Seattle >Doctors >
Surgeons >Orenstein Herbert Md
901 Boren Ave Ste 702, Seattle, WA | Directions 9810447.608607 -122.325243
Mon. - Fri. 9am - 5pm;Sat. - Sun. CLOSED
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Central Business District
Best Psychopharmacologist – I became depressed about ten years ago. I saw several psychiatrists, but medications never seemed to agree with me. I pretty much gave up on the drug approach . However, two years ago, a friend of mine sang the praises of Dr. Orenstein and persuaded me to give psychiatry one more try. Well, it was an eye-opener. After reviewing my medication history, Dr. Orenstein told me that my problem was that I had been repeatedly overdosed on antidepressants. He said that I was too sensitive to side effects to tolerate conventional doses. He recommended that I try Zoloft one more time. Zoloft was a nasty drug which had caused me terrible nervous tension. Naturally, I was reluctant to go that route. However, the doctor encouraged me to start out on only a fraction of a 25 mg pill - the smallest pill they make - something the size of a grain of sand. He told me to raise the dose by an extra crumb each day and call him as soon as I noticed any change, good or bad. Well, although I was skeptical, I gave his plan a try. I noticed very little until I had worked my way up to two full pills, or 50 mg a day. By that point, I was once again a nervous wreck, just like the last time that I had tried Zoloft. It was very discouraging. At my next appointment, the doctor teased out of me the fact that I had experienced a very very slight improvement on only one pill, 25 mg a day, and that, at about one and a quarter pills, I had started feeling more and more agitated. He told me that I should have called him, because, if I had, he would have instructed me to stop raising the dose at one pill a day because that was the first dose at which things had begun to change. Well, he was right. I followed his advice, lowered my dose to one pill a day, and almost immediately started feeling better. It took another few weeks on 25 mg a day, but I finally reached the point of full recovery. From that day forward, I have felt like a new man. The change in my life has been revolutionary. If only one or another of my previous doctors had told me to lower the dose the moment I felt side effects, I probably would have been cured years ago. In retrospect, it all seems so obvious. But this small adjustment in dosing made all the difference in the world. I am able to take Zoloft without side effects. And it works! I wanted to tell my story because Dr. Orenstein has made such a big difference in my life. I can't speak highly enough about his warmth and his professionalism. As far as I'm concerned, he's the best psychopharmacologist in Seattle. I recommend him without reservation.
I Owe Dr. Herbert Orenstein So Much!!! – Dr. Orensten is a Premier Doctor who provides respect, experience and superior medical expertise for his patients. He goes beyond to ensure his patients are safe and protected by his care.
I Owe Dr. Orenstein So Much and My Sincere Thanks Will Last Forever
Trust Dr. Orenstein. He's the best! – I've never written a review before, but here I am on the web to say "thank you" to Dr. O. Thank you for saving my life.
I first met Dr Orenstein two years ago. At that time, I was a basket case. I'd been in and out of hospitals, diagnosed as "Bipolar", "Suicidally depressed", "Anxiety Disorder", "Manic". You name it, I had the label to prove it. Meanwhile, my life went south. I got fired from my job. I spent all my savings. My friends melted away. I had to go back to living with my folks. I was miserable. All the different doctors ever did was suggest the same drugs over and over again. Depakote - I gained 40 pounds. Zoloft - made me a nervous wreck. Lamictal - gave me a rash. Trileptal - I slept all day. Zyprexa - part of that 40 pound weight gain. etc. etc. With every medicine I was sick as a dog. But all the doctors would ever say about it was "stick with it, you'll get used to it".
My initial meeting with Dr. O was an eye-opener. First off, he told me that it wasn't necessary to suffer with a lot of side effects to get better. That was hard to believe - but it sounded good! Whatever amount I could tolerate was good enough. I was on Lithium at the time. It was making me feel awful - shaky, weak and sick to my stomach. Right off the bat, the doctor told me to lower the dose from one pill three times a day to only one at night (the doctor said that I should take all my meds once a day at bedtime so if I'm sleepy it doesn't get in the way the next day). What a relief. After a week, no more shaking!
Then he threw me a curve ball. He wanted me to work with Trileptal again. That drug was nasty. But this time around, instead of 600 mg twice a day that I'd been given in the past, I started with only 1/4 of a 150 mg pill and gradually increased over the next couple of weeks up to 1 1/2 pills a day. When I started feeling dopey in the morning, the doctor told me to lower the dose to 1 1/4 pills. And no more side effects. Here I was taking medicines that had bothered me so much in the past, and I didn't feel sick.
Most importantly, I started getting better. It was gradual - it took about three months - but I started sleeping at night and functioning better during the day. What I realized is that my previous doctors had given me the right meds at the wrong doses.
Now, I'm working again and living independently. I take my meds faithfully. It's easy because I have almost no side effects. And I even have hope for my future. Quite a change from the wreck who first walked into his office.
I've gone to the trouble of writing all this because Dr. Orenstein has been there for me. He's available by phone all the time. Even on vacation, he answers his cell. He really cares about his patients. He's a true professional. Dr. Orenstein turned my life around.
Trust Dr. Orenstein. He's the best.
Dr. O. has been a God send for me for THIRTY YEARS – I was referred to Dr. Orenstein when I had a severe incident in my first job just out of college. He stabilized my conditions. I was never hospitalized and returned to work in a few weeks. He has been generous to a fault with his time. He has tremendous interest in his patients. If you have faith and patience in him, he can help you. Medications are constantly monitored and adjusted when needed. Work with him. You may have a very complicated diagnosis. We are all different and need unique medication combinations. I was disappointed in the two reviews I read. Please note that he has six EXCELLENT REVIEWS. I would bet that no one could exceed that in his field. And it is the people who are happy that rarely write reviews. But the negative reviews inspired me to write this. Dr Orenstein would have 6 times 60 positive reviews if you surveyed his patients. We are all human and react differently to doctors and situations. I cannot strongly enough emphasis that I feel he is a wonderful and caring psychiatrist.
I do not know If you can get on Dr. Orenstein's schedule...I would HIGHLY recommend it. Marla his office manager is extremely capable. They are not always taking new patients and his schedule books early. I have seen Marla very accomodating in working with people's needs and schedules. She will not let you down (very very rarely....he can only see one patient at a time!) This review is for real. If you want to contact me I can tell you more about my TOTALLY POSITIVE experiences with Dr. Orenstein. I can't discuss your situation but I can tell you my experience. FIVE STARS PLUS!
Worst Psychiatrist/Psychopharmacologist in Seattle – Well, it is a case of the king's new clothes. Dr. Orenstein is awful, but reality lags behind his reputation (something perhaps built decades ago).
If I could give a zero to Dr. Orenstein in this forum, I would. What's sad is that Dr. Orenstein was referred to me by an extraordinary general physician who - in 20 years - has always provided me with exceptional referrals for specialists. Thus, unlike Jane Doetoo, I did not rely on anonymous ratings but on someone within the medical field. While Dr. Orenstein's personality does nothing to help establish an immediate rapport with his patients, it was his prescription of medications that was a serious and specific problem for me. I saw him several times and, when I wasn't showing improvement with one drug, he switched me to a category of drugs to which I'd previously had a horrible reaction. I'd specifically told him that I'd had a horrible reaction to the class of drugs and when he again tried to get me to try one drug in that category I told him I didn't want to do it. He said just about the worst thing you could say to convince a vulnerable patient: "Well, if you were a member of my family, I'd encourage you to take this drug." I trusted him and I took the drug. It took a couple of weeks for the full, hellish side effects to kick in (all of which he tried to minimize when I told him about them). When I finally made an appointment with another psychiatrist about how to get off the drug, the receptionist at the other psychiatrist's office was aware of the problem with the drug and told me that her physicians had a whole tapering system for getting people off that particular drug. (The receptionist! Not a nurse! Someone with presumably no medical training knew that there were problems with that drug!) It took me a whole six months to taper and I've since heard first-hand nightmare stories about the drug and read second-hand reports of how the drug can affect certain people.
So, here's a physician who must market himself really well within the medical community, but who isn't living up to his reputation with his patients. First, he didn't listen to me. Second, he made me take something that I told him was a huge risk with me (and that's not something a patient is normally able to know). Third, he got me to trust him and to take the drug by saying the one thing that would inspire trust in that situation and that was wholly inappropriate - "If you were someone in my family, I'd have you take this drug." Fourth, he failed to acknowledge that within a certain significant percentage of people, that particular drug (within that particular class of drugs) is so horrible that there's a whole regimen for tapering so that one can get off it without having the truly debilitating side effects.
I would have been much, much healthier if I had never seen Dr. Orenstein and taken no drug during that difficult period of my life. The only reason I never reported him to whomever one reports these things is that I did not want to relive the truly awful experience. I hope that this rating will help others either quit him immediately as Jane Doetoo did (very smart of her) or never even make an appointment with him because of the risk. You'll all avoid at least the potential for the agony I went through.
Mislead by Glowing Reviews – After reading the glowing reviews of Dr. Orenstein, I scheduled an appointment, hoping to establish a great physician to support me in resuming ADHD medication that I'd stopped taking years back. Boy did I have a different experience that those who left the 5 star reviews. The first red flag was the agreement I was required to sign and initial, stating that information about me would be used in his drug research. No Opt-in or Opt-out, it was a condition of his treatment. As he collected my history, he grilled me over dates: marriages, graduations, and employment. I would have brought my resume had I known this would be like an employment interview. I perceived repeated, negative facial emoting from him when I couldn't recall the dosages of the meds I'd taken 7 years ago; after I incorrectly calculated my mother's age and in what seemed like a dispute over the type of graduate degree I possessed. I expect the first appointment with a professional like this to be stressful, but I never expected we'd go from complete strangers to having stale-marriage spousal arguments in less than an hour with the 'no, you said...then I said...then you said...' . Things got worse after providing history on other family members. Because an extremely severe illness affects/affected several of my family members, he insisted I take a drug used to treat what they had, and not the condition I had been diagnosed with. I did not respond favorably to the idea of going on the drugs he recommended so he suggested I could go find another physician to prescribe me what I'd had before. How scary is that? So I paid Dr. Orenstein $339 and he was dismissing me as a patient because I was afraid to take meds for condition I have not been diagnosed with. Our appointment concluded with his recommendation that I read Dr. Jamison's An Unquiet Mind, research the list of mood stabilizers he gave me, and an offer that he'd be willing to see me again if I changed my mind about his intended course of treatment. He said he’d consider prescribing my former meds after I took the drugs he wanted me too first. A little while ago I watched Dr. Jamison speak on Utube, reading excerpts from her book. The condition this woman described, and how a particular drug affected her (same drug Dr. Orenstein suggested) was absolutely frightening. I most definitely do not have what she has, or what Dr. Orenstein wanted to treat me for. Tomorrow I'll call another physician claiming to treat ADHD, like Dr. Orenstein. I hope this other guy is willing to treat me for my diagnoses, not force me to be his research subject or demand I take drugs for manic depression when all I have is ADHD.
Excellent Psychiatric Care!! – After several years of visiting numerous doctors and emergency rooms concerning a host of random and often frightening physical symptoms, which climaxed in an 11-day episode that incapcitated me, Dr. Orenstein saw me immediately, spent a thorough hour on Q&A, correctly diagnosed me, thoroughly explained the treatment/medication we would try, and within 30 minutes of taking the medication I was fully functioning.
We've "refined" my medication twice over the first two years, and for the past five years I am in excellent mental health--since that first evening I saw him.
Dr. Orenstein is the only physician who has actually questioned me on why I didn't call when I had a symptom sneak up on me once or twice. That is unheard of.
I actually feel "safe" in my life knowing I can count on him to help me if I need help. While he is extremely professional and to the point, he is also friendly and interested in how I am doing in all aspects of my life.
Marla, the cognitive therapist who also assists him, is also excellent. She passed on one simple observation to me one time that I recall almost everyday, and I am sure it will stay with me and help me as long as I live.
I sound a bit dramatic here, perhaps, but I was experiencing "a tragedy" at one time and physicians were literally escorting me out their back doors, but Dr. Orenstein and Marla handled my problems without so much as blinking and have made my life and surely my family's life 100-fold better.
I actually look forward to my maintenance appointments, now at every four months or so. They make for a happier day.
No words to really describe him, but I'll try... – I have been suffering from depression for 15 years, maybe longer. In my quest for being NOT depressed, I saw so many professionals, all with Manged Health Care Facilities, all with inadequate care. We switched providers, and even met one Doctor (review later) who said although he prescribed anti-depressants (liar) he told me he WOULDN'T! and to go see a pychiatrist. I said O.K, , did he have a referral or two? No. Cold as ice.
I didn't care if we could afford this help or not. I called Dr. Orenstein's office and told his assistant, Marla- begging for a right away appointment, because I had reached a level of agoraphobia. He stayed late for me, an unknown-as this is a man who understands mental health. His follow up was strict because he wanted to me to be well, this is the man he is. Some things worked and others did not, but in a short period of time I began to heal.
I could write a book, but he ALWAYS asks the right questions. His notes are so meticulous-he'll remind me of our last visit (I see him every 8 weeks now, down from bi-monthly) and what I was up to at that time, and ask's what has changed/why, too. I sometimes was caught off guard. He NEVER wastes a penny of my time and truly just prompt always for appointments. I love Dr. Orenstein, and I was blessed.
You don't need to search anymore. (And, he's not a Dr. Feelgood.) He's simply the best, and I should know.
I'm thankful I was able to review Dr. Herbert Orenstein.
Real hope renewed but learn office protocol day one – Dr. Orenstein is careful but efficient as he collects any relevant data. My husband's observations of me are as important to him as my own. He colors his significant intelligence and experience with erring on the side of seeing the best in his patient - albeit with good reason always. He literally remembers everything you ever said to him, it seems to my husband and me. And he is available 24hrs a day. Nutshell, he may seem concerned about regular visits with him (I'm still working towards resolution w/meds), but it is absolutely true, we've found, that he wants your problem to be fixed.
Of note, just make sure to know everything about the prescription refill protocol on day one.
Top Notch - Highly Recommend This Psychiatrist – Dr. Orenstein is so insightful and takes the time to listen to my concerns. Another positive is his willingness to talk on the phone between sessions and to include my family in treatment. His staff is great too, very helpful and professional, especially with billing problems (those insurance companies!) He has been practicing for many years, and his experience shows. He is the best psychiatrist our family has ever had!
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