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 Mehnaz Hyder MD

 design your paradigm

Your brain is the most brilliantly designed piece of engineering in the whole universe. It allows you to experience the world. It's where all of your great ideas live. And it's what makes you a unique individual.  You are one in billions! You are meant to experience joy and to do spectacular things-according to your best paradigm that is based on your values. Traumatic life experiences and chronic stress can interfere with your ability to curate your paradigm which may lead to depression, anxiety, and poor functioning.  I can help you with these symptoms. While I treat all psychiatric disorders I specialize in treating individuals who experienced trauma and burnout.


Telehealth sessions with a board certified psychiatrist for psychotherapy and management of psychiatric medications. Patients must be age 13+ and located in California.


Tropical Leaves

Customized psychiatric treatment for startup founders, and adults/teens with trauma and burnout

Tropical Leaves
Image by Kyle Petzer

How zebras handle stress:

Did you know the zebra's stripe pattern is as unique as your       fingerprint? Zebras are individuals just like you! Being herd animals, they need to have great interpersonal skills. They definitely go into fight or flight mode when chased by a lion or a hyena. That's an appropriate response. But, you know what they do once the predator threat is averted? Nothing. They go right back to grazing.  They don't beat themselves up for getting chased. They don't declare themselves as failures, or start comparing their stripes to the others. They don't entertain a running script in their heads about being inferior to lions or hyenas. They just go right back to living their best zebra life. To me, zebras embody fierce individualism, bold expression, and optimal stress management. Let me help you channel your inner zebra!  

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What negative story do you repeatedly tell yourself? 

Want to change the script?
Retro Toy Airplanes


Trauma is anything that you felt was a scary or upsetting experience which impacted your world view. A traumatic event can interrupt your brain's ability to make plans for a life of thriving. You may feel broken and injured. These experiences may forever color your take on life. You may notice intense emotions, chaotic relationships, difficulty in staying in the present, and a sense of hopelessness about your future. Many psychiatric disorders stem from traumatic life events. Depression and Anxiety related to trauma can be treated with psychotherapy and at times medications can be helpful.

what is trauma?


What is burnout?

Burnout is a form of longterm mental, physical and emotional exhaustion beyond your ability to cope. Your brain is designed to respond to quick threats by causing to flee, fight, or freeze. After a pattern of daily repeated exposure to stress, the body starts running on cortisol, a stress hormone. It doesn't feel good to be running on cortisol everyday. You're not supposed to fight/flight/freeze every single day! You may feel resentful and totally depleted.


why do

startup founders burnout?

If you are working in a tech startup you don't need me to tell you it's an extremely high pressure and risky environment. People who have had adverse childhood experiences or dysfunctional relationships in the past may unknowingly be playing out roles from their past within their startup. Unprocessed personal issues can be detrimental to your venture. I'm familiar with the world of startups and Silicon Valley and have taken care of dozens of founders in my practice. Your startup is an extension of your own self. It's important to have a therapeutic space to address your mental health and thrive. Your startup will thank you!

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tell me your story

Initial Psychiatric Evaluation

including review of medical records/documents (pricing does not include coordination of care)

75 minutes 


Image by Nik Shuliahin

what do you want to talk about?

Psychotherapy session with or without medication management

(independent adult patients)

55 minutes


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 medication check

Medication follow up visit

25 minutes


Zebras in Wild

zoom out and decide how you want your life to look

Mehnaz Hyder M.D.

Hi there, I'm Dr. Hyder!

I'm board certified in adult, child, and adolescent psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.  I served as inpatient psychiatrist at the VA Palo Alto for 7 years where I treated veterans with severe emotional trauma and PTSD. I noticed that many veterans had also experienced trauma outside of their combat role and that they entered the military already having experienced abandonment. I also learned that the existing system did not enable individualized care. I started my practice so that I could care for patients on terms that work best for them, outside of the constraints of legacy systems. Prior to working at the VA, I completed Child and Adolescent Psychiatry fellowship at Columbia University College of Physicians- St. Luke's/Roosevelt/Beth Israel hospitals in New York City and general psychiatry residency at Nassau University Medical Center on Long Island, NY. I grew up as an American expat overseas and have lived in several countries. I was immersed in those cultures intimately allowing me to experience a diverse and culturally enriching upbringing. My family heritage is from Hyderabad, India. I currently live in Silicon Valley, California. Most importantly, I am human-just like you.

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  • What is a psychiatrist?
    A psychiatrist is a physician (having earned an MD or DO degree) who has demonstrated expertise in the medical field of psychiatry where they must prevent, diagnose, and treat mental illness. Treatments may involve psychotherapy and/or medications that act on the nervous system. Both psychiatrists and neurologists diagnose and treat disorders of the brain. I like to view the psychiatric disorders as the ones that deal with your perception of the world around you, your emotions, and your behaviors. In order to properly diagnose psychiatric disorders a professional must be skilled enough to diagnosis non-psychiatric disorders because they may mimic emotional symptoms or interfere with you mental health and knows the biochemistry and pathology playing in the background. Medicine is always both an art and a science, and psychiatry is no exception. This is what sets a physician apart.
  • What do you have to do to become a psychiatrist?
    A psychiatrist is a medical doctor. To become a psychiatrist one must complete 4 years of undergraduate education, 4 years of medical school earning either an MD or DO degree (there are no alternative degrees), completion of the 3 separate intensive 8 hour exams called the USMLE, and 4 years of an America College of Graduate Medical Education approved residency. Psychiatry residency requires the completion of 4 months of acute management of Internal Medicine patients and 2 months of Neurology clinicals followed by 3 and a half years of general psychiatry clinical experience. A medical residency generally operates on 6 day work week, with two consecutive days off being a rarity. My residency included overnight inpatient call every fourth night, in addition to completing the entire work day prior to call. Residency programs have capped worked hours at an average of 80 hours per week, however it is not uncommon to be working as a hospital house officer for 100 hours at a stretch. A child psychiatrist must complete an additional 2 year fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry. In order to be granted board certification a physician who has completed residency and/or fellowship must sit for the board exams conducted by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
  • Why don't you accept insurance?
    I believe the doctor-patient relationship is sacred and the terms should not be dictated by third parties. I work for you, not the insurance company. When you route your relationship with your doctor through an insurance company, they are given access to your records and have the authority to dictate your care according to their preferences. There are many third parties in healthcare which own vast amounts of your precious data, share it with several people and even sell your data for profit. Many of the complaints that Americans have about their healthcare are directly related to third parties; "my doctor barely spent time with me", "my doctor was looking at the computer the whole time". This happens because third party payors and hospital organizations allot 10 minutes per patient visit and require hundreds of meaningless yet mandatory clicks in the medical record. If your physician works directly for you most of these headaches are avoided. In my practice you will know how much time you are getting with me and you will also be given a superbill to get partial reimbursement from your insurance company. You are the star who deserves time and attention, not the insurance company!
  • Do you prescribe controlled substances?
    No I do not prescribe any controlled substances at this time. My practice is fully remote and I am not able perform a comprehensive physical exam or provide the close monitoring required for the prescription of controlled substances. If and when this changes I will let you know!
  • What is your practice style?
    Eclectic. I believe in individualized and customized care, not "one size fits all". I borrow techniques from many therapy modalities based on your needs. But before I can treat you, I need to know your story. Your narrative is everything. How you got here, what kind of environment you grew up in, and what certain relationships and life events mean to you are very important to me. I'm interested in trauma because those experiences alter your narrative and may cause you to engage in unproductive emotions like guilt and shame, beliefs that don't serve you, and self destructive behaviors. I seek to empower you by helping you identify your patterns and gently challenging some beliefs to see if we can come up with a better life narrative-one where you experience joy and feel a sense of agency. Sometimes, I can help you feel better by prescribing a medication. Medications can be a clever biohack-that's all they are by the way- a handy tool, not a label or descriptor of you. Medications aren't a necessity, but can certainly help some people achieve their goal of feeling well and address the symptoms that get in the way of you building a better life narrative. I think sessions should be enjoyable and you should feel a bit of relief after each one, perhaps by learning to look at things differently or learning a coping skill. Even if I am seeing you for medication managment while you get therapy with your own wonderful psychotherapist, I still offer you medications with meaning.
  • Does seeing a psychiatrist mean I'm crazy?
Image by Geran de Klerk
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