Posts Tagged ‘Dr. Sanam Hafeez’


Sunday, April 16th, 2017

We all strive to continuous improve ourselves mentally and physically. However, sometimes our bad habits just get in the way of the lives we hope to lead.  Scientists have many explanations for why we adhere to bad habits, but rarely provide us with the tools to stop them. Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a Manhattan neuropsychologist, addresses some of the most common habits and shares why we need to kick them now! 

Overspending your way into debt.  Money worries can have serious health consequences. In a Rutgers University telephone survey, responders said financial stress contributed to high blood pressure, depression, insomnia, headaches, digestion troubles, aches and pains, ulcers, excessive smoking and drinking, and gaining or losing weight.  Dr. Hafeez points out, “Getting yourself out of debt is a lot like losing weight. It takes time, can be hard on your ego and your lifestyle, you have to be constantly vigilant, and it’s easy to revert back to old habits. But for those who succeed, and many people do, the results are stunning. You’ll feel more in control of your life with less stress and fewer worries. They key here is recognizing the problem and not trying to tackle it alone.”

Overusing painkillers and sedatives.  When not taken properly, long-term habitual use of pain medications can cause more problems than it solves. Using drugs like ibuprofen or aspirin for arthritis or muscle pain can over time increase your risk for ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, high blood pressure, and heart attacks. Since these drugs ease pain you may want to keep on taking them, which can lead to addiction.  According to Dr. Hafeez, “New pain-relief strategies can ease muscle, joint, and head pain with fewer pills and side effects. Kicking the sedative and prescription pain pill habit is possible with commitment and support, and once the pill taking has ceased, your body will quickly rebound from their effects. You’ll spend less money on medications. You may cut your risk for heart and high blood pressure problems as well as gastrointestinal ulcers and bleeding. You’ll also be more alert and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve beaten a drug dependency.” (more…)


Thursday, March 9th, 2017

With more and more women turning to dating apps and websites for introductions, the images of the men they are being presented rarely match the individual they meet.  What begins as an “immediate connection” soon develops into something too good to be true.  According to Dr. Sanam Hafeez, founder and Clinical Director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services and  teaching faculty member at Columbia University Teacher’s College, narcissists are found everywhere and in varying degrees.  According to Dr. Hafeez, the current “swipe right” dating culture only feeds their agendas; therefore, it is important to not only understand who they are, but know how to identify them.

What is narcissism?  Many mental health specialists agree that a narcissist is an individual who has an excessive interest or admiration of himself;  this “false self” is often one created to cope with pain from early childhood. “Narcissists are disconnected from their true selves and are constantly working to appear better than others. They have an idealized self-image and are in love with that image which hides their true wounded self,” says Dr. Hafeez.

Red Flags

1. Narcissists are devastatingly charming. They are incredibly upbeat and bombard you with compliments. Immediately you are disarmed and captivated.  With a quick wit, they are able to read people and know how to appeal to theem. “Narcissists are great at building rapport quickly; however, they are doing so to serve themselves first and foremost. In other words, they feed off the attention, admiration and validation of others so they charm with an agenda,” cautions Dr. Hafeez.

2. In their mind, it’s really all about them.   While a narcissist appears to be interested in someone else, he will always return the conversation to himself. “These are not team players. They look to their partner to be the source of their happiness and much of that happiness comes from getting approval or even sympathy,” explains Dr. Hafeez. “Early on in their childhoods the narcissist didn’t get the nurturing they needed to feel secure. They were neglected or made to feel as if they were bad, so they spend their time and energy showing how great they are,” she adds.


Thursday, November 10th, 2016


Regardless of whom you voted for in the 2016 Presidential election, there is one thing we all can agree on:  the process was terribly stressful! For the past year people have been heated on social media, blocking and un-friending those on “the other side,” arguing within their families, and fighting with their spouses.  Now that the election is over, half of America is feeling the stress associated with loss. Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a NYC licensed clinical psychologist and the founder and Clinical Director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, shares shares the signs of Post-Election Stress Disorder and how to manage its symptoms.

Your stomach is in knots!  According to Dr. Hafeez, stressing out about the future of our country can certainly manifest in physical discomfort. When you ruminate about the worst-case scenario it can lead to stomach tension, nausea and lack of appetite. She advises taking a break from news coverage and discussion of the election results. “You want to be informed but YOU want to be in control of the news you are seeking out. Select one media outlet that you want to get your news from. Check in the morning and then focus on what you have to do that day.”

You can’t focus!  Your mind wanders and you keep worrying about the next four years of your life. These wandering thoughts lead to a lack of focus. Dr. Hafeez explains that when we are fixated on a thought and are in a state of worry, it is difficult to give full attention to anything else. Her advice is to decompress — going for a thirty minute walk, exercising, meditating by lying still and focusing on your breath, coloring in a coloring book or playing catch with a ball.  “You want to choose tasks that are repetitive, pleasurable, calming and don’t require a lot of focus,” she suggests. (more…)