Bipolar specialist in the LA area
December 23, 2009 2:16 PM   Subscribe

(Asking for a friend) Any pointers to a good psychiatrist for bipolar disorder in the LA area?

My friend was diagnosed with bipolar II a bit less than a year ago. She tried a couple of drugs for it, but they had too-severe side effects and she stopped after a couple of weeks.

Since then she's been managing pretty well without drugs, but recognizes that things could be better, and is now willing to give it another go.

The psychiatrist that our university's health center refers us to is kind of lame in this area. I get the impression that she just tries drugs until something works, without much individual care; she is also well-known for giving you any drug you ask for by name (yay for easy Provigil access!). On the other side of the coin, I recently browsed through a book Bipolar Breakthrough in the bookstore, and what stuck with me was that it was written by a guy who specializes in bipolar and is full of anecdotes where he obviously spends a lot of time on individual patients figuring out what would work best for them.

With this in mind, my friend was hoping to get any recommendations for good psychiatrists in the LA area, especially ones that treat bipolar II. The internet seems unhelpful in this regard, so maybe we're choosing the wrong keywords; help there would be cool too.
posted by Jacen Solo to Health & Fitness (4 answers total)
Where in LA specifically?
posted by so_gracefully at 5:39 PM on December 23, 2009

Best answer: If you're near or willing to get to the Pasadena area, call Dr. Alan Karme (626-793-8194). I've been going to him for the past 3 years and can't imagine what I'll do when he stops practicing. He's pretty popular, so getting an appointment can sometimes be difficult. But I found that his assistant does her best to fit you in.

Only drawback to him is that since he is popular and he tends to not go strictly by the half hour time-frame (he'll see you for a little longer if you need it, at the same rate), he sometimes runs a bit late. Since the building he's in charges for parking and does not validate, this can get a little annoying. The max rate in the building is $6 though, which I think is well worth it.
posted by arishaun at 6:24 PM on December 23, 2009

Response by poster: Pasadena area specifically, actually, but a drive would be acceptable if it's worth it. Sounds like arishaun has a solution that works regardless, though!!
posted by Jacen Solo at 10:01 PM on December 23, 2009

My suggestions are actually Pasadena-area-specific as well. I'll add in my $0.02 since psychiatrists' schedules (particularly for intakes) can be booked solid months in advance. A tip: if your friend has a fairly open schedule, have her tell them she'd like to be on the wait list for appointments that become open by reason of cancellation. This could potentially speed up the wait for the first appt., which is very commonly 2-3 months.

Dr. Linda Woodall
1560 East Chevy Chase Drive Suite 130
Glendale, CA, 91206
(818) 240-0340

Dr. Rick Lasarow
253 South Marengo Avenue
Pasadena, CA, 91101
(626) 795-9495

Dr. Mariel Tourani
595 East Colorado Boulevard Suite 501
Pasadena, CA, 91101
(626) 577-9691

Dr. Alex Beebee
97 West Bellevue Drive Suite B
Pasadena, CA, 91105
(626) 577-1305
posted by so_gracefully at 7:19 AM on December 24, 2009

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