an addiction to opioids can happen to anyone. Management of pain, chronic or acute, can include a prescription for opioids which include for example: Vicodin, OxyContin, codeine, Kadian, or Percocet. Once a dependence on these medications develops, the willpower loses out again and again in the fight against the chemical, psychological, and behavioral stronghold of opioid addiction. Opioid addiction takes more than willpower to overcome the fight — it takes a medically managed and proven medication treatment plan.

Your Atlanta narcotic addiction psychiatrist Darvin Hege, M.D. may prescribe SUBOXONE Film while carefully monitoring your opioid withdrawal day by day until you are able to manage monthly medication reassessments. SUBOXONE Film assists with reduction of narcotic cravings as well as easing your body through the withdrawal symptoms. SUBOXONE Film, whose active ingredient is buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist, produces less of a euphoric effect than a full opioid would, thus helps to suppress withdrawal symptoms and reduce narcotic cravings.

SUBOXONE Film Prescriptions Can be Called in to a Pharmacy

SUBOXONE Film contains both buprenorphine and naloxone which provides a medically monitored way to withdrawal over time as well as mixing in an ingredient that discourages misuse of the medication. Buprenorphine attaches to opioid receptors suppressing both the uncomfortable cravings and the symptoms of withdrawal. Naloxone has no physiological effect if SUBOXONE Film is taken as prescribed.

Atlanta Opioid Addiction Psychiatrist Has High Success Rate

If opioid pain medications have taken control of your life, there is a way back. The highly regarded Atlanta narcotic addiction psychiatrist Darvin Hege, M.D. is available to help bring you out of the clutches of pain medication addiction so you can make your life and family first priority again.

Call the office to schedule a confidential initial meeting and evaluation.

Strattera, the Non-Stimulant Adult ADHD Medication for Optimal Results

There are several medication options that your ADHD psychiatrist has at their disposal in evaluating and defining the appropriate treatment regime for you. Everyone is unique in how they react to different levels of ADHD medications, either as a singular prescription or in combination with other types of non-ADHD drugs. While the diagnosis of adult ADHD does require exhibiting specific common symptoms and behaviors, the appropriate medication treatment plan can significantly vary from person to person.

Adult ADHD Prescription Medications

The most common medications used for Adult ADHD are stimulants. Stimulants can help those who exhibit symptoms such as restlessness, inattention, lack of concentration, and difficulty completing work within time limits, as well as those who exhibit reckless behavior or have difficulty managing their anger in social situations. But for some, a stimulant may not be the best choice. An alternative treatment option for ADHD is Strattera – a non-stimulant medication.

Psychiatrists with an extensive background in evaluating and treating adult ADHD can successfully determine what medications bring you relief from your symptoms and negative behaviors. Strattera is an important drug to consider, especially if you might do better with a non-stimulant treatment plan.

How Does Strattera Work?

The Journal of Psychiatry reports that Strattera, or atomoxetine hydrochloride, is a non-stimulant ADHD psychotherapeutic agent that works to increase brain levels of norepinephrine, a chemical that is in short supply in those people that are diagnosed with ADHD.

The increase in levels of norepinephrine has a positive impact on one’s life by improving attention span, reducing impulsivity and hyperactivity without the use of a stimulant. In addition Strattera can be discontinued without having to taper off the medication like with the other adult ADHD stimulant prescriptions.

Strattera begins to work gradually, so improvements will not be immediate but continue to increase over several months. If more immediate relief is needed, Strattera may be paired with other medications that don’t take as much time to build up in one’s system. Then once Strattera has had time to reach full effect, a person may be weaned off stimulants.

Is It Right for You? Talk to a Georgia Psychiatrist.

Your Atlanta adult ADHD psychiatrist Dr. Darvin Hege, M.D. will work with you to complete a comprehensive evaluation, developing the most effective treatment plan for your physiology, symptoms and behaviors.

Coping with the often frustrating symptoms of adult ADHD can lead to life and social disturbances that can lead to other self abusive behaviors and depression. If you have adult ADHD by itself or with a combination of other emotional or psychological issues, call Dr. Darvin Hege, M.D. to schedule an initial visit and assessment and bring yourself back to the positive side of living.

Clinical Depression Affects 1 in 10 People

Everyone experiences times in their lives when they feel discouraged, sad, and out of sorts about life. There are many reasons for people to become unhappy and depressed. Examples of things which may cause feelings of unhappiness and sadness can include things like dealing with a death in the family, conflict of some type with other people, suffering from a serious illness, divorce, or undergoing a major change in employment or education. For many, these depressed periods in their lives are temporary and do not continue to last for more than a short period of time.

Effective Medication for Depression – Atlanta Depression Psychiatrist

When depression is long lasting and persistent over a period of weeks and it begins to overwhelm your life leaving you with feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, it is time to get the help of a psychiatrist who can prescribe medication proven effective in treating the symptoms of depression. Specific symptoms of depression can vary between individuals but generally there are some symptoms which are common. If you exhibit one or more of these symptoms for a period of weeks there is help available. What are the symptoms of depression? The symptoms of severe or clinical depression include;

  • Depression most of the day, nearly every day
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you once enjoyed
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping on a daily basis
  • Excessive fatigue, lack of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Feelings of hopelessness and isolation
  • Diminished ability to think and concentrate
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Severe depression has been linked to causes including genetic makeup and environmental, psychological, and biochemical factors. It is estimated that as many as 1 in 10 people suffer from depression and twice as many women as men. Some of the most effective treatments for clinical depression include antidepressants. Research suggests that there are significant changes in the brain chemistry of depressed people and antidepressant medication helps restore that chemical balance.

Depression is a treatable psychological disorder which usually surfaces in the late teens to mid-twenties, but is also commonly found in older adults. If you need help with depression your best course of action would be to consult with an Atlanta psychiatrist like Dr. Hege. Unlike a psychologist, a psychiatrist like Dr. Hege is a medical doctor who can prescribe medication to treat your symptoms.

Atlanta Depression Psychiatrist Dr. Hege

Dr. Hege is an experienced Atlanta psychiatrist who helps patients with depression. He’s been helping patients for over 25 years. He can prescribe medication for your depression to help you lead a more balanced, symptom free life. Contact his office today and make an appointment to evaluate your condition and learn how Dr. Hege can help you.

Panic Attacks: Control the Fear with the Proper Treatment Regimen

Panic attacks are often viewed by society with a negative connotation attached to the diagnosis which leaves many to suffer without seeking medical help. The Mayo Clinic reports the medical community recognizes panic attacks as a medical condition that is successfully treated with proper medication or a specific combination of prescriptions.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine reports statistical data indicates 2-3% of the population have panic disorder. That’s almost 7 million adults who are affected by panic disorder. Unfortunately most people with panic disorder never seek treatment. For those properly evaluated by a psychiatrist who specializes in the treatment of panic and anxiety disorders, 90% find relief from their fear and severe physical reactions.

What is a Panic Attack?

A panic attack is a type of anxiety disorder where you have a sudden overwhelming fear that consumes the person without warning or any obvious reason, peaking in about 10 minutes. In addition, an attack also triggers severe physiological reactions which take the fear and anxiety to new levels of extreme. Recurrent panic attacks, and living in fear of another attack may indicate you have a panic disorder, which can be successfully treated by a specialized psychiatrist.

What Causes Panic Attacks and Anxiety Disorder?

While the cause of panic attacks is unknown, there is a connection between major life transitions and degree of stress involved. The National Institute of Mental Health report one episode may not indicate an underlying anxiety disorder; however living in fear of having a recurring episode has a negative impact on your home and social life as well as gainful employment. A full comprehensive evaluation by a psychiatrist is crucial to provide the proper diagnosis that can then be successfully treated.

What are the Symptoms of Panic Attack or Panic Disorder?

There are a variety of symptoms that accompany a panic attack. People generally present with at least four of the following symptoms during a panic attack:

  • Chest pain or heavy discomfort
  • Heart palpitations, unusual heart rhythm or “pounding” heart
  • Shortness of breath or feeling like you will suffocate
  • Overwhelming fear of impending doom
  • Numbness and tingling in your arms, legs or face
  • Uncontrollable shaking, shivering or trembling
  • Fear of dying
  • Profuse sweating, hot flashes, or chills
  • Nausea, upset stomach, inability to eat
  • Feeling dizzy, lightheaded or faint
  • Feeling detached from reality

In addition, panic disorder can occur with other masked disorders which are often missed during a medical or psychological evaluation. Panic disorder may be associated with OCD, depression, substance abuse and alcoholism.

Atlanta Panic Attack Psychiatrist

Dr. Darvin Hege, MD, PC, is a well respected Atlanta panic attack psychiatrist with over 25 years of experience. Dr. Hege’s evaluation and subsequent diagnosis or multiple diagnoses is vital in developing a successful treatment and medication regime for panic disorder where the goal is to help you function without fear in everyday life situations.

Anxiety Disorders: the Most Common Mental Illness in America Today

Anxiety and worry is a normal part of our human makeup. In the distant past, anxiety had a purpose that helped our ancient ancestors survive by keeping them alert to the dangers they faced daily so they could be ready to act and stay alive. Today we are far removed from the need for being constantly on guard against a hostile world to ensure our survival.

When worry and anxiety become extreme, out of control, prolonged, begin to affect our ability to do our jobs, affect our relationships with others, or we begin to lose the enjoyment of life, we may need help getting balance back into our lives. Included in the category of anxiety disorders are panic attacks, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and several phobias such as agoraphobia, and excessive social shyness. Anxiety disorders are the most common form of mental illness, affecting 40 million adults in the United States, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, mental disorders are the leading cause of disability in the United States. A psychiatrist can quickly determine if you are suffering from an anxiety disorder or other disorders that can affect the ability to function normally and enjoy life. By knowing which medications to prescribe for those affected with anxiety disorders or other mental disorders, a psychiatrist can help to restore your mental health. Medication is an important option to consider and has helped thousands to regain balance in their lives and enabled them to function as contributing members of society.

