Dr. Mark Vakkur

About Dr. Mark Vakkur

Psychiatry is often perplexing, sometimes humbling, but never dull.  It’s rare I can’t help in some way, and I see that as an enormous privilege. I believe imparting optimism, hope, and humor are a critical part of my job

I believe that psychiatric evaluation and treatment involves a collaborative partnership. In that sense, my goal is that of consultant.  I listen carefully to you, reflect to make sure I’ve got it right, gather medical and personal history, then offer a range of evidence-based choices based on what you have told me

I use a symptom scoring model I have developed over the years that lets me review your history at a glance which allows us to make optimal adjustments and recommendations. These decisions are based on the most important information available – your history and response to treatment

I have lived and worked in Decatur, Georgia for most of the past 20 years

My Approach

My treatment philosophy is simple: I apply the same diagnostic and therapeutic rigor to the treatment of psychiatric conditions as I would to any medical condition.  I see myself as a physician who treats disorders that arise in the brain and manifest themselves through recognizable symptoms. These symptoms usually involve disruption of mood, cognition, appetite, motivation, and, at times, perception of reality. Most of the struggle in psychiatry is getting the diagnosis right. Everything else follows. Beginning the appropriate evidence-based treatment often leads to life-altering improvement

My approach is minimalist. I believe less is more. Err on the side of less medication at a lower dose. Like they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

My approach is also holistic. I “prescribe” regular exercise and a well-balanced diet more than I do any medication

My Training

Board-certified psychiatrist. Graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1986. Medical degree from Duke University School of Medicine.

Previous research includes: research on alcohol dependence, substance abuse, mood disorders, veterans mental health, PTSD, student issues and public health.

Previous director of medical student and residency education at Atlanta VA Medical Center, consultant for World Health Organization and Emory assistant professor

My Specialties

I offer a wide array of treatment services, from medication management to psychotherapy.  Although I have evaluated and treated clients with virtually every psychiatric diagnosis I am most experienced evaluating and treating attention deficit disorder, major depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder