My name is Adie Rubin. I have suffered my whole adult life with debilitating depression. The most recent descent into hell was a year-and-a-half ago. It was so severe that I was bedridden from fear and anxiety. I could no longer eat. I no longer wanted to live. During this period of time, my husband Dave was my primary caregiver. He shopped, cleaned, prepared my meals, read to me, took me for walks, accompanied me to doctor appointments, and made sure my meds were in order. He chanted deeply for my health and well-being. As he said, our Gohonzon (buddhist scroll) room became a battlefield, and every day he had to pick up his sword so he could do battle with his own demons first— and then mine. My leaders and co-members visited with me, read to me from the World Tribune and Living Buddhism, walked with me and, most importantly, recited buddhist prayers and chanted with me. Each day Dave and I read the quote: "As practice progresses and understanding grows, the three obstacles and four devils emerge in confusing form, vying with one another to interfere. One should be neither influenced nor frightened by them." My meds were simply not working any more, and my condition was worsening. We were encouraged by several doctors to consider electroconvulsive therapy. After lots of research and chanting, I started ECT. The treatments produced no clear relief, and I was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. Isabel knew I was struggling, and yet asked me if I would consider becoming a group chief. She was throwing me a lifesaver, hoping I would reach out and grab on, all the while never pressuring me. I accepted, and did my best to support the members while challenging my debilitating suffering. And that suffering continued, mostly because the drugs had so many severe side-effects. Dave and I chanted with a never-give-up spirit, and consulted with another psychiatric doctor who happened to be a friend of ours, Dr. Miguel Rivera. That very first session, after learning everything he could about me, he formed a plan for me that had one simple goal: To restore my life and my happiness. He carefully took me off my strongest drugs, and provided another regimen with far fewer drugs in very small doses, and many behavioral tools. But it was his fierce encouragements that set me on the track to victory. These included: • I needed to take ownership of my life and my circumstances— only then could I change it. • Dave couldn’t fix me, nor could my doctor. I needed to fix me. • I needed to find a mission larger than my life. • He told me the past didn’t matter! It starts with today! • And lastly, he told me I needed to "pick up my sword!” - The psychiatrist actually prescribed lots of powerful chanting as part of my regimen! That’s what I did everyday, battling my internal demons with the sword of faith and Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo (our buddhist chant). My transformation has been remarkable. It’s as though a light has just gone on, as though a fever has broken. Dave says this was more than just getting the old Adie back. It’s as though a brand new human being has emerged. Now he has to figure out how to get along with me!! I now watch my thoughts carefully, and, I’m careful about what I watch on TV. I’ve reconnected with friends I haven’t seen in years. The negativity in my mind has been replaced with gratitude and appreciation. I look forward to waking up each day. I have never been on such solid footing nor have I ever felt this kind of joy. And, I know that because life has more challenges in store, I must make causes each and every day to keep moving forward. I  had always thought that it was all about my brain chemistry. But now I understand that it was all about my human revolution. In my heart, I was never good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, lovable enough. I had to learn to believe— in my heart— that I AM ENOUGH! I now know that BECAUSE of this illness, my chanting is clearer and stronger. BECAUSE of this illness, I now understand why I practice and how to practice for victory. BECAUSE of this illness, I now know the value of my life. I always bemoaned the fact that I didn’t have a mission in life. Well, I have one now: to reach out to others who suffer from this debilitating illness and let them know there is hope beyond the darkness. I’d like to finish with a passage from Sensei: “Even places that have been shrouded in darkness for billions of years can be illuminated. Even a stone from the bottom of a river can be used to produce fire. Our present sufferings, no matter how dark have certainly not continued for billions of years— nor will they linger forever. The sun will definitely rise. In fact, its ascent has already begun.” Thank you!
Dr. Miguel Rivera is an incredible human being. I would like to briefly tell you of all the good he has done for my family. Dr. Rivera first started working with my mother, Mary, quite a few years ago. In Feb of 2010, mom fell in her home and broke a hip. After spending time in rehab, she fell again in April of the same year and broke the other hip. Along with this, she was in the early stages of dementia, and glaucoma was robbing her of her eyesight. Sounds depressing - and it was - but Dr. Rivera entered our lives, and he made all of our lives better. Dr. R worked his magic with my mom - a major music lover and self taught musician of a sort. She played the ukulele and piano by ear with no formal training or lessons. Dr. R brightened the days for my mom. Although she developed full blown dementia, and ended up totally blind - Dr. Rivera brought her happiness through his visits and through music. All the while, my father, who was in relatively good health through all of this, praised Dr. R for all he had done for Mary. Dad loved her so much - visiting her for hours - every day - while she was at Sarasota Memorial Nursing and Rehab. April 2014 was the time my father, Marshall, had to move into an assisted living facility. He had the beginning symptoms of dementia. Dad continued to visit Mary every week - getting rides to SMN&R from Palmer Ranch. Mom passed on March 9, 2015. Dr. R made her life better. Now he is working with my father, assisting in any and every way. Dad was recently diagnosed with Stage 3 Multiple myeloma and has started with hospice care. Dr. R continues to work with my dad, updating me with every visit. He truly cares for his patients. Some doctors, in my experiences, are too quick to dismiss the elderly. Dr. R strives to help his patients to attain the highest quality of life possible. If it weren’t for Dr. R's persistence, we would not have even found out about dad’s myeloma! It was he who sensed something was wrong with dad - something he couldn't put his finger on, and he called the primary doctor who did nothing about it. So Dr. R followed his instincts and ordered the blood tests and when the results came back, he knew something was wrong - something more serious. He ordered more blood work and got us a consult with a cancer specialist. It was then we received the results that dad had cancer. Dr. R will continue his work with my dad till the end - and for all he has done for my family - I am eternally grateful. Paul Ziring
Dr. Rivera changed my life. As someone who has suffered from depression most of her life (I even failed ECT), I sought help from many physicians. I was always given a pill and told that I had a “chemical imbalance”. I was resigned to taking medication for the rest of my life. Dr. Rivera showed me a different path. He showed me that I had the power within to determine my own reality. Living in the moment and being present for the here and now were the only things that counted. The journey, not the destination is what ultimately brings us happiness. Dr. Rivera equipped me with tools such as yoga, meditation, affirmations, positive thinking and mindful eating to overcome the bad habits that fuel depression. Most importantly, Dr. Rivera taught me that gratitude is everything. Many of us mistakenly believe that we are grateful because we are happy. Instead, it is gratitude that brings us happiness. Gratitude allows us to savor each moment and abandon such toxic behaviors such as rumination, obsessing, and negative thought patterns. Ultimately, loving and serving others is what brings us joy. Through Dr. Rivera, I was not only empowered to “pick up my sword” and fight my own battle, I was given the knowledge that everything is always changing. My suffering today did not mean that tomorrow would bring more. I am forever grateful to Dr. Rivera. He is an innovative, creative, and gifted thinker. He demonstrates a great deal of compassion and concern for his patients. He helped me conquer my depression and build an arsenal to battle any future depressions. Thanks to him, I now know that all we need to do is get up each morning and do our best.
My wife and I wanted again to thank you for all you did for my mother. She was on the verge of her demise when you first met her. Through your understanding and intellect, you gave her 8 more months of quality of life. I understand that in the end, there was nothing more that could be done for her and that the disease had overtaken any medications to control it. As you put it, "Your mom has completed her journey here on earth". It was a Godsend that she had caring and concerned people like you to help her through the end of that journey. I also wanted to personally thank you for your candor and straight forward communication with me on her condition and the disposition of her final moments. You were a great help in making the tough decisions that were necessary to fulfill her wishes. I would sincerely recommend you to those patients and families that were in similar situations. If you ever have a reluctant client, please feel free to use me as a reference either via a phone call, email or even in person. Even though your practice is private pay, I honestly believe that potential patients cannot afford to be without your service. I know that was the case for us.
It has been such a pleasure and privilege to host the last two events featuring "The One and Only Dr. Miguel Rivera" here at Reflections!! The response to both of these events has been so positive. You have such a beautiful way of communicating with people and making a real "connection". I look forward to working with you in the future as we strive to make a difference in the lives of loved ones who are coping with dementia as well as our own life choices. Thank you sincerely for all that you do.
My husband has dementia and back in May of this year was in a very bad state - very agitated and aggressive, especially at night. With a history of bad reactions to medications, I did not know what to do. I received two recommendations to call you. They both said you were very very good with medication problems as well as being the best psychiatrist they knew. They spoke the truth. I am very grateful that you agreed to see my husband. I believe that it was the best thing that I could have ever done for him. He no longer show signs of aggression and is very seldom agitated. Truly he is a changed and much improved person. Not only were you such a great help to my husband, but you also took into account my feelings and have therefore been a great help to me personally. Thank you once again.

I will never forget you and your remarkable compassion as you deliver your medical expertise. You made such a difference in my mother's life and gave her as much quality of life as possible. You stood by us until the end.  Your thoughtfulness meant so much to us... With a grateful heart.

Norma passed this morning. Thank you for giving her 6 more months of quality life. Without you we would likely have played this scenario out the first time she went down. You are truly a miracle worker.

I am extremely happy to be able to testify to Dr. Miguel Rivera's compassion and expertise as a Psychiatrist.

My personal story is that my mother is 93 and suffers from blindness and severe Dementia as well as being wheel chair bound. After being given various Anti-Psychotic drugs in an attempt to control her behavior she became a different person. When Dr. Rivera met her she was unable to tell him who she was and was screaming out in terror from delusions and hallucinations. Dr. Rivera immediately took over her treatment and withdrew most medicines in order to start from scratch. He became involved in her care on a daily basis and maintained close communication with me and the facility where she lives. He truly micro-managed her care even if he was needed in the middle of the night.

Because of his care, I feel as if he has given back my mother. Of course, she still has Dementia and the rest of her physical issues, but she is calm and free of the severe delusions and hallucinations which truly made her suffer. She can now smile, sing and enjoy people.

Dr. Rivera has given my mother the opportunity to live with a better quality of life and given me peace of mind. I highly recommend his services with an unqualified salute to his caring, compassionate and extraordinary expertise. He stands at the top of the medical profession.

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