Atlanta Anxiety Disorder Psychiatrist

If you’re looking for an experienced Atlanta anxiety disorder psychiatrist who has been helping people in the Atlanta area for many years, contact Dr. Hege. He can help with your anxiety disorder. He can help prescribe you medications that may help you regain your enjoyment of life. Give us a call or submit a message through our online form.

ADHD in Adults is Difficult to Diagnose without Comprehensive Evaluation

The American Journal of Psychiatry published a research study which proposed that while ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is most typically thought of as a pediatric and adolescent disorder, approximately 4.4% of adults in the U.S. have symptoms of ADHD that were either never addressed as a child, or where the adult is unaware that they have the disorder. If you’ve been exhibiting any symptoms of ADHD, Atlanta psychiatrist Dr. Hege can provide an evaluation and prescribe medications to help.

Diagnosis of Adult ADHD is Difficult & Often Missed

There are over 230 million adults 18 years of age and older in the U.S., accounting for 76% of the country’s total population. The numbers show that over 10 million adults not only show symptoms of ADHD, they also exhibit co-morbid disorders; such as bipolar disorder or obsessive compulsive disorder, which significantly complicate a diagnosis and have an impact on the treatment options.

Many physicians and mental health professionals often miss the appropriate diagnosis of ADHD in adults as the symptoms manifest differently in adults then they do with the children they commonly diagnose with ADHD. The Mayo Clinic takes note that adult ADHD symptoms are intermixed with numerous issues such as having a poor employment history, difficulty with academic work, unstable long term relationships, being accident prone, and struggling with substance abuse to name a few.

Symptoms of Adult ADHD

Adults with symptoms of ADHD also exhibit anxiety and mood disorders, depression, impulse control disorders and demonstrate impairments in executive functioning; these higher levels of cognitive functioning directly impact on the ability to perform as an employee, a parent, a spouse, and as a productive member of society.

Executive function refers to the brain’s ability to focus, integrate and manage multiple tasks, organize thoughts and ideas, as well as appropriately handle emotional control. An adult with ADHD would also exhibit problems with memory and recall, ability to complete routine tasks, distractibility, and difficulty with timeliness. Impairment in any of the areas of executive function is tightly interlaced with the symptoms of adult ADHD.

Atlanta Adult ADHD Specialist

Working with a specialist in adult ADHD is critical for a comprehensive evaluation and diagnosis followed by the development of a specific medication regime.  Dr. Darvin Hege is a highly respected Atlanta adult ADHD specialist, who not only treats the symptoms, he also successfully focuses on the foundational causative factor of ADHD bringing his patients satisfaction and enjoyment in their lives.

If you or a loved one is exhibiting any of the symptoms for adult ADHD, please call Dr. Hege, for an initial appointment and evaluation.

ADHD drugs safe for adults’ hearts, research finds


Reprinted from

Ritalin and other drugs used to treat attention deficit disorder are safe for adults’ hearts, even though they can increase blood pressure and heart rate, according to the largest study of these medicines in adults.

The results echo findings in a study of children with ADHD, by the same researchers, published last month.

The review of health records for more than 440,000 adults aged 25 to 64 showed those taking ADHD drugs had about the same number of heart attacks, strokes and sudden heart-related deaths as adults who didn’t use those drugs.

Although attention deficit disorder is usually thought of as a condition in childhood, many continue to have symptoms as adults, including impulsive, fidgety behavior and difficulty focusing or paying attention. ADHD affects about 4 percent of U.S. adults, roughly 9 million. About 8 percent of U.S. children aged 3 to 17, or 5 million kids, have ever been diagnosed with the disorder, government statistics show.

More than 1.5 million U.S. adults were taking stimulants used for ADHD in 2005, and use of ADHD drugs increased more rapidly in adults than in kids over the past decade, the study said.

The research will be published in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s Dec. 28 print edition, but was released online Monday because of its public health importance, journal editors said.

More than 150,000 ADHD medication users were involved in several states. Their health records over up to 20 years were compared with similar adults who did not use those drugs.

Overall, there were 1,357 heart attacks, 575 strokes and 296 sudden cardiac deaths. Roughly equal numbers occurred in ADHD drug users and nonusers.

Study participants used the drugs for an average of less than a year, which is short, but the upper range of use was almost 14 years, and there was no sign of increasing risk with longer use, the authors said, led by Laurel Habel of the research division at Kaiser Permanente Northern California in Oakland.

A journal editorial says the study provides encouraging news, given lingering concerns about isolated reports of heart problems and sudden deaths in users of some ADHD drugs.

The findings support the Food and Drug Administration’s decision in 2006 against putting a black box warning about serious heart events on ADHD drug labels. But despite the results, medical histories and exams should still be performed for all patients before starting ADHD drugs, and periodic evaluations should be done during drug treatment, said editorial author Dr. Philip Shaw of the National Human Genome Research Institute.

The federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the FDA helped pay for the study

See original article at