Posts Tagged ‘Dr. Sanam Hafeez’


Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

How we think and react to life’s routine stressors directly impacts our appearance in aging. When stressed, we see it in our skin tone, texture, elasticity, and overall glow.  “When someone is under stress they can appear up to 5 years older, 10 years if they don’t manage stress or make changes to their lives,” explains Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a Colombia University Professor and Founder of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services in New York City.  “Stressful relationships and careers age people. I have seen patients end relationships or get new jobs and look 10 years younger within days.  People are spending money on creams, facials and cosmetic procedures but if the stress is still there it will still show in their face,” she offers. These are a number of way in which stress can appear on your face:

Dark Circles   Stress results in excessive blood flow to the major organs.  Dr. Hafeez explains that this pressure affects the delicate under-eye area where fragile capillaries break under pressure, leaving the face looking sallow and tired.

Heavy Jaw  Grinding teeth and clenching of the jaw are common symptoms of stress. Unfortunately, these habits can cause the jaw muscles to work overtime. This can result not only in damaged teeth, but also a far heavier jawline, as the muscles “bulk up” with the grinding action.

Under-Eye Bags  There is a reason they call it “beauty sleep.”  “A lack of sleep and regeneration can cause fluids to pool beneath the lower eyelids, creating a puffy appearance,” shares Dr. Hafeez.  Stomach sleepers should be advised that under-eye bloat is actually exacerbated by gravitational pull.

Hair Loss  Stress can trigger sudden hair loss by literally flipping the switch on the hair follicle’s growth stage from an active to a resting phase. When the follicle prematurely enters this phase, it remains dormant for about three months, after which time a large amount of hair will be shed. When you experience an overall shedding of hair, you must cast back a few months to find the trigger. According to Dr. Hafeez, stress hair loss in women is usually temporary.

Adult Acne  Acne is not just for hormonally-charged teenagers. Many adults suffer from acne as a result of stress hormones.   According to Dr. Hafeez, for stressed-out adults, the condition is often exacerbated by an obsessive need to squeeze, poke, and pick at lesions as a way to to release tension.  No picking, as it only increases inflammation.



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.