JOSEPH W. KEYSER  III  M.D., Board Certified Psychiatrist 
382 Springfield Avenue, Suite 412
Summit, New Jersey 07901                                                      
Phone: (908) 277-2655
Email: drkeyser@gmail.com

 

PATIENT INFORMATION


We are pleased to assist you with your concerns.

To Schedule an Appointment


Appointments are available Monday-Friday: 6:00 am-2:00 pm.

All appointments are scheduled by phone by calling (908) 277-2655 or by sending an email to drkeyser@gmail.com.

All calls are kept strictly confidential and only Dr. Keyser has access to his secure voice mail and phone.

If you are unable to make it to the office for your scheduled appointment, please call at least 24 to 48 hours prior to the appointment to cancel.

The initial comprehensive psychiatric evaluation will take approximately one hour and will thoroughly explore: your current concerns; your past psychiatric, medical, family and personal history; and your treatment goal.                                                 

All evaluation and treatment information is confidential and only released with your written request.

Contact us through Dr. Keyser's office email or phone (908) 277-2655, if you have any questions.

Current Informational Articles
Fels, Anna. "Should we all take a Bit of Lithium." New York Times 13 September 2014: Sunday Review.
Friedman, Richard A. "A Natural Fix for A.D.H.D." New York Times 31 October 2014: Sunday Review.
Kennedy, Pagan. "The Fat Drug." New York Times 08 March 2014: Sunday Review.
                          

Patient Comments

Journey

I came into the care of Dr. Keyser after an arduous journey through three detox programs,
two psychiatric wards, one dual-diagnosis psychiatric/drug rehab, and two IOPs. I was
battling with alcoholism and psychotic episodes that raised doctor’s suspicions for
schizophrenia, dissociative personality disorder, and bipolar. I was also taking a smorgasbord
of prescriptions. Now, I am mere days away from my two-year anniversary in sobriety,
no episodes, and no hospitals. Dr. Keyser has been a staple in my recovery of
paramount importance.

Dr. Keyser has an attitude of trusting time proven methods, and I appreciate that greatly.
We meet every week in person or at least by phone if travelling. He thoroughly listened to my
story, and, before writing any more scripts, explained the pros/cons with my hospital issued
drugs. I caught the vibe early on that he doesn’t peddle choice, name-brand drugs for
the sake of modernity. We settled on a plan, one of measured change that I monitored through
blood work. In the end, I consolidated from six medicines (Depakote, Trazadone, Risperdal,
Trilifon, Camplor, Propanolol) from the hospital (some lethal, I have learned) to simply two:
Lithium and Pamelor. I had been in and out of hospital/psychiatric/rehab programs for nearly
6 months and these two medicines never were considered. I’m also doing wonderfully now.
Effective? Absolutely.

In my psychiatric and alcoholic recovery, I have sought all forms of aid I could find:
AA, therapy and psychiatric care. All of the three pieces fit together and noticeable
improvement began when I started seeing Dr. Keyser. My cycles are largely muted, and
I am increasingly more aware of them. Everything is more manageable. It’s funny when
feeling and behaving like a calm, normal person becomes an accomplishment. Prior to,
I went through incredible swings: barely sleeping for weeks and being hyper-productive,
explosively angry, miserably exhausted and isolated, paranoid, and still contemplating
my exit finale. All of this is a fleeting memory.

Our process, which I thoroughly enjoy, is based on conversations not directly about
me and my well-being. Though, if I have a concern, it is never ignored. He has a knack for
identifying when I am off my equilibrium and uses those signals to recommend adjustments.
My dosages have been adjusted a few times, and my current levels are always still a
focus of change. There is a strong consistency in my care, but the goal is to minimize
unnecessary medication.

Simply put, Dr. Keyser has aided me in returning to a much more productive, serene, and
aware version of myself. This journey has been a real tour de force, and I will keep
working to stay this way.

Current Patient

BIPOLAR DISORDER

I was first diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in 2003, after wrecking my personal and
professional life, for reasons of which I had no idea, and engaging in behavior which
although it seemed reasonable at the time to me, made absolutely no sense, like going
4-5 days straight without sleeping, and constantly engaging in arguments with everyone
I knew, in my family and in my professional life.

What then began was a series of bad medications, administered by what I can only
consider to have been incompetent and mediocre professionals.

First, I took Depakote.  It certainly brought me down to earth.  Unfortunately, it also had
too strong a sedative effect and I would walk around empty-headed, without a thought.
I was unable to function well professionally. I used to fall asleep behind the wheel of my
car, and I remember crossing streets in New York City, where I work, without even looking
before stepping out.  I was sure I was going to be killed, but I just didn’t seem able to
do anything about it.  I was unhappy with the doctor who was treating me, so I went for
a consultation with another psychiatrist, who told me that the dose I was taking was too
low and that it really needed to be higher.  When I questioned how I would be able to
function, I’ll never forget his response. He told me that while I would have some loss
of quality in my life, it would in the end be better for me.  Really?  I later found out that
he ran a psych ward at a hospital in North Jersey, so I immediately understood his
“drug them up” philosophy. Not for me, thanks.

Next I switched to the mental health clinical services of a large local hospital, where
I thought I would find experience and a better outcome.

My next drug prescribed was Risperdal. Totally ineffective for my bipolar, although it
did have one noticeable effect. It made me motion sick.  Now I would get dizzy riding
the train back and forth to work, and in an unforgettable experience, we took our children
to an IMAX movie in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on summer vacation. It was about a
trip across the country by plane, and the movie made me physically ill. I turned white
and had to leave the theater to avoid throwing up.

So much for Risperdal. The doctor left that hospital and I had a new practitioner. We
decided to try Abilify. What a mistake. Abilify gave me restless leg syndrome and it was
absolutely driving me crazy.  I couldn’t sit still. I would walk to my office from Penn
Station – about an hour walk, stay a short time and walk back. I couldn’t sit still. Nighttime
was even worse. Difficult to sleep and in constant fear that the feeling would never go away.
What kind of cure is that?  That medication was worse than the illness.

Next, a switch to Lamotrigine, which I stayed on for years.  It seemed to work, but it
wasn’t that great and once again, incredible side effects. First, it would put me to sleep,
day and night. Once again, sometime dozing off behind the wheel. It didn’t matter how
much sleep I got, it would put me out. I would be sitting on the train or on the New York City
subway with a book or magazine in my hand and all of a sudden I would just doze off
and drop it on the floor. Embarrassing and frustrating.  When we would go anywhere
that was dark and quiet, I would immediately fall asleep.  I fell asleep through years
of school concerts – both of my kids played in the orchestra. They were always mad
at me, and my wife was always smacking me to wake up – didn’t I care? It was my
own children playing…and what must other people think? Just the friendly effects of
Lamotrigine.  I slept through every movie I ever went to.  I also lost a part-time job as
a substitute teacher – I had to show a video…the room was dark and quiet…and I dozed off. 
They didn’t ask me back after that.

Even worse about Lamotrigine was that it caused me short-term memory problems,
every day.  I teach adult education classes, so I’m on my feet talking all day.  I would
frequently forget things I wanted to say, as I was teaching. Very frustrating. I’d make
little jokes about it, but it wasn’t funny to me.  When I parked at the train station every
day I would have to remember a 4-digit numbered parking space and walk about 50 yards
over to the machines to buy a daily parking permit.  On that drug it was very difficult for
me to remember the numbers.  A blowing breeze or the least distraction and I couldn’t
remember them, or I’d transpose them.  I got several tickets for not paying for parking,
because I put in the wrong space number. I actually had to go to Court once with my
receipt to fight the ticket and after that I put a pad of paper and a pen in my car to write
the spot number down.  That problem ended when I stopped taking Lamotrigine. I never
got a ticket again and like everyone else, I can walk 50 yards
and remember a 4-digit number.

About a year ago I finally left that miserable hospital’s care, came to Dr. Keyser and started
taking Lithium.  I noticed a change within several days. Minimal side effects, and a clear
head.  I felt like I was 10 years younger.  I can drive and not fear falling asleep behind the
wheel. I can teach all day and I rarely forget things I was about to say.  I’d had so many
bad drug experiences, so many times where the treatment was worse than my illness
that I almost didn’t want to try Lithium. But I’m glad I did. Clearly a case where the
old original is so much better than the evil concoctions that pass for medication that
most bipolar patients are forced to take. 

I feel that I pretty much have no limits to my professional and personal life.

Current Patient 

DRUG-FREE

My problem with prescription drugs started with my yearly physical. During my examination,
I mentioned to my doctor that, at times, I felt somewhat nervous and sometimes anxious,
and that I was having some headaches.

The doctor’s response was that I needed medication to take the edge off during work
or from anything else that might be upsetting me. I asked the doctor if I could get an
MRI on my head to rule out that I might have a brain tumor. He said no as he felt that
I showed no symptoms to indicate a tumor. I accepted his response, but I was not quite
convinced. The doctor prescribed 50 mg. of Zoloft and .05 mg. of Lorazepam. I immediately
started taking these drugs.

I returned to the doctor one week later for my test results. Results were negative. I advised
my doctor that I was feeling even more nervous and anxious. So, he increased the Zoloft
to 100 mg. I mentioned to the doctor that at this time I was having suicidal thoughts and
my sexual activity was diminished. He denied that the medication was the cause. I asked
him again about having the MRI on my head. He finally gave in and said that he would see
what he could do.

I started taking the increased dosage (100 mg) of Zoloft and within a week my emotions
were all over the place. My suicidal thoughts increased and I was even more nervous and
anxious. I couldn’t even focus on anything. My work was now affected. The only drug that
helped me for awhile was the Lorazepam. But, I found myself depending on it more and
more. I was very concerned and decided to seek out psychiatric help. I made an appointment
with Dr. Keyser, a psychiatrist. Just before I went to see Dr. Keyser, my wife, who it very
perceptive, said that the only thing that changed me was from the medications I was taking.
She suggested that I reduce the dosage of Zoloft in half to 50 mg. Several days later I felt
better. But, I still had the suicidal thoughts. During my appointment with Dr. Keyser, we
discussed
my problems of suicide and lack of sexual interest. I also lost interest in golf and didn’t
want to go to work, or be around other people. Dr. Keyser stated that the cause of these
feelings were side effects from the medications I was taking. At my next appointment,
we would discuss my feelings and he recommended that I wean myself off the drugs.
For every appointment thereafter, I would fill out a form that showed my possible side
effects for that week (I filled one out every day) and I reduced the dosage of medication
until I was off altogether and had no further side effects. I even started going to my
appointment by myself) my wife accompanied me for several visits). I felt so much better
and had no thought at all about suicide. My sexual interest came back too.

I am finally back to my “old” Self!!! I play golf, laugh, work and want to be around people.
I finally had the MRI and it turned out negative. I know one thing for sure, that I will never
take any medication until I know all of the side effects and decide to fight what I have
rather than take medication that makes me worse.

No one should ever be embarrassed or ashamed to seek psychiatric help. Thanks to
Dr. Keyser and my wife, I’m happy and “Drug Free.”

Current Patient 

LITHIUM

Before I came to this office, my moods alternated between an excitable, elated mood with
an increased energy level despite functioning on less than four hours of sleep a night to
a despondent mood where I was withdrawn, aloof and disinterested in participating in
familiar activities or socializing with friends and family despite now sleeping an excessive
number of hours each night. My family noticed that I was frequently argumentative,
irritable, sad and tearful at times.

Dr. Keyser stabilized the extreme ups and downs of my bipolar disorder 10 years ago,
by prescribing Lithium, adjusting the dosage, and monitoring the blood levels. Initially,
I was fearful of taking Lithium, but I never experienced any of the side effects. My ability
to concentrate and analyze information remains excellent as demonstrated by recently
earning another Bachelor's degree. I wish I had taken Lithium when I was much younger
since I could have prevented the constant fluctuations in moods and many years of
unhappiness.

I was without Lithium for several weeks earlier this year. Within two weeks, heightened
anxiety, restlessness and irritability recurred. I became unable to engage in any meaningful discussions or conversations. I felt miserable.

Dr. Keyser provided professional support and guidance to ensure that my moods stabilized
again. Dr. Keyser listens carefully when I describe my thoughts, feelings and problems.
Dr. Keyser demonstrates genuine compassion and concern.

Lithium is essential for me to prevent mood swings and lead a happier life.

Current Patient 

